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1st XV

Director of Rugby
Jeff Parsons
jeffparsons123@yahoo.co.uk
07853 882127

Manager
John Croysdill
johncroysdilljc@gmail.com
07852 487798

Head Coach
Lee Cholewa
leecholewa@yahoo.co.uk
07788 670260

Coaching team
Mike Schmid
Will Davis
Steve Munford (S&C)

Captain
James Caddy
caddy_99@hotmail.co.uk

Latest Match Report

Errors Prove Costly
Dorking 31-15 Sutton & Epsom
After several weeks of rain, wind and mud it was a blessed relief for players and spectators alike to enjoy a fixture played in sunshine. Since the return of league fixtures for these two Surrey clubs the encounters have been tense affairs with the result in doubt until the last play of the game. This was not the case on Saturday, though it was a highly entertaining match, as Dorking deservedly won with the scoreboard showing clear water between the fifteens with hosts garnering a 31-15 bonus point win.

All of the pre-match strategy for Sutton & Epsom evaporated in a dismal opening eleven minutes. A brace of penalties in as many minutes gifted Matt Noble an easy kick which he gratefully accepted for the opening score. Moments later an an offside penalty was kicked into the corner. With ruthless efficiency the Big Field pack scored from a catch and drive. Matt Noble made light of the touchline conversion for a 10-0 lead. Worse was to follow. A poor clearance kick and an inadequate kick chase offered the Dorking backs a chance to counter. Only a fine tackle by Chris Kolapo-Ajala stopped Olly Rathbone from scoring the try. This was only temporary relief as the ball was sent to the opposite flank where Tom Hunt stretched for the line to touch down having been tackled in the corner by Andrew Ciccarelli. The immaculate Matt Noble added the extras, once more, from the touchline for 17-0.

A response from the visitors was required or the archivists would be searching for record defeats. Thankfully for the sizeable travelling support from Rugby Lane S&E reversed the trend. From the restart Kyle Coulter’s thunderous tackle turned over the ball. Twice Andrew Ciccarelli received the ball and despite his best efforts was halted a yard short. The forwards and backs were combining well and were unrecognisable from the side who had started the game. Kyle Coulter carried over the gain line and the Black & Whites recycled the ball quickly. Frankie Murray saw that the cover was absent and chipped ahead for the livewire Andrew Ciccarelli, who won the race for the ball at a canter, gathered it a yard short and scored near the uprights. Sam Hurley added the conversion to narrow the deficit to 7-17. Was this an isolated moment of defiance or the start of a come back? With Kyle Coulter’s aggressive carrying and Andy King sniping breaks from the flank the Black & Whites began to dictate the tempo of the game. However, the next score initiated from a handling error by the Brockham outfit in Sutton’s 22. Having moments earlier demonstrated his powerful running the ball once more arrived in the hands of Chris Kolapo-Ajala. Swatting away defenders he scythed towards the whitewash only to stumble agonisingly short. Their followed a rather comical finish. The try-line was just beyond his reach so the initial bellyflop from the prostrate winger meant he was still short of his final destination. It was a case of third time lucky and the end of his impression of Tantalus as he finally secured the try. Despite the conversion drifting wide the 17-12 score was a just reward for a spirited riposte. The final ten minutes of the first period saw no further additions as the game settled into a very even and enthralling encounter and a far cry from the opening exchanges.

Unlike the start of the first period the second half was a more sedate affair in terms of points scored. A combination of good play and errors kept the sizeable crowd thoroughly engrossed. After an excellent passage of play the Black & Whites were awarded a penalty which Sam Hurley converted to leave the visitors trailing by 15-17. With the game nearing the final quarter it was frustrating for S&E to concede a penalty at the re-start as they failed to secure the ball. The irritation was replaced by amazement when Matt Noble missed, by his standards, a very simple kick. Spurred on by that unlikely bonus Steve Munford made a telling break, offloaded to Andy King who eagerly continued the attack.  The ball was eventually worked to wing where Chris Kolapo-Ajala just failed to force his way through many Dorking defenders. The hosts were grateful to get a penalty to clear their lines. With quarter of an hour to go the game was in the balance as both sides, eager to use their backs, sought the next try. Then the contest was ended in a couple of minutes by two tries from the Red & Whites. The first was a magnificent solo run from Olly Rathbone, playing in his last game of the season, which was converted from the extremities by Matt Noble. As much as the jinking run of Olly Rathbone from halfway should be commended the tackling may be questioned.  A minute later poor tackling certainly assisted the home team. Matt Noble ran through multiple defenders before passing to Ben Edwards who gifted Tom Hunt his second try of the afternoon in the far corner. Matt Noble, benefitting from the practice he was getting from touchline conversions, added the two points. 31-15 with a quarter of an hour remaining was sizeable margin to pull back following two rapid and demoralising scores. However, Sutton threw everything they had in the chase for vital bonus points. On more than one occasion the fine Dorking defence halted an attack within 5 metres of their line. Despite no further addition to the score there was plenty of action for the vociferous crowd to enjoy. When the the referee concluded proceedings the hosts departed with the spoils with a valuable 5 points securing their mid-table position whilst the visitors look anxiously below them.

Dorking were worthy winners though Sutton probably deserved a bonus point as it was a highly competitive encounter. Ultimately the Black & Whites will reflect that too many points were conceded as a result of self-inflicted wounds. At crucial moments the defence was porous, the early penalty count was a burden and the opening 17-point salvo proved decisive. That being said the first half riposte was impressive to transform the situation from a potential thrashing into a match on a knife edge. It was a pity that a knock forced Kyle Coulter from the field early in the second half as he was making a significant contribution gaining hard yards in the forward battle. Andy King, starting his first game of the season, impressed on the flank. Whilst in the backs the wingers, Messrs Ciccarelli and Kolapo-Ajala, could not be more contrasting in stature but both provide an equally serious threat. With the league campaign having a week off next Saturday hostilities resume with round 21 on 3rd March when Sutton host Southend Saxons.

Sutton & Epsom: Sam Hurley, Chris Kolapo-Ajala, Stefan Cooksammy, Jacob Knight, Andrew Ciccarelli, Steve Munford (capt), Frankie Murray, George London, Raynn Bruce, Theo Skoumbourdis, Matt Harwood, Kyle Coulter, John Taylor, Andy King, Matt Whitaker. Replacements: (all used) Alex Banks, Felix Symonds and Jordan Turton.

 

 

1st XV

London & SE Premier

Season 2017-18

Date Competition Opposition Result
24 August Friendly 1st XV v London Cornish H W 26-17
2 September League 1st XV v Barnes A W 35-32
9 September League 1st XV v Guernsey A L 17-25
16 September League 1st XV v Tring H L 22-27
23 September League 1st XV v Towcestrians A W 60-19
30 September League 1st XV v Westcombe Park H W 30-29
7 October League 1st XV v Tunbridge Wells H L 26-27
21 October League 1st XV v Hertford A L 22-41
28 October League 1st XV v Dorking H W 26-22
4 November League 1st XV v Southend Saxons A L 31-32
11 November League 1st XV v Sidcup H W 27-24
25 November League 1st XV v Westcliff A L 24-54
2 December League 1st XV v Guildford H W 41-26
9 December League 1st XV v Shelford A L 31-36
16 December League 1st XV v Guernsey H L 19-43
6 January League 1st XV v Tring A L 12-40
13 January League 1st XV v Towcestrians H W 42-26
20 January League 1st XV v Westcombe Park A L 3-35
27 January League 1st XV v Tunbridge Wells A L 10-50
3 February League 1st XV v Hertford H L 8-39
17 February League 1st XV v Dorking A L 15-31
3 March League 1st XV v Southend Saxons H
10 March League 1st XV v Sidcup A
24 March League 1st XV v Westcliff H
7 April League 1st XV v Guildford A
14 April League 1st XV v Shelford H
21 April League 1st XV v Barnes H
View the League Table