OLD ELTHAMIANS 26
BY JON EDWARDS AT BRANTINGHAM PARK
Captain Hamish Barton scored a brace of tries to lead Elthamians to a bonus-point victory over bottom club Hull Ionians last Saturday.
It was the South London club’s first win in three National One games and no less than an injury-hit and reshuffled OEs side deserved for an impressive performance up front.
They dominated the scrums and lineouts, monopolised possession and territory for long periods of this hard-fought contest and were ultimately good value for the four-try win.
They were forced into a late change before kick-off when flanker Harry Ledger was injured in the warm-up, handing Ryan Munnelly his first league start for the club.
Worse was to follow for the visitors when they lost second row Dylan Flashman early on with a head injury, and he was replaced by another first team debutant, flanker Alex McLean.
Despite the enforced changes in the forwards, Elthamians started brightly, sparked by an outstanding display from man of the match, number eight Elliott Quinton.
They penned Hull in their own half and stretched their defence on a number of occasions without ever seriously threatening the try-line.
They finally broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Barton crashed over from close range from a driven line out in the Hull 22, Hilton Gibbons adding the conversion.
The home side cut the deficit to four points a minute from half-time when they were awarded a penalty after their first incursion into the OEs’ 22 and fly-half Max Titchener made no mistake in front of the posts.
Titchener added a second penalty shortly after the restart, but it was to be the last time the home side troubled the scoreboard as Elthamians took a firm stranglehold on proceedings for the remainder of the game.
Munnelly capped an impressive performance as a converted second row when he twisted out of a tackle to dive over for Elthamians’ second try on 51 minutes and he was also involved in the visitors’ third score releasing Ciaran McGann down the touchline who combined cleverly with Ollie Claxton to feed Kent U20s winger Cam Hancock for his first league try.
Barton put the seal on an impressive second-half performance when he forced his way over from close range on the final play of the game following more good work from his forwards to secure the bonus point.
Old Elthamians are at home to Rams tomorrow.
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