Five alive - Warlingham bounce back from Park mauling

Wimbledon Guardian: Action man: Bradley Saffery Action man: Bradley Saffery

Warlingham put last weekend's 79-5 mauling at Charlton Park to one side, to take an invaluable five points off Crowborough this weekend.

A 31-14 win keeps Warl third from bottom in London Division Two South East, six points ahead of Lewes, who also won.

Knowing their future in the league was in the balance Warlingham shot out of the blocks and showed the determination and commitment lacking in recent weeks.

Centre Luke Davies showed his skills with a clever line of running to breach the Crowborough defence and a well-timed pass to full back Joe McEvoy resulted in the first try which McEvoy converted himself.

Warlingham were buoyed by the score and immediately went on the offensive.

Belgian international lock, Yassine Boufaied joined in the party by dragging himself, several defenders and the ball over the line for the second score of the afternoon.

McEvoy did the necessary with the conversion and Warlingham looked impressive.

Captain Zack King, as is his want, gained yards at every opportunity and was well supported by prop Alex Nunn, lock Neil Robson and Finnish international flanker Mikal Ahola.

Crowborough then woke up and put some clinical phases together but winger Alex Skinner put in a trademark try-saving tackle to keep the score sheet clean.

Crowborough pressed and were awarded a kickable penalty but bravely chose a scrum.

Warlingham took one against the head and the danger was averted. When a Crowborough forward was yellow-carded Warlingham took the opportunity to pile on the pressure and the ubiquitous number eight, Ollie Dodwell emerged from a ruck to score try number three.

Again McEvoy added the extra two points.

The three-score lead at half time looked to be insufficient as the strong wind was against Warlingham after the break.

Nevertheless the home side forced their way deep into the Crowborough half but a defensive kick fell to replacement wing Adam Downie-Keen who jinxed past several defenders and slipped the ball out of the tackle to supporting fly half James Agate who cantered in for a simple score but added the bonus point.

With their foot momentarily off the pedal Warlingham submitted to a scrambled converted try from Crowborough but the addition of substitutes Tom Street and Ben Wiseman brought renewed energy to the home side.

A back row move from a scrum, together with some good hands gave McEvoy his second, and Warlingham's fifth try to seal the win.

Crowborough fought to the end and got a second converted try but the evening dusk and the referee's whistle brought Warlingham's 2013 league campaign to a close with a well deserved and, possibly, relegation-avoiding five league points.

Warlingham now have a break from their league action until January 4 when they are away to bottom team Heathfield & Waldren, but with only eight points between them this will be another must-win fixture.

Warlingham: Abou-Zeid, Nunn, Scutt, Robson, Boufaied, King, Ahola, Dodwell, Doe, Agate, Osborne, Saffery, Davies, A Skinner, McEvoy T Street, Downie-Keen, Wiseman

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