Swans Match Report
|Staines Swans 22||Gravesend 17|
Saturday 7th January 2012
National League 3 London & SE
National League 3 London & SE
Wells secures first win of the year for the Swans
Chris Wells pick and drive, support by Rony Bachour and John Kinnell.
Chris Wells kicked 14 points for a Staines team that had to work hard for their first win of the New Year, avenging the loss earlier in the season against a gritty and determined Gravesend team.
Staines run out with the mascots.
The game started well for the Swans, when with the run of play Shane Brady grabbed an opportunity to sneak over his first drop goal of the season. This pressure continued on the visitors, with Wells converting 2 penalties in quick succession as Referee Max Marsden imposed himself at the breakdown area.
With the Swans leading 9-0 the game was going well, until a head injury to prop Tom Jones had Greg Knights hastily rearranging his team, putting on the experienced Rony Bachour a little earlier than he hoped.
Gravesend rallied well as the half progressed putting Staines under pressure, with a well practiced take and drive from the set piece lineout. With The home side coming "off side" close to there own line the elusive Gravesend No 9 Jon Clements, cleverly took a quick tap and go to score a converted try under the post.
Not to be out done Tom Cleary once again inspired his team to "regain control and go forward" from the restart. Staines where in no mood to sit back today and come second. With the Swans in control at set piece scrum, No 8 Tom Cleary had the platform to launch an attack just inside the away teams half. With full back James Cornish in support, it was just a case of giving fleet of foot winger Jon Webber the ball in space. He duly crossed the line to score his first Swans try. With Wells adding the 2 points, Staines looked to be going into half time the much stronger of the two sides at 16-7 up. That is when fate can be so cruel. Just as the 40 mins was up, prop Luke Charlton was carried of the pitch with a serious leg injury.
Tom Cleary winning the lineout.
Staines started the second half the stronger with Wells slotting over a penalty, with 5 mins on the clock. The pressure was starting to show on the visitors, when Ref Marsden yellow carded the away teams No 6 Preuben Potaka for a late tackle on Shane Brady after 12 mins had only passed.
With both teams competing hard for the ball, Swans lock Nathan Palmer took a nasty hit to the head. The game was stopped immediately as both Staines physios could quickly assess the player. With the injured player carried off, Knights had time to rearrange his team. Moving Chris Wells up to play back row.
Staines Swans with th boot of Wells increased the lead to 22-7, with again Gravesend coming "off side" at the breakdown.
Gravesend were still working hard to stay in the game, when they were given an opportunity by the Ref just in front of the home teams goal line, as he deemed the impressive debutant open side Gus Jones had "deliberately slowed the ball down" at the break down and showed him a yellow card. Seizing the advantage from the set scrum, left wing Tom Goss scored a good try from a well-worked move. With Sam Hall adding the extras, to take the score to 22-14. Wells unusually missed a chance to increase the score line soon after the try. Hall had no problems scoring his late penalty to bring the score to a very uncomfortable 22-17, with 6 mins still to play.
Spurred on by a very vocal and loyal Swans crowd, Staines held out to record there well deserved first win of the year at the Reeves.
Nat Palmer and Luke Charlton defending the fringes.
Staines Swans 22 (16)
Tries; Jon Webber
Conversions; C Wells
Drop Goal; S Brady
Penalties; C Wells 4
Gravesend 17 (7)
Tries; J Clement, Tom Goss
Conversions; S Hall 2
Penalties; S Hall
STAINES SWANS were:
Cornish, Webber, Bishay, Wells, Pruce, Brady, Meakin, Charlton, Thomas, T Jones, Palmer, Harrison, Kinnell, G Jones, Cleary (capt), Bachour, Williams, West.
Mucky Ducks also playing at the Reeves won a very competitive game 38-5 against Basingstoke 3XV.
Next week Staines Swans and Cobs travel to Bishop Stortford.