Orelaja and Santamaria doubles help Beckenham to convincing win
The 27th of October saw Beckenham RFC entertain Aylesford. Last time, these two met at Fortress Balmoral, it was a close encounter and Aylesford were hoping more of the same, however Beckenham wanting to keep up their impressive unbeaten streak by punishing Aylesford with a fast start.
As fast started they wanted and a fast start they got, with the Beckenham forwards gaining some well-crafted go forward which culminated in our man-of-the-match James Blackmore bulldozing over for his 6th try of the season. As always, Louis Richardscoolly converted. 7-0
Ill-discipline was next on the menu for Beckenham as they gifted Aylesford two easy penalties. With the Aylesford scrum half Benjamin Rideout converting both to make it 7-6.
This was the wake-up call Beckenham needed as they started to kick things up a notch. Some smart work from number 10 Jamie McDowall and a beautiful line from JP Santamaria, allowed the winger to scorch his way under the posts, with numerous defenders dropping off him. Louis Richards Converted to give Beckenham a 14-6 lead.
Anything a back can do, a forward can do better. Once again, architect Jamie McDowall released Josh Smithwho I can only imagine was doing his best Baryshnikov impression as he gracefully turned out numerous Aylesford defenders for another score under the posts for 21-6 lead.
Beckenham had now got into their groove and their ability to turn defence into attack was prevalent. Good defensive work from James Curr and Liam Markey turned the ball over, a few silky offloads and the ball fell into the hands of full back Keita Orelajawho had a go at the dwindling Aylesford defence, surging through to give the offload to an unbeknownst Andrew Knowles, who went in unopposed to secure the try bonus before half time. 28-6
Aylesford were clearly unable to keep up with the pace of the game, with Beckenham’s Fitness and physicality prevalent when the game was reduced to uncontested scrums, owning to the hard work of Graham Murray and Sam Forrest. A sloppy breakdown was frustrating Craig Thomson who was shown a yellow card after Aylesford had been lying on the wrong side of the ruck.
Start of the second half, Aylesford evened things up as one of their players was sent to the sin bin for continual penalties, opening the door for the boy wonder Keita Orelaja to do his thing, easily getting around the defence for his 4th of the season. 35-6
Beckenham rung in the changes and brought with it a new found energy, it was this that KK harnessed for his second of the day as he danced around and demolished the onrushing Aylesford defence to score. 42-6.
Soon after Mike Furness was presented with a gift from the Aylesford 9, whose passed went astray , falling straight to the wing who won the race into corner. Richards was unable to convert leaving it 47-6.
The next score for Beckenham was slick. With the Beckenham forwards setting up a dominant platform for the backs to put together one of the best passages of play this season – the ever-dependable try machine JP Santamaria on hand to walk over unopposed in the corner, to make it 54-6.
Lastly, what would be Beckenham’s last try of the day, elder statesman Pete Thorne was out to disprove the misguided fool who once said “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” as he marshalled around the Beckenham maul, to be bundled over the line for Beckenham’s 300th points of the season. 59-6
The dying embers of the game saw Beckenham’s endeavours peter out, with James Curr pinged for a ‘deliberate’ knock-on and Hans Laud-Anderson releasing another edition of “When Ruck-Hunting Gone Wrong” predictably being pinged for not releasing the tackler. However, the remaining 13 of Beckenham held steadfast and saw out the result for another authoritative win at Balmoral. The result im sure making the onlooking Des Walsh proud!
Kudos to the Aylesford boys for the contest. Notable performances from Liam Markey, who constantly reflected our ethos in attack and defence and Keita Orelaja, who is beginning to show why he is one of the stars of league but man of the Match was once again James Blackmore for a commanding performance with ball in hand.
Onto next week, where we travel down to Crabbs Athletic Ground to face Dover. Always a “crabby” affair and Dover are sure to be licking their wounds after their away loss to Maidstone.