Thanet Wanderers - 14th October 2023

Updated by: Admin - 16/10/2023

Cranbrook contribute much to enthralling game but lose again.


Cranbrook visited Broadstairs bathed in sunshine but with a cooling northerly breeze which blew mainly across the pitch. Despite some fine play in the first half which yielded 4 tries, they did not have the experience to manage the substantial lead and Thanet came back strongly to win.

Cranbrook kicked off playing towards a slope in the bottom corner. They scored fairly early after scrum half Kasper Bottle made a good break. This gave the position for a move right to wing Wilf Sellick in space, this he exploited confidently to score with aplomb, for good measure running towards the posts when in goal to make the conversion easier, Owen Chilvers obliged.

From the kick off Cranbrook managed to mess up as the ball came out of the lowering sun. The penalty given was well struck from 35 metres to open Thanet's account. They added to this shortly after as good offloading on the short side produced a try towards the corner. The short side was something they used to good effect through the game.

After 13 minutes Cranbrook from a number of good phases with No 8 Yeomans prominent, had got in good position near the posts. The Thanet hooker was carded for an offence at the breakdown, Cranbrook chose to scrum as it had again been very stable if not dominant, Fabian Rimmer scored well when as first receiver he took a crash ball but also used his stepping skills to reach the line, Chilvers again converting.

Thanet now had some pressure and did miss a penalty kick and there was some alarm when the ball was touched down in goal forcing Cranbrook to drop out from under the posts. The kick from Rimmer was charged down but Cranbrook recovered  and eventually a long clearance from Rimmer took them back towards the Thanet 22. This enabled Cranbrook to score soon after as from close range full debutant centre Jack Lewis was just able to stretch out and score. From the restart Rimmer cleared the ball from just outside his 22, this cleared the defence and with a favourable bounce rolled into touch within the Thanet 22 gaining at least 60 metres. Cranbrook gained a very kickable penalty from the lineout, but it was missed. From the restart Rimmer soon received the ball and was able to catch his own chip ahead and with good support, ground was made culminating in fullback Lochlan McClean  just being able to score, Chilvers converting. Cranbrook now had a strong 8- 26 lead approaching halftime when a good run from left wing Anthony Andrews helped gain another midfield penalty which was kicked to 10 metres. Another try at this point might have closed the game out, as Cranbrook were playing with flare and confidence, noticeably silencing the shocked home crowd and opposition players. From the taken lineout when perhaps over eager, they conceded a penalty when the ball carrier ran into their own man when a score looked probable. This was a crucial moment and arguably the turning point as the penalty took Thanet up the pitch and a good long lineout secured ball moving right. A missed tackle provided the opening for a score in the corner, very well converted for a halftime score of 15-26, good but the lead not as strong as it could have been.

Into the second half Thanet quickly got into position in the favoured bottom corner. Cranbrook were reduced to 14 when Tom Hamplett was carded for offside, and a try resulted from a tapped penalty. Thanet looked to seize the moment and were soon back on attack in the 22. Cranbrook were reduced to 13 as Guy Couchman, who had come on for his debut seemed to be taking one for the team as pressure and penalties mounted and Thanet soon scored again when a lineout was lost, and good phase play led to a score. Cranbrook now leading by just a point held out for a while as players returned and  some substitutions were made. Thanet took the lead when missed tackles led to a comfortable score on the left, well converted, mid-way through the half. Thanet were still having more of the game being the better team at the breakdown and after more pressure were adjudged held up. The drop out from Rimmer was again charged down, when taking it again after the team touched the rebound down in goal, he found a good kick to touch making about 30 metres. As play developed Cranbrook for the first time in a while got the ball wide with Andrews making ground with a good run, next the ball went right, and fellow wing Sellick made ground but appeared to lose the ball forward in the tackle. This was not given and as play continued the next phase produced a score towards the corner by Sellick after Lewis made ground against a fractured defence. A good kick by Chilvers fell just short so with 5 minutes remaining Thanet now lead by a solitary point. However, it was they that were next to score from a very well controlled rolling maul, again converted which closed the game out.

Back came Cranbrook gaining a penalty near the 22, with 2 scores being needed to win or 1 for a losing bonus point, Cranbrook strangely decided to take a tapped penalty and were turned over when a kick at goal or even a kick to touch looked the better option.

So ended the match where Cranbrook had contributed so much, where perhaps some inexperience at certain times had cost them dearly. Coach Chris Catt said, ' The team is improving, morale is high, and results will come if the improvement continues.' 

Next week Cranbrook visit Bromley the last 3.00pm game for a while as clocks go back that night.

The team was: 1 M Stockman, 2 T Humphreys, 3 D Lock, 4 T Hamphlett, 5 J Parkes, 6 J Forknall, 7 H Gillanders Capt., 8 J Yeomans, 9 K Bottle, 10 O Chilvers, 11 A Andrews, 12 F Rimmer, 13 J Lewis, 14 W Sellick, 15 L McClean. Subs used L Stone  G Couchman, D Houghton-Judge.


Match report by Philip Rimmer


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