A FLUCTUATING AFFAIR
The Lions travelled to Tunbridge Wells knowing that this last game was going to be a tough encounter
Since the win for Deal & Betteshanger in the first Home game of the Season, it was obvious as the year went by that Tunbridge Wells were strengthening their team, as the later results showed .
On a fine day but with a medium –strength wind down the pitch, the Lions received a very early shock when a missed tackle and fast passing allowed the Home side to score a quick try on the wing . However, the Lions do not panic easily and gradually they fought back and Martin Robinson kicked a good penalty .
Tunbridge attacked again through the centre with their swift and forceful backs and from a good ruck the ball was moved quickly right and an overlap allowed another try to be scored out wide .
Once again, the Lions forced their way forward , putting Tunbridge under pressure and a ruck and swift pass from Scrum-Half Ollie Schofield found the strong-running Lock Forward Dan Atkinson in support and he went over for a try under the posts . Robinson converted .
The pressure continued and from a good set scrum the ball went out for Luke Armstrong to score . Again, Robinson converted the try .
The game continued to ebb and flow and Tunbridge used the driving maul from the line-outs to good effect and the Lions had difficulty in stopping them . Tunbridge kicked a penalty for an offence at a ruck . From another drive after a line-out, the maul was collapsed by the Lions and a penalty try was awarded .
Half-Time : TW – 22 . Lions – 17.
Attacking against the wind, the Lions played well , but the Tunbridge defence was strong and difficult to penetrate . However, Adam Michael at centre slipped through the tackles and scored a good try, which was again converted by Robinson .
Again the pressure switched and a missed tackle in the centre , while Chamberlain was off the field with a cut head, led to another Home try and the Lions were fortunate when a fine burst by the Tunbridge Wing-Forward resulted in the Referee disallowing another try .
Still the Lions came back and in a good, sustained attack Armstrong made a good break, carried on by Michael who then passed the ball to Carl Thatcher, who scorched by the defence to score . Again, Robinson kicked a fine conversion .
Finally, the swift and tricky Tunbridge Left-Wing dodged through some inadequate tackles to score under the posts for the final converted try .
The pattern of the game showed that it would then be the Lions turn to attack but time ran out .
A good, hard game !
Reporter David Storrie