County Championship – Surrey 22pts v Gloucestershire 38 pts
Gloucestershire, with former Gloucester RFC Captain & England Trialist Peter Buxton persuaded out of retirement to help the cause of the visitors, started in prominent mode. After barely 5 minutes winger Sam Baker scampered over for what turned out to be the first of his four tries. Sam Hanks added the conversion to ease Gloucestershire into an early 7-0 lead.
Surrey quickly got on the scoreboard though when fly half Matt Noble kicked a penalty goal.
Play then went from end to end, until Surrey fly half Noble made an incisive break to score a super solo try and push the home side ahead by one point. Surrey now began to exert a period of continual pressure and after another penetrating run by Noble, he fed Alf Molloy who went over for a try. Noble added the conversion so Surrey went in 15-7 at the interval.
The second period began with the visitors looking much more menacing and after a period of sustained pressure, second row Jack Robson went over near the posts, while Hanks added the conversion and Gloucs were within a point of their hosts.
Sadly for the home side, they then lost their inspirational skipper lock Ian Kench to the sin bin, after an indiscretion. This proved to be the turning point, as the visitors took full advantage of their extra man and quickly added two more tries from speedy winger Baker and a conversion by Hanks, to move into a powerful 15 -26 lead.
With their tails up, the visitors now began to display some slick handling and played with much confidence. Wing Baker raced away for his fourth try , which was converted to stretch Gloucstershire’s lead.
Surrey managed to create some space for winger Karyim Irving who sprinted in for a try, which again Noble converted. But the final word still went to the visitors, when centre Hanks went over in the corner almost on the final whistle, to bring the final scoreline of 22-38 in favour of the more clinical visitors.
*** Surrey are now staring relegation in the face after just one season in the top flight and head to unbeaten Cornwall for a tough match at Camborne RFC. ***
15 Ollie Turner ( L.IrishWG) ,14 Tom Richards (L.Irish WG ), 13 Ed Carne (Dorking), 12 Alf Molloy (L.Irish WG), 11 Kariym Irving (Dorking), 10 Matt Noble ( Dorking), 9 Will Crow (Rosslyn Park), 1 Charlie Connor (L.Irish WG), 2 Sam Johnson (Dorking), 3 Cameron Zeiss (Esher), 4 Ian Kench (Esher), 5 Matt Higgins (Dorking ), 6 Darren Livett (L.Irish WG), 7 Harry Elbrow (Dorking ), 8 Harry Rowland (Rosslyn Park)
Replacements: 16 Mike Bunn (L.Irish WG), 17 Suvwe Obano (Dorking), 18 Ted Lee (Dorking), 19 Harry Shephers (Dorking ), 20 Mikey McDonald ( London Scottish), 21 Jordan Gott (L.Irish WG)