Published: 09:48, 24 January 2022
Medway claimed a 35-15 London 1 South win at home to Farnham on Saturday - but coach Taff Gwilliam said his side were given a firmer test than the result suggested.
The match was played in front of a large crowd, boosted by the club’s volunteer luncheon attendees, and they were treated to an even contest for the majority of the first half before Medway took control, securing a bonus point with little over 12 minutes to play.
Gwilliam said: "This was a much tougher game than the scoreline suggests, Farnham are a good team.
"We picked up a few injuries and despite having to reorganise managed to secure the points.
"Farnham play a good brand of rugby and have a good spirit within their team. They will do well."
Medway began positively and were on the scoreboard after just four minutes. Antony Clement intercepted a loose kick and fed Jack Johnson, who rounded the defence to touch down. Owen Church-Mills added the extras.
Just four minutes later Medway were penalised at a scrum and Farnham kicked in the corner. The initial attempts to score a catch and drive were thwarted, but the visitors' No.8 broke left to score a well-taken converted try for 7-7.
Medway quickly went back in front when the reliable boot of Church-Mills punished a scrum infringement, but when the hosts conceded an offside penalty after 32 minutes it was all square once more.
Gwilliam's side were struck a blow when influential lock Henry Kenny was forced to leave the field through injury, but the match turned the hosts' way just before the interval.
Firstly Alfie Orris evaded two tackles in midfield then burst away to score near the posts, with Church-Mills converting, then captain Tom Beaumont broke left from a Medway lineout near the visitors' line and created space for Johnson to round the defence and go over in the left corner.
Early in the second half Johnson increased the lead to 25-10 with a penalty, but an ankle injury ended Church-Mills' afternoon and on 48 minutes Farnham were rewarded with a penalty after a deliberate knock-on. Mo Pangarker saw yellow and Farnham punished the indiscretion with an unconverted try in the corner.
That was as good as it got for them, though, as Medway, despite being a man down, retained possession and were rewarded with Johnson's penalty after a handling offence in the ruck.
Medway's bonus point came in the 68th minute. A penalty on the halfway line saw a quick tap and go from Sam Garofalo. The side then went through several phases, narrowing the Farnham defence and creating space out wide for player-of-the-match Sean Marriott to score with Johnson adding the extras.
Medway travel to Guildford on Saturday.