Guildford 32 – 7 Farnham
Saturday 18th November 2023
A local derby is always a difficult proposition, but this had the added spice that Farnham have won three of the last four league encounters with Guildford. Today’s match would be a good indicator as to how well the Guildford team have progressed in the last 12 months.
The early encounters were tight, with neither side dominating and looking like it was going to be a difficult affair. However, some great handling from the backs under pressure after solid possession from a scrum just outside the Farnham 22 resulted in captain Rob Voller going over in the corner for his first try, the conversion from Joe Gwyther was good, 7-0 Guildford.
The game went through a bit of an ebb and flow with defences dominating and neither attacks able to make a breakthrough. The stalemate was broken by Jonny Burden who spotted a gap in the backfield, chipped the advancing defence, and ran through to collect his own kick. After a little bit of acrobatics from Burden and some good support play, the referee decided that Farnham had transgressed at the breakdown and awarded Guildford a penalty about 30m from the Farnham tryline. Fly half Gwyther stepped up and slotted over the penalty to make it 10 – 0 to Guildford.
Farnham worked their way back into the game from the restart. A well worked lineout created space for a Farnham centre to score by the post. The conversion was good, 10-7 which remained the score at half time.
The second half continued where the first had left off, both sides probing, but defences holding the day. A good Guildford kick-chase forced Farnham to touch the ball down in-goal. From the resulting goal line drop out Guildford decided to run the ball back from mid-field rather than kick for the corner, perhaps showing an increased confidence in their abilities. The outcome was an exciting attack down the touchline, involving backs and forwards, which culminated in the ever improving Tom Waddell crossing in the corner for a try. The kick was just short, 15 – 7
Some good work by the Guildford forwards in the opposition 22 resulted in a turnover and quick hands resulted in Rob Voller crossing for his second try, Gwyther’s conversion from under the posts was good, 22-7.
Farnham were desperately trying to get back into the game, but several promising moves were snuffed out by a resolute Guildford midfield defence which read the Farnham plays well. Guildford played for position by kicking into the bottom corner, which is notoriously difficult for teams to get out of and kept the pressure on Farnham. After several attacking phases Guildford lost the ball in the tackle, the referee, who had a good game, awarded Farnham a scrum.
The resulting scrum saw something not seen on a rugby field in many seasons, a free kick for a “foot-up” by the Farnham hooker! As the shock waves of such an unusual decision rippled around Broadwater, Liam Driscoll, like a good scrum half should, took a quick tap and Rob Voller went over for his third try. The conversion was missed, 27-7
From the restart Farnham again put Guildford under pressure. A rare break through the Guildford defence was halted when the referee penalised them for crossing. From the penalty, Gwyther kicked for the corner and the resultant lineout led to Rob Voller crossing for his fourth try of the afternoon. The conversion was again missed. 32-7.
Guildford are starting to develop well as a team. There are always things to work on, but the focus is on the positives. Growing confidence in their ability is showing from game to game. They are looking to keep the ball in hand and attack from all over the pitch. As we go into the break, we have collected the maximum 15 points from 3 games so there is much for the coaching staff to be pleased with.
The clubhouse was a happy place on Saturday evening, with “NovemberFest” in full swing. Es var wunderbar!
The next game is on Saturday 02 December, Away vs Chichester.