Another cold wet windy weekend and Darts were visiting Medway, one of the top sides in the league confident after their win last weekend. The home side started better keeping control of the ball Darts making work really hard in defence and after 5 minutes the visitors still hadn't put their hands on the ball. This hasn't worried Darts so far this season as they are well organised and tackle really well and even if stretched their scramble defence is good. Eventually Darts forced an error and gave themselves a chance to clear but they lost the scrum against the head as their timing went missing and from this clinical finishing saw Medway open the score with a try in the corner. 5-0. Darts were gradually working themselves into th match and their ball retention was excellent and after drawing the opposition in close Jonny made a brak which took play into the Medway 22. This energised the team and they went to work using their forwards to drive play close to th try line and it was Kenny Lee who,taking the inside pass from James Burton went over to score and Jonny added the conversion. 5-7. Ryan Chandler had to leave the field to be replaced by Sam Allen who is slowly but surley getting back to the form he was in prior to the injury which kept him out of the game for nearly two years.It was now an even game although Medway were maybe slightly in the ascendancy due to their physicality but it was clear that this was going to be a tough encounter. James Burtom was making his debut for the team and was giving great ball to Jonny from scrum half as well as linking well with his forwards all of whom were taking the game to the home team. Unfortunately for the visitors they gave away a penalty right at the close of the first half and this rewarded with 3 points and a narrow lead at half time for the home team. 8-7.
It was a good start for Medway as they increased their lead with another penalty. 11-7. The conditions were getting more difficult and play was within the 10 metre lines but it looked like Darts would get on top when Medway had a player sin binned for a high tackle and taking out a pplayer beyond the ball. Unfortunately for the visitors this didn't convert into points as Medway were really well organised and defended really well and Darts weren't quite clinical enough. Darts went through a phase where they gave away too many penalties and this proved to be critical as a solid driving maul pushed the visitors deep into their 22 and a great break split open the defence to score under the posts. The conversion extended the lead to 18-7. Despite many thinking this was the end of the line for Darts they hit back with their usual great tenacity and again they drove the home team back with phase after phase and when the defence was getting disorganised Kenny Lee waltzed through a number of players to score his second try under the posts. Jonny converted 18-14. For a short time it looked like Darts could get a win in this tough fixture but Medway showed their ability at this level by taking control of the ball and drove play into the Darts 22. It was all hands to the deck but Darts have shown all season that they will tackle themselves to a standstill and they showed this great committment yet again. Jonny was sin binned for a deliberate knock on and this put even more pressure on Darts but they stuck at their task working endlessly to keep hold of their losing bonus point. That they did this and even ended the match presuring play inside the Medway half in an effort to achieve a win deserves great credit. At the end of the day it was a very good performance from Darts against a team who were physically very strong and well organised across the pitch with an excellent ability to manage the game. A deserved win for Medway but they were made to fight for it throughout the match. Kenny Lee was given the Player of the Match award for his two tries alongside a great all round game. The team now have a deserved three week rest ahead of another tough encounter against Camberley on the 5th January.