Sidcup 47, Guildford 1st XV 26 – 13th January
On Saturday, Guildford travelled to Sidcup with several changes enforce by absence and injury and although they managed to capture a bonus point by scoring four tries, they were unable to overcome some indifferent discipline and eventually went down to the hosts 47-26.
Guildford started brightly enough, pushing Sidcup back into their 22 with strong runs from Freddy Hooper and skipper Joe Garner. From the lineout the returning Bradley Smith intercepted a short pass and Guildford span the ball wide left for Dan Paton to sell a dummy and go over on the 6 minute mark, Hooper adding the extras.
From the restart there were several passages of open play with both teams exchanging kicks and Paton returning well from full back only for Guildford to concede a penalty for failing to release in Sidcup’s 22.
From a central Sidcup scrum on the Guildford ten metre line, their fly half was able to put his left winger outside the Guildford defence with a clever miss pass and they completed the 2 on 1 against Paton to even the score at 7-7, twenty minutes gone.
Sidcup pushed Guildford back into their 22 from the restart, forcing the visitors to concede a line out from which Sidcup executed a move straight off the training ground which included some diverting movement and finished with their blind side taking the ball at the front of the lineout and going over unopposed, 12-7. Shortly after the restart, fly half Rory Andrews saw yellow taking Guildford down to 14 men. Sidcup kicked the penalty to the corner and although Guilford defended valiantly through several phases of play they were unable to clear their lines and were again penalised for repeated infringements. Sidcup opted for scrums where they had been dominant all afternoon and eventually the pressure told, the referee awarding a penalty try and showing another yellow, this time for Mark Watkinson, Guilford down to 13 men and the score 19-7 at half time
The second half started with Sidcup kicking deep into Guildford territory with the visitors again failing to clear. After several phases, the Sidcup inside centre danced through the Guildford defence on a well-balanced run that saw him score beneath the posts, 26-7. Guildford restarted but battled against a pair of unforced errors that saw the kick off go out of the full and a reclaimed ball get spilled. Sidcup were able to capitalise and eventually their full back crashed through some indifferent tackling to make it 33-7 to the hosts.
This seemed to jolt the visitors who looked more comfortable on the front foot all day and made good territory with a deft chip by Smith drawing a line out on the host’s 5 metre line that Guildford caught and drove over to make it 33-14. Hickey repeating his feat from last week’s victory against Southend and claiming the score.
Guildford continued to fight back and from their own ten yard line second row Alex Burrill showed good pace and some agricultural hand offs to make it deep into the Sidcup half before offloading to Millward on a good support line who scored, Hooper converting to make it 33-21.
Guildford’s chance to claim the victory was effectively finished after Sidcup won a second penalty try from a collapsed maul with 70 minutes on the clock although they were able to add another push over try by Hickey to claim the bonus point to make it 40-26.
Sidcup scored again on the final whistle to leave a score line of 47-26 and Guilford have a tough week ahead as they prepare for two consecutive home games starting with Westcliffe this Saturday.