1st XV - Match centre

Tunbridge Wells
Maidstone
J Thompson, J Jones (3), N Doherty (2), C Earle
Full time
F Reynolds (4)
F Reynolds
Sat 22 Apr 15:00 - London & SE Division - London 1 South

Tunbridge Wells 46 Maidstone 14

Tunbridge Wells hosted near neighbours Maidstone in their final league game of the season at St Marks.

The team knew that a win was the bare minimum as they chased a place in the National Three South play-off but were also resigned to the fact that their fate was not in their own hands as Havant had the chance to secure the spot if they won at league champions Sidcup. This was not going to be easy for the Hampshire side but Wells knew they had to simply focus on what they could do and the task in hand which was beating a traditionally competitive Maidstone team, and ideally with a 4 try bonus point.

The home team welcomed back Christian Earle into the second row and Charlie Harding at full back to bolster a pretty much full strength squad.

Wells kicked off playing down the hill in the first half as the sustained drizzle gave way to sunshine, and there were initial (and understandable) signs of nervousness. Early carries from Nick Blacklock and Kyle McGarvie gave Wells good field position but over elaboration saw some openings go begging. It was also clear that Maidstone had come to play, and play hard, and their scrum had a significant edge all game. The visitors dominated the opening quarter of an hour and it needed resolute defence from the home side to keep them at bay. Indeed, it was somewhat against the run of play when Earle turned over the ball in the Maidstone 22 to release impressive hooker Jake Thompson for a run in to open the scoring. With a fine Frank Reynolds conversion it was 7-0.

The teams distinctive styles were very much in evidence with the visitors using their set piece and forward runners and the hosts looking to use the width of the pitch via their backs. It was the dominant Maidstone scrum that produced their first score on 25 minutes when they took a ball against the ahead and outside half Rory Beech crossed for a try that was converted by Euan Caborn. 7-7.

On 32 minutes Wells were back in front when a miscued clearance kick gave skipper Lee Campion and Harding the opportunity to put man of the match Jake Jones away. He showed dazzling pace to beat his opposing winger on the outside and cross for the try that was superbly converted by Reynolds. 14-7. Three minutes later the home team extended their lead when another powerful counter-attack saw number eight Nick Doherty (who was playing himself into the senior Kent squad alongside team mates Reynolds and Chaz Spence) dot down. With Reynolds’ third conversion it was now 21-7.

Wells’ ambitious attacking game was now starting to click and the signs were increasingly ominous for the visitors. Good hands from Fionn Mcloughlin and Blacklock released Jones for his second try to secure the all important bonus point and although the conversion went wide Wells went in to half time 26-7 up.

Charlie Dagwell and Stuart Nicholls came on for Mike Hathaway and McGarvie but the second half started similarly to the first with Maidstone in the ascendancy. One gilt-edged opportunity was spurned when a ball was dropped five metres out but with hard-working flanker Hayden Pengelly yellow carded it seemed a matter of time before the visitors reduced the deficit. The ensuing scrum saw another penalty awarded but just as it looked inevitable that another scrum would see a penalty try and perhaps a second yellow card, a quick tap was taken and with a turnover Spence was able to clear the Wells lines.

On 55 minutes Wells put the game to bed when an audacious Reynolds cross-field kick was gathered by Doherty to run in under the posts which with Reynolds’ conversion made it 33-7. News was filtering through that having led at half-time Havant were now trailing at Sidcup which further buoyed the mood at St Marks. On 62 minutes Reynolds slotted a 35 metre penalty to extend the lead after good work by Dylan Barkas and Hayden Pope.

On 70 minutes the home support were treated to a sumptuous score when Thompson, Pengelly and Owain Withers combined to fashion a try for Earle. 41-7. Maidstone were still battling hard and secured an opportunistic try when wing Matt Moore intercepted a pass to cross from 30 metres and he converted it as well. 41-14. The boys from St Marks were not finished yet though and Doherty linked with Jones who beat three opponents to secure his hat-trick and Wells seventh try.

With the game won 46-14 the home faithful waited with bated breath ahead of news from Sidcup but with a home 43-30 victory confirmed plans began to be formulated for the promotion play-off. This will be at Chingford who beat Brentwood 35-7 in a “winner takes all” match in London One North. Whatever happens in Essex this has been another excellent season for Tunbridge Wells but one more win will see remarkable back-to-back promotions and a supporters coach will run from the club.

Squad: Charlie Harding (Hayden Pope); Lee Campion (Capt), Fionn Mcloughlin, Dylan Barkas, Jake Jones; Frank Reynolds, Chaz Spence; Kyle McGarvie (Stuart Nicholls), Jake Thompson, Nick Blacklock, Christian Earle, Owain Withers, Hayden Pengelly, Mike Hathaway (Charlie Dagwell), Nick Doherty.

by Graham Withers

Key moments

14:00
Try Jake Thompson scores for Tunbridge Wells
15:00
Conversion Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
33:00
Try Jake Jones scores for Tunbridge Wells
34:00
Conversion Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
36:00
Try Nick Doherty scores for Tunbridge Wells
37:00
Conversion Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
39:00
Try Jake Jones scores for Tunbridge Wells
60:00
Try Nick Doherty scores for Tunbridge Wells
61:00
Conversion Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
63:00
Penalty Frank Reynolds kicks a penalty for Tunbridge Wells
69:00
Try Christian Earle scores for Tunbridge Wells
78:00
Try Jake Jones scores for Tunbridge Wells

Highlights

View 0 new events
80:00 Player of the Match
Jake Jones is awarded player of the match for Tunbridge Wells
79:00 Missed Conversion
Frank Reynolds misses a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
78:00 Try 46 - 0
Jake Jones scores for Tunbridge Wells
75:00 Sub On
Nick Doherty is substituted on for Tunbridge Wells
75:00 Sub Off
Dylan Barkas is substituted off for Tunbridge Wells
70:00 Sub Off
Nick Doherty is substituted off for Tunbridge Wells
70:00 Missed Conversion
Frank Reynolds misses a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
70:00 Sub On
Michael Hathaway is substituted on for Tunbridge Wells
69:00 Try 41 - 0
Christian Earle scores for Tunbridge Wells
63:00 Penalty 36 - 0
Frank Reynolds kicks a penalty for Tunbridge Wells
61:00 Conversion 33 - 0
Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
60:00 Try 31 - 0
Nick Doherty scores for Tunbridge Wells
58:00 Sub Off
Michael Hathaway is substituted off for Tunbridge Wells
58:00 Sub On
Charlie Dagwell is substituted on for Tunbridge Wells
55:00 Sub On
Stuart Nicholls is substituted on for Tunbridge Wells
55:00 Sub Off
Kyle McGarvie is substituted off for Tunbridge Wells
52:00 Yellow Card
Hayden Pengelly is yellow carded for Tunbridge Wells
50:00 Sub On
Hayden Pope is substituted on for Tunbridge Wells
50:00 Sub Off
Charlie Harding is substituted off for Tunbridge Wells
End of period 1
39:00 Try 26 - 0
Jake Jones scores for Tunbridge Wells
39:00 Missed Conversion
Frank Reynolds misses a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
37:00 Conversion 21 - 0
Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
36:00 Try 19 - 0
Nick Doherty scores for Tunbridge Wells
34:00 Conversion 14 - 0
Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
33:00 Try 12 - 0
Jake Jones scores for Tunbridge Wells
15:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Frank Reynolds kicks a conversion for Tunbridge Wells
14:00 Try 5 - 0
Jake Thompson scores for Tunbridge Wells
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Maidstone
  • 0
  • Jake Thompson Try 14:00'
  • Frank Reynolds Conversion 15:00'
  • Jake Jones Try 33:00'
  • Frank Reynolds Conversion 34:00'
  • Nick Doherty Try 36:00'
  • Frank Reynolds Conversion 37:00'
  • Jake Jones Try 39:00'
  • Hayden Pope Sub On 50:00'
  • Charlie Harding Sub Off 50:00'
  • Hayden Pengelly Yellow Card 52:00'
  • Kyle McGarvie Sub Off 55:00'
  • Stuart Nicholls Sub On 55:00'
  • Charlie Dagwell Sub On 58:00'
  • Michael Hathaway Sub Off 58:00'
  • Nick Doherty Try 60:00'
  • Frank Reynolds Conversion 61:00'
  • Frank Reynolds Penalty 63:00'
  • Christian Earle Try 69:00'
  • Nick Doherty Sub Off 70:00'
  • Michael Hathaway Sub On 70:00'
  • Dylan Barkas Sub Off 75:00'
  • Nick Doherty Sub On 75:00'
  • Jake Jones Try 78:00'
  • Jake Jones Player of the Match 80:00'

Team selection

Harding, Charlie Harding, Charlie
Campion, Lee Campion, Lee
Mcloughlin, Fionn Mcloughlin, Fionn
Barkas, Dylan Barkas, Dylan
Jones, Jake Jones, Jake
Reynolds, Frank Reynolds, Frank
Spence, Charles Spence, Charles
Doherty, Nick Doherty, Nick
Hathaway, Michael Hathaway, Michael
Pengelly, Hayden Pengelly, Hayden
Earle, Christian Earle, Christian
Withers, Owain Withers, Owain
Blacklock, Nick Blacklock, Nick
Thompson, Jake Thompson, Jake
McGarvie, Kyle McGarvie, Kyle

League round up

Other London 1 South results

29
29
Tottonians
Chobham
6
32
Cobham
87
14
Chiswick
Gosport & Fareham
19
41
Sevenoaks

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Sidcup 26 121
2. Tunbridge Wells 26 100
3. Havant 26 99
4. Tottonians 26 91
5. CS Rugby 1863 26 84
6. Cobham 26 83
7. Sevenoaks 26 74

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