Sheppey v Gillingham Anchorians London & SE Division – Shepherd Neame Kent 1, 14:00 12th January 2018


Anchorians travelled to Sheppey on Saturday looking to make amends for their defeat the previous week. They achieved their aim in style with a comprehensive 13 try victory which contained some flowing rugby with forwards and backs alike contributing to the spectacle.

It was clear from the opening minutes that Anchs had the measure of a young Sheppey team and within 20 minutes of the start, playing up the slope, Anchs had scored 4 tries to secure the bonus point. Scores came from centre Kenton Parbutt and the back three, wingers Taylor Parbutt and Tom Williams and full back Jon Mann, but with the tries scored out wide all 4 went unconverted.

The visitors were dominating the set pieces and made good use of a continuous supply of ball. Tom Williams again found himself on the end of a flowing move and this time scored under the posts and Jon Mann added the conversion.

After a period of play on the Sheppey line, the Anchs forwards kept the ball in tight resulting in hooker Paul Knight driving over in the corner. The conversion from out wide hit the post.

Sheppey briefly got themselves into the game and there were chances at both ends but the final score of the half went to Tom Williams who completed his hat-trick with another try out wide which also went unconverted.

Anchs turned around to play down the slope in the second half holding a commanding 0 – 37 lead. The visitors extended their lead almost immediately when Jon Mann went over under the posts for his second try, which he duly converted. After a relatively quiet period of play Taylor Parbutt scored probably the best try of the day with a solo run down the wing beating several defenders on his way to the try line.

Sheppey then had their best period of play and retained possession but were unable to capitalise as the Anchs defense remained solid. It was good to see that Anchs maintained their shape and continued to play good rugby and it was only in the final few minutes that the game became a little scrappy. Mark Barfoot, who had made some bullocking runs during the game to set up others for tries, put in a well placed grubber kick which Tom Williams gathered to score his 4th try which was quickly followed by a 5th when he found himself on the end of a handling move.

Not to be outdone Jon Mann completed his hat-trick and the final score came when Kenton Parbutt fed Adam Davison who crossed the line under the posts and Mark Barfoot added the conversion to complete a 0 – 71 victory.

While the scoring came mainly from the backs in a very open game the forwards had provided a plentiful supply of ball and also used their handling skills to contribute to a number of tries. In particular, Ryan Lehane again had another strong game as did fellow second row Alfie Luckhurst. With a break next week Anchs have their season back on track and will look forward to the next home game against New Ash Green.

By Ian Brenton


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