Sevenoaks paid the price for a slow start under the lights at Sidcup on Friday night. The lads from the Paddock were 16-0 behind inside twenty minutes and despite fighting back ended up losing 19-15; There were a few ‘if onlys’ in the second half for Oaks, including a conversion that hit the front of the crossbar and a penalty struck the outside of the upright. Ultimately Oaks had just the losing bonus point to show for a comeback that says much of the squad’s tenacity and resilience.
The game was played in great spirit. Sidcup’s energetic start was rewarded with the scoreboard ticking away from the get go frenetically in the hosts’ favour. A hard Sidcup press and Oaks indiscipline resulted in three converted Sidcup penalties in quick succession.
The early nine point lead was extended to 16 points by a converted try from close quarters after a strong breakaway by the Sidcup outside half established field position that the pack used to barrel over the line.
The points were coming quickly and Oaks had to turn the tide. They finally managed to get momentum going and put points on the board in the form of a try from the scrum and continued to put Sidcup under pressure through the closing phases of the first half, unfortunately without adding further points. With the half time score 16-5 Oaks felt they had the ascendancy and a good opportunity to get back on terms.
Oaks carriers Callum Hall and Stu Coleman and a dominant set piece took the game to Sidcup in the second half and after an early exchange of penalties an Oaks try brought the visitors to within four points with ten minutes to play. Despite battering the Sidcup line the Home whitewash remained in tact as solid defensive play saw Sidcup stand firm for the win.
This coming weekend, Oaks 1st XV and 2nd XV are travelling offshore to play a double header against Guernsey RFC, accompanied by a solid cohort of the travelling faithful for what promises to be a fun adventure on and off the pitch.