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Tired Croydon take a second half thrashing from Old Walcountians

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OLD Walcountians hauled themselves out of the relegation places in Surrey One with an impressive eight-try demolition of fellow strugglers Croydon at Kent Gate last Saturday.

From the start, the Walcountians pack was in control of the game with props Pete and Steve Cowlin anchoring a powerful scrummage, while lock Simon Fowler and flanker Jack South worked tirelessly in the loose.

However, in the early stages of the game, Croydon's defence proved stubborn and the home side benefited from a penalty count in their favour.

And it was against the run of play that Croydon opened the scoring with a penalty in the 17th minute.

But Walcountians took only six minutes to respond. A tap penalty close to the Croydon line gave Jack South the opportunity to crash over the line and open the Old Boys' account.

Walcountians bided their time and did not lose their composure when what appeared to be a legitimate try by Pete Cowlin was disallowed in the 35th minute.

They got a critical breakthrough as the game went into stoppage time when hard tackling led to a breakdown of play near the halfway line, from which winger Tom Naylor pounced on the loose ball and broke clear of the Croydon defence to run in from 50 metres for a try.

Croydon banged over a second penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time just before the break.

In the second half Walcountians' hard work finally paid dividends as they cut a tiring Croydon defence to ribbons.

Fly-half Tom Diamond set up the first of six second half tries in the sixth minute when he jinked past the Croydon defence and found Simon Fowler in support to put scrum-half Callum Stone away to touch down.

Nine minutes later, Gerry Connor scored the second when he broke from a ruck in the Croydon 22 and drove through a cover tackle to touch down. Even with the bonus point for scoring four tries in the bag, Walcountians were hungry for more.

The loss of rugged hooker Remy Claustres after being on the wrong end of a late and high tackle made no difference to Walcountians' forward dominance, as they had an experienced replacement in Matt Houghton.

Full-back Matt Witcomb scored the first of two in the 20th minute after supporting a break by centre Sam Naylor and, five minutes later, flanker Joe Henderson scored his first try for the club when the powerful Walcountians pack rolled a maul over the Croydon line.

Carelessness by the Old Boys gave Croydon the opportunity to reduce the arrears with a breakaway try in the 27th minute, but Walcountians responded with two more tries.

The first, in the 35th minute, came when replacement scrum-half Will Diamond linked with Connor to feed Matt Witcomb, who rode an attempted tackle on the way to scoring the Old Boys' seventh try of the day.

The final try came in stoppage time when centre Fred South forced an error by the Croydon defence on their own line and touched down the loose ball.

Walcountians will face a stiffer challenge tomorrow when they take on fifth-placed Kingston at Clock House. Kick-off is at 2.15pm.

Tired Croydon take a second half thrashing from Old Walcountians


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