Farnham returned to winning ways with a 27-15 victory against Reading.
The sun was out again at Monkton Lane as both teams were eager to improve on the single win to their names thus far.
The Black and Whites started well and applied early pressure to Reading’s defence.
A break from Toby Simmons – who had an action-packed afternoon – presented Farnham with a good scoring opportunity. However, the execution was not quite there – an issue that was to plague the team for the rest of the game.
Nevertheless, the opening score came moments later.
Hard carries from Josh Watson and Matt Kouris tightened the Reading defence, allowing Ben Jones to spin the ball wide to Toby Salmon who released Simmons to sprint into the corner for his first try. The conversion was missed but Farnham were on the board.
The young Reading side responded well.
Playing with bags of courage, they created some good opportunities with clever kicking and strung together a number of good attacking phases.
A penalty at the breakdown gave them the opportunity to get on the scoreboard and Tom Sharpe, the Reading fly half, duly converted to make it 5-3.
Farnham created plenty of opportunities with several line-breaks. However, a series of handling errors and mistakes cost them dearly.
Loose forwards Fin Basil and Jonny Vincent were threatening all game and the backline made numerous breaks but just couldn’t quite connect on the final pass. The last play before half-time saw Basil smash through and offload to Jemi Akin-Olugbade, who broke away before being dragged down ten metres from the line. However, the move broke down with another handling error that summarised Farnham’s half. The score remained 5-3 until the break.
Farnham claimed the second-half restart and immediately broke out. Tom Brooker had come on and immediately made an impact with his direct running. Farnham earned a penalty in front of the posts but opted to go for the corner.
The rolling maul was well set, allowing Kouris to break off and power over for Farnham’s second try.
Farnham had to be patient for their next score with mistakes again being their undoing in attack. However, the reliable Farnham defence was superb and kept a resurgent Reading at bay.
Then an uncommonly inaccurate kick from Reading presented an opportunity. Jones found Vincent, who drew the defence and released Simmons for his second try. The conversion was good and Farnham had some breathing space.
Farnham were now starting to find their groove and brought on Harry West for a backline reshuffle. Another loose kick was fielded well by Jones, who had moved to full back. He broke through and found Simmons, who sprinted down the touchline to skin the covering defence and complete his hat-trick to make it 22-3.
Farnham had their tails up and broke through again, with Reading’s defence in disarray.
Ollie Brown was now at fly half and spun the ball wide to Salmon, who found Simmons in space to dot down in the corner for his fourth try.
Reading never gave up and scored two late tries by putting together some good attacking play that seized upon Farnham mistakes. At 27-15, Reading pushed for a losing bonus point but Farnham managed to get hold of the ball and keep it to claim a much-needed five league points.
Farnham skipper Toby Salmon said: “That was not the performance we were looking for. There are lots of areas to work on in training – including the basics. But a much-needed win should give the lads the confidence and momentum to turn this season round.”