Farnham Twickenham Bound?

The local rugby club are making fine progress in cup competition, as Alex Lambe reports.

Farnham are one-step closer to running out at HQ, after a narrow win over league rivals Old Cranleighans in the regional final of the RFU Senior Vase.

Aiming to complete the league and cup double this season, Farnham edged what was a pulsating encounter by a single point, winning 30-29.

They will now battle the national semi-final with Saltash from the southwest, for a chance to run out at the home of English rugby, Twickenham.

This game left the crowd on the edge throughout as only a few points separated both teams at every stage of the game. This was effectively a national quarterfinal, despite being labelled as a regional ‘final’.

Positive

Despite making a positive start, Farnham fell behind to a try from Old Cranleighans winger Johnson, with Everitt converting.

However, mercurial fly-half Toby Salmon responded with a converted try of his own.

It was then the turn of Everitt to restore Old Cranleighans lead as he scored his own converted try.

The home side led 14-7 but Farnham would claw their way back into the match and take the lead.

Salmon converted back-to-back penalties, as the visitors began to establish their dominance at scrum-time.

Powerful

Soon after Farnham took the lead. After another powerful scrum, number eight Pete Daly picked the ball up from the base before laying the ball off to James Corlett who cut a brilliant angle to power his way over the line. T. Salmon could not convert and Farnham led 18-14.

It would be the home side, however, who would take a three-point advantage into half time as Everitt scored his second try of the game, and converted. Old Cranleighans 21-18 Farnham, at the interval.

The frenetic first half seemed to take its toll on both teams, as they both made a slow start to the second. There were loads of mistakes in the first 10 minutes after the break.

Everitt got the scoreboard ticking again in the second half with another penalty, Old Cranleighans leading 24-18.

This topsy-turvy game then turned back in the favour of Farnham. Old Cranleighans was reduced to 14 men as centre Davies was shown a yellow card, after the home side were penalised three times in succession.

Dominance

The visitors used their forward dominance to capitalise on the one-man advantage. The ever-present Daly took control of the lineout before feeding Corlett who found his way over the line for his second try of the game. T. Salmon converted and Farnham had a one-point advantage with only four minutes remaining.

It seemed as if Farnham had put this regional final to bed when Jemi Akin-Olugbade went over from a driving maul. T. Salmon missed the conversion, meaning the score read 30-24 to the visitors.

But OC’s didn’t give in and made it a one point ball game once more when Jenkins went over late on, setting up a potential match-winning conversion for Everitt. With a stiff breeze making it a difficult kick, Everitt gave it his all, but his kick drifted narrowly wide of the uprights.

Farnham kept hold of possession late on and the ball was kicked into touch, which brought scenes of mass jubilation and relief from the Farnham contingent.

Farnham march on and are one-step away from the promised land – Twickenham.

 

 

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