KINGSBRIDGE clung on in the Papa Johns plate final to clinch victory.

In a game that had just about everything, including a red card, Kings overcame a classy Twickenham side, 36–28.

Playing with heart and spirit, they would not be beaten by a side who were overcoming the shock of being 21 points down after 10 minutes. Even playing with fourteen men for the last 20 minutes didn’t faze Kings and the spoils went their way as a reward.

Stu Harris was the scorer of the decisive try but replacement winger Ashley Thuel deserves most of the praise- it was his crunching tackle that forced Twickenham to give up possession. This determination was on show throughout the game, Jack Winzer earning the Man of the Match award at the heart of a united performance from all.

The game started at a frantic pace as Kings piled on the early pressure. A fine kick by Ben Newman took them to the Twickenham line and a resulting maul ended with Dan Jarvis scoring the first try of the afternoon. A scramble for the tee ensued but that didn’t seem to bother the number 10 who cooly drop-kicked home. Scrum-half Max Fergusson was next up to cross the line with Newman’s kicking coming to the fore once again. Twickenham were blown away at this point as Toby Baldry pounced on a loose ball and Newman added the extras once again.

Eventually, Twickenham started to play some rugby, recovering from Kings blistering start. Led by their outstanding eight, Twickenham put together some attacks of their own. Their prop, who was playing more like a stand-off, conjured up some quick ball for Twickenham to score their first points. Now playing with some rhythm, Twickenham were pressing hard, almost scoring but denied by a try-saving tackle by Harris, they kept attacking and were soon on the board again.

Kings delivered the final blow of the first 40 minutes though, Man of the Match Winzer scoring what would be a bonus point-sealing try, 28 14 was how it stood at the break. Half-time took some of the momentum out of the game and when the first score of the second half came, it was just the three points courtesy of the infallible Newman.

With the pace of the game unrelenting, Kings started to empty their bench but still couldn’t stop Twickenham scoring their third try. After an hour of action had been played, the game was there for the taking for both sides and King’s cause was not helped as they suffered a red card. Taking immediate advantage, Twickenham made Kings pay as they raced over to leave themselves only three points behind, the closest the pair had been since the first whistle was blown. Then came the game’s turning point as Thuel stamped his name into club folklore with the decisive tackle that enabled Harris to put the game to bed. What an end to the season for Kingsbridge.

(Kingsbridge RFC Facebook page)