WITH Saturday’s first XV’s match against KCS postponed because of an unplayable pitch at New Malden, it was down to Farnham’s women and the future generations of senior men to provide the rugby at Monkton Lane on Sunday.
The under-16 boys faced Old Reedonians RFC (AKA Reeds) and the Academy (under-17/under-18 boys) took on Dorking in Quins Cup matches.
Both Farnham teams were comfortably victorious in fast, open games against talented and resilient opposition.
With the matches played and well supported on adjacent pitches, it was a great advertisement for junior rugby.
At half-time Farnham were up 17-0 in the Academy game with tries from Will Wickens, Oliver Buckton and Max Williams – the last try converted by Tom Humphreys.
Dorking struck back with a couple of tries in the second half, but the Black and Whites continued to pile on the points with tries from Ben Barham and Nemesio Qiatabua.
They ran out winners by 29-12.
In recent weeks, Farnham’s under-16s have turned around their indifferent start to the season with some good wins – and this cup encounter was no exception.
They play the game with ball in hand making the most of the strength and conditioning afforded by the club’s new gym, The Shed.
Farnham hooker Josh Warnham opened the scoring with a try after a series of strong carries had pinned Reeds into their own half.
A break by centre Oskar Parker in midfield opened the gap for flankers Hamish McLeod and Carson Barrass to burst through with the latter for the try, converted well from out wide by Finn Hills.
They led 12-0 at half-time.
Reeds run a strong junior club featuring a number of Quins Academy players in their ranks.
They were particularly dangerous out wide, but the Black and Whites’ defence, led by Eddie Buckton, kept them out and they continued to carry hard and chase up their clearing kicks.
One such chase saw Sam Baker tackle the Reeds full back to win the penalty.
Scrum half Sam Cowman took the quick tap and burrowed over for the try to cap his man-of-the-match performance.
Will Houghton was next to score for Farnham after a sustained period of pressure and the Black and Whites were out of sight.
To their credit, Reeds did not lie down and scored their consolation try as the game came to a close with Farnham running out victors by 26-5.
As the junior games reached half-time, it was the turn of the Farnham Falcons firsts to entertain on the main pitch in their eagerly-anticipated league match against Chobham.
In a season hit by the pandemic, a number of women’s league games have been called off, but both these sides have met every commitment and were separated at the top of the table by just one point.
On the day Chobham took the points, running out 35-20 winners with Jade McClune, Beki Hardman and Zoe Robinson securing the points for the home side.
Last Saturday the Vikings, Farnham’s second XV, made the long trip to Brighton where they were shaved 35-30 in a great game.
There’s a full schedule of rugby at Monkton Lane today (Saturday) with the first XV back in home action against Chichester – who sit just two places higher in the league – alongside the Warriors (thirds) who host Trinity.
These games kick off at 3pm.
The Barbarians (fourths) will kick off at the earlier time of 2pm against Portsmouth in the Hampshire League.
Pictures by Mark Weeks and Julian Frost