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Horsham 16 Medway 24: London 1 South match report

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There was no repeat of Medway's previous visit to Horsham as Taff Gwilliam's side ran out 24-16 winners in London 1 South.

Matches between the two sides are usually close, and Saturday proved no exception, with tries from Max Bullock, Billy Humphrey and Jack Johnson securing the victory. The win sees Medway third in the table, eight points behind leaders London Welsh.

Medway's win was their ninth from 10 matches in London 1 South. Picture: Paul Wardzynski
Medway's win was their ninth from 10 matches in London 1 South. Picture: Paul Wardzynski

Gwilliam said: "We are just pleased to have won here in difficult conditions.

"We always have really tough games against Horsham, who are a well-organised and dangerous side."

Playing into a strong breeze, Medway got off to a flying start. Good work by Max Easton, Jack Nickalls and Richard Petch narrowed the home defence and Sam Garofalo linked with Dan Harvey to move the ball wide to Bullock. Bullock beat his marker to the corner, with Harvey landing the conversion.

Horsham soon responded. Medway conceded a penalty at the breakdown and the hosts kicked into the corner. The initial catch and drive was thwarted, however Horsham kept the pressure on and drove over from short range for a converted try.

On 15 minutes the hosts led. A loose wide pass from Medway went to ground and they were penalised at the breakdown. The home kicker made no mistake and four minutes later another penalty increased the gap to six points.

Six became nine when Medway were adjudged to have come in the side of a ruck and the accuracy of the home kicker ensured Horsham went into half-time with a 16-7 lead.

The second half started with just one change to the Medway team, with young Maik Timmerman replacing Petch at tighthead.

However a second change was needed was the loss of Dan Huntley with a spiral fracture of his right hand. He was replaced by 18-year-old Michael Fankah, making his league debut.

Despite this setback, Medway set about the deficit. Back-to-back penalties won at the breakdown saw Harvey kick Medway close to the home line and the lineout saw hooker Humphrey touch down in the corner. Harvey converted to make the score 16-14.

Medway had good opportunities to take the lead but were penalised for truck and trailer as they drove over the line and kickable penalties were missed after a Horsham player was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle. Horsham battled hard a man short as Medway kept the pressure on, but in the end that pressure and good field position told.

In the 67th minute another penalty was conceded at the breakdown by Horsham following good work by Jordan Stubbington, Mo Pangarker and Henry Kenny. Harvey made no mistake to give Medway a 17-16 lead.

Just four minutes later good set-piece possession was the platform for Harvey and Antony Clement to feed Bullock. He broke the home defensive line and offloaded to Johnson, who side-stepped two covering defenders for an excellent try. Harvey converted and Medway closed out the game for their ninth win of the campaign.

Medway host Cobham on Saturday.

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