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Home > News > Bart Peterkin runs in 4 as Sevenoaks 'A' XV finish in style
Your News Bart Peterkin runs in 4 as Sevenoaks 'A' XV finish in style

Sevenoaks Rugby A XV brought their championship-winning season to a fitting finale at Knole Paddock on Saturday, with a 24-17 victory over Folkestone and confirmation as 2007/2008 Shepherd Neame Mid Kent and East Sussex A League Champions.

Sevenoaks scheduled league opposition conceded the fixture at the eleventh hour (Oaks taking full points to assure the league title), but the titlists disappointment was short-lived when a well-drilled Folkestone side showed themselves to be worthy adversaries and put the cream of Sevenoaks As to the test.

The first quarter of the match was all Sevenoaks as, playing against the slope and wind, the pack dominated possession and the starting front row of Scott, Thomas and Lockey stamped their authority all over their opposite numbers in the scrum. A tight five completed with the young and thrusting Hutcheson and Bampton was complemented with an electric backrow of Sayers, Merciless Mike Woods and the rampant Bart Peterkin, back for his first game as a father and the eventual Man of the Match, with all four tries to his name.

Folkestone were pinned down in their 22 for much of the first 20 minutes and although an effective defence repeatedly held its line against a hungry Oaks backline, marshalled by outgoing captain Monks, the first score was simply a matter of time. When the chance came, the pack produced a textbook five-metre driveover try to confirm their dominance.

Oaks kept the pace strong and fast at the restart, with Sayers in the ascendance in the loose and Peterkin hunting for ball and contact. Kavanagh at scrumhalf bossed his forwards in typical fashion and linked well with Monks to provide a fulcrum for the scything runs of captain-elect Rosier and Watmough in the centre.

With quick ball firing down the line the centres were able to unleash the devastating pace of their Sidewinders on the wings, in the shape of the towering Wes Robertson and Nathan Cosh who both stretched Folkestones defence to the maximum.

Sevenoaks found committed counterparts at the breakdown and both sides vigorously contested the ruck and maul. However, Oaks forwards owned the lineout with hooker Thomas consistently hitting his jumpers, Hutcheson and Bampton, who were secure on their own ball and effective in disrupting Folkestones.

With such sustained pressure on the opposition, another Sevenoaks score was inevitable and it quickly came, when Folkestone infringed close to their line. The resulting tap penalty found Peterkin who charged over the line with Folkestone players dripping off him to notch the scoreboard up to 10-0.

As quickly as Sevenoaks established themselves on the game, they began sleepwalking and spent the last 20 minutes of the half frustrating attacks from a resurgent Folkestone. The Oaks dam firm held until the over-zealous defence coughed up a penalty to Folkestone, who duly kicked the three points. Just before the stroke of half-time the previously impervious home line was caught napping from a quick penalty five metres out, and the visitors brought the scoreline to 10-8 with an unconverted try in the corner.

Halftime signalled a wake-up call for Oaks and a raft of tactical changes, with Dangerous Dave Baldwin, the maturing Ben Fuller and the cerebral Pete Judge imposing themselves on the field. If the Folkestone pack thought the departure of Scott and Sayers was going to let them off the hook, they were rudely awakened with the arrival of Baldwin and Fuller who continued to punish the Folkestone scrum.

Now playing down the slope and with the wind behind them, Oaks pegged Folkestone back into their own half and forced several clearance kicks to touch. From a resulting lineout just outside Folkestones 22, Peterkin plucked a loose ball from the air and steamrollered his way through Folkestones defence to cross the line for his hat-trick, bouncing the fullback out of the way for good measure before grounding the ball.

The conversion from Kavanagh took the score to 17-10, and scenting victory in the air, the home side went seeking another try. Peterkin soon obliged, picking up from the scrum and embarking on a King Kong-like charge with four Folkestone defenders hanging from him. Kavanagh again slotted the conversion and Oaks were 24-10 up.

Folkestone were not about to lay down as they continued to pressurise Oaks but by this time the inspirational Bryan Phillips had taken to the field to rally his troops for the final push, joined by McDuall in his last game for the club. As the home side sought to padlock the scoresheet for the final 15 minutes, two crucial setbacks befell them.

After a plea from the battered Folkestone forwards, the scrums went uncontested and from an unchallenged platform the visitors mounted a wave of attacks, but with eight minutes to go a spirited Oaks defence saw Rosier pinged for offside. The normally affable centres remonstration with the referee earned him a yellow card and Sevenoaks were down to 14 men. Folkestone drove home their double advantage with two minutes left on the clock to score a converted try but it simply wasnt enough to spoil Oaks party, the result 24-17.

And so a season in which Sevenoaks won this league for the first time in the clubs history, with 16 wins from 20 games, came to a close the way it began inspiring rugby in attack and defence married, more importantly, to an unshakeable belief and team spirit in every player.

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