First league home match of the season saw newly promoted Beccles visit Sedley Taylor Road. For Cantabs, Finn Morrison was in Japan, so Dean James was at openside, James Hayward kick-started his season at flyhalf. Cantabs had the A team back in the front row, with Isaia Barbieri making his first start of the season alongside Perksy and Tom Bailey. It was also a welcome return to Paul Pudney at outside centre, after a season out with injury, and Charlie Norrish making his first team debut, joined Luke Farrow and Tim Kirkconel on the bench.
The day was typically autumnal, blustery but dry, with a well grassed and yielding pitch after the weeks' showers, as Beccles kicked off towards the clubhouse. Paul Pudney made the first meaningful break, but when the ball was shifted to the left wing the final pass went into touch. Cantabs stole the lineout and mauled the ball towards the line; a scrum followed, and with Beccles going backwards Ollie Townsend shifted the ball to Hayward who broke through the defence with a typical shimmy and touched down under the posts. Finlay Laing converted the try, and with just four minutes on the clock it was 7 - 0.
Cantabs attacked from the restart and again Hayward made the telling gap, his pass found Tom Bailey wide out on the left and he was not going to be stopped. Finlay Laing took over the conversions, and made no mistake; 14 - 0. Again from the restart dropout, Cantabs came straight back on the attack; this time it was a marauding Jon Perks who stormed down the right wing bursting through three tackles, to move to within 30 metres of the Beccles tryline. He set up the ruck and a quick release allowed the ball to be moved to the left. Three passes and there was captain Danny Richards, two men overlapping on his left. Danny was not to be denied however, touching down at the goal. Again Finlay added the extra to make the score 21 - 0.
Yet again Cantabs ran back the dropout, the ball moving through the backs at speed. A drive from Danny, Jonny, Tom and Perksy moved play well inside the Beccles 22. Beccles conceded the penalty, Cantabs scrummed from 15 metres, Beccles were caught offside and the next scrum was on ten metres. Finlay made the try line when the ball was moved to the left, but the ball was held up. The 5m scrum was held by Beccles, but when Cantabs moved the ball to Hayward he made some space and popped the ball out to Ben Newman, who scored in the corner. Again Finlay added the extra and with just 16 minutes played Cantabs had their bonus point at 28 - 0.
The next try was not far behind. James Hayward chipped the ball ten metres over the defence on the halfway line, collected the bouncing ball, ran diagonally to the right and found his winger with a reverse pass; try number five for Kieran Dolaghan made it 33 - 0. Beccles then had their best spell camped inside the Cantabs half for a good five minutes and causing our defence some problems. Cantabs broke out eventually but could not add to the scoreboard. Beccles again kept play to within the two ten metre lines and Cantabs seemed to have lost their way for another ten minutes. Ben Newman took a knock and was replaced by Luke Farrow. Beccles confidence seemed to be increasing, but when they tried to pass their way out of their own half, Luke intercepted a wayward pass and ran in for try number six; score now 38 - 0.
Following some powerful running by Pudney before he was tackled. Ollie Townsend was quick to the ruck to set up the next try with a lovely grubber kick down the left wing with the outside of his right boot. James Hayward gathered the ball, stepped to his right and shot through a gap to run in under the posts. Finlay made no mistake this time; 45 - 0. The halftime whistle came to save Beccles further punishment.
From the Cantabs restart, several of our backs were up too quickly and Sir brought play back to the centre spot. Cantabs took the scrum against the head and Ollie set things moving again. The ball moved out to the wing and Luke Farrow was in again; 50 - 0. James Hayward set up the next attack with a huge kick from his ten metre line to the right wing, and a charging Kieran Dolaghan. All the Beccles fullback could do was to shepherd the ball into touch ten metres out from the try line. Rich Ford caught the lineout, the ball was shifted to Hayward, and he jinked inside three tackles to go in under the posts. Finlay brought the score up to 57 - 0.
Cantabs were now running rampant. the backs moved the next ball right across from the right wing to the left wing, where Tom Bailey, passed under the tackler out to the left where Luke Farrow gathered the pass and ran around the defence for his hat trick of tries; 62 - 0. Kieran got the next try in the opposite corner and Finlay hit a beautiful conversion through the middle from the touchline; 69 - 0 with 25 minutes left to play. Tim Kirkconel came on from Jonny Heaver and Charlie Norrish for Deano. Finlay scored the next try, again in the right hand corner and again hit the ball perfectly to convert; 76 - 0.
Tom Bailey was found again out wide on the left, dummied to pass to Luke, but held on and bullied his way through another tackle, and ran round to score to the left of the posts. Finlay converted again and the score was 83 - 0. Isaia took a break allowing Tim a spell in the front row and Jonny Heaver came back on for Rich Ford. A scrum allowed Kieran the next score. He cut inside to give Finlay a chance to drop kick the conversion; 90 - 0. Deano made the next break, and again Luke Farrow took advantage, his fourth try followed by yet another drop-kicked conversion from Finlay; 97 - 0.
Final score came when Kieran got his fourth try at the posts. Finlay hurried that drop kick, but Cantabs had made the century at 102- 0. No further score. Beccles, to their credit kept going, but a team that had played our 2nd XV last season, and had since lost several good players, was no match for the running power of Cantabs. On this form Cantabs are going to win a lot of games this season. Four of our backs have now scored four tries in a single match after just three league games.
Man of the match was awarded to Ollie Townsend. His co-conspirator, James Hayward, also showed his class throughout, and the pack was a real hand-full for Beccles. With Cantabs putting out three teams on the day, the old Club is starting to look a little stronger again. This win moves Cantabs into third in the division. Next week we are away at Ipswich YM. Next home fixture is on 19th October, which is a luncheon day. Get your places booked with Daren; the way the points are racking up this season it could be another try feast.
1 Isaia Barbieri, 2 Tom Bailey, 3 Jon Perks, 4 Jonny Heaver, 5 Ed Foster,
6 Richard Ford, 7 Dean James, 8 Danny Richards (capt), 9 Ollie Townsend, 10 James Hayward,
11 Ben Newman, 12 Adam Fastnedge, 13 Paul Pudney, 14 Kieran Dolaghan, 15 Finlay Laing,
16 Tim Kirkconel, 17 Charlie Norrish, 18 Luke Farrow.
Coaches: Glen Remnant and Will Riggs