Pulborough slip off top spot with second loss

Captain Simon Burfield goes for the line. Pulborough v Sheppey. Picture by Warwick Baker warwickpics.com SUS-161020-102858001

Captain Simon Burfield goes for the line. Pulborough v Sheppey. Picture by Warwick Baker warwickpics.com SUS-161020-102858001

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Pulborough slipped off the summit of London 3 South East for the first time this season as they suffered a second consecutive league defeat.

Their 100 per cent record was ended by Thanet Wanderers the previous week and on Saturday, Folkestone also sent them to a 33-29 defeat.

Two losing bonus points were crucial as the result saw them slip to second in the standings behind Thanet, who went top on points difference, as both sides have 41 points.

The visitors trailed 23-3 at half-time as Folkestone raced clear, but after an improved second-half showing, Pulborough fell just short despite being in the ascendency.

Captain Simon Burfiend said: “It was a physically very tough game on Saturday. From the start they were a niggly side with lots happening off the ball that the referee failed to pick up on.

“The second half was a great display of what we can achieve when we stick to the game plan and don’t let other sides dictate our play and get in to our heads.

“However, we simply didn’t show up in the first half and the lead was too great. Perhaps if we had a few more minutes on the clock it would have been a win. Still we managed to come away with two losing bonus points which has kept us level on points with Thanet.”

Playing up the slope, Pulborough took an early lead as Frazer Oliphant-hope slotted over a penalty. Folkestone responded through their kicker, before they ran in three converted tries and another penalty for a commanding lead.

‘Borough started the second half with some choice words ringing in their ears and Owain Mcloughlin went on a mazy run to score with Oliphant-Hope converting.

Folkestone put down another converted try, while Jamie Curtis and Mcloughlin went over to pull the score back to 30-22, before the hosts slotted another penalty.

Pulborough then scored a superbly-worked try as Oliphant-Hope drew all the defenders before putting a no-look crossfield kick to Alex Ryan to dive over, before the architect converted. With Folkestone holding a four-point lead they held off late pressure in the closing stages.

Pulborough: Baxter, Clark, Pascall, Nicholls, Baldwin, Leddra, Coombe-Tennant, Mcloughlin, G.Lee, Oliphant-Hope, Ryan, Burfiend, Game, Akers, H.Lee. Subs: Whyte, Curtis.

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