Askeans 3 – 38 Dartford Valley
It wasn’t just the day that was bright at the Rectory Field on Saturday.
Before the game a fair number of former players pitched up for the ‘Free’ (I’m not making that up!) buffet lunch.
With Kerina, the food manager recovering from a recent minor op, it was Ian Lunn, Director of Rugby (and pretty much everything else) who organised the lunch with the help of Marilyn, the Bar Director
Robert Noble, a past President and Chairman who had generously sponsored the game arrived with two delightful guests to welcome former players and current supporters to the lunch.
Everyone tucked in like they hadn’t eaten for several days and it was great to see Bill and Ennis Ruston, Tony Mimms, Alan Eastick, Ian (son of) Hunt and many other familiar faces (probably nothing to do with free lunch obviously), which, in spite of the old saying it turns out does actually exist at Askeans.
With lots of sausages (surprisingly) and fruit (quelle surprise) still spread (ha ha) on the tables everyone disappeared to watch the kick off.
After a couple of very tough weeks when Askeans were severely hampered by injuries and players being unavailable, it was great to see a strong side take the field.
It was even more encouraging when a penalty by James Roddy gave Askeans an early lead.
In a fast game on the dry and very wide Rectory Field pitch the conditions favoured Dartford Valley - a well drilled team with a very strong set piece.
But it wasn’t all one way traffic and the Askeans’ defence, well marshalled by Andy Jeffrey, playing his first game of the season kept the opposition at bay for most of the half.
The pack was bolstered by number 6, Charlie Grist who was also in an Askean shirt for the first this season.
It is to the credit of Askeans that they stayed in the match well into the second half, despite several injuries to key players with James Roddy and Adam Maguire pulling hamstrings – Adam during the warm-up!!!
An unfortunate red card meant that for the last 20 minutes we were down to 14 men and Dartford Valley took full advantage of both this and the wide pitch.
Askeans continued to show good defence, always looked to counter attack and were pinned on Dartford Valley’s line searching for what would have been a well deserved try as the referee blew ‘No-side’!
The final score was a fair result against a team near the top of the table who are one of the favourites for promotion.
However, it disguised the spirit and commitment of the Askean side who were under intense pressure in that last 20 minutes
After the game, the two sides bonded over more food arranged courtesy of Ian and Marilyn and it was another great evening in the bar of our new home
Askeans’ Player of the Match – Charlie Grist
Congratulations to Charlie & Rosanna on their Marriage
(The previous weekend!)