Bromley v Gillingham Anchorians London & SE Division – London 3 South East, 14:30 9th Nov 2019

Anchs travelled to Bromley, just across the road from their recent away win against Park House, to face a Bromley side sitting above them in the league. Unfortunately, the persistent rain hampered both sides’ attempts to play an open game and the number of scoring opportunities were limited.

 Anchs played down the slope in the first half and the pack dominated the early set pieces, while fly half Brad Ford looked to kick for position. Handling was proving difficult in the conditions and the game was played predominantly between the two 22m lines. Both Anchs wingers, Dan Powley and newcomer Oscar Wells had good individual runs but the well-organised Bromley defence kept them out. Despite some good rugby and attempts by both sides to move the ball, the strong defences and the conditions ensured the game remained scoreless until just before half time. 

 

Bromley finally made their way into the Anchs 22 and put in a strong scrummage to win the ball close to the Anchs line. They held the ball through a number of phases but failed to penetrate the Anchs defence until eventually their patience paid off and they found space and crashed over for a try which went unconverted. Anchs looked to hit back straight away but were again held out. Just before half time Bromley had an opportunity to increase their lead from a penalty but the kick went wide.

 

Trailing 5 – 0 at half time, Anchs chose to seek the refuge of the changing rooms before coming out for the second half playing up the slope. Anchs started the half well but soon found themselves further behind when the Bromley backs ran a switch which put their centre through a gap and he fed the ball out for a fine try in the conditions which again went unconverted. Soon after the restart, Anchs stopped momentarily when they thought Bromley had knocked the ball on, but the referee waved play on and the Bromley winger raced away for a third try which was converted to give the home side a comfortable 17 – 0 lead. 

 

The Bromley scrum improved in the second half but Anchs still looked to get back into the game by moving the ball. Unfortunately a number of mistakes were made by both sides as the conditions worsened and there were very few further scoring opportunities created by either side. In particular the Bromley defence proved very difficult to break, but frustration on both sides meant that a couple of scuffles broke out, both of which resulted in penalties to Anchs. In one period on attack, Anchs managed to retain possession for multiple phases but were forced backwards and eventually lost the ball. 

 

The home side had one final opportunity to score a bonus point try but knocked the ball on and the chance was lost. Bromley however held on for a deserved 17 – 0 win but Anchs will not be too disappointed after a strong performance against a very good Bromley side.

 

The result means Anchs drop to 6th place in London SE3, but will look to return to winning ways next week when they entertain Old Dunstonians at Darland Avenue.

 

By Ian Brenton

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