Coombes cel­e­brates mile­stone with cru­cial vic­tory

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

CLUB cap­tain Alex Coombes had both his 100th Drifters RFC ap­pear­ance and a vi­tally im­por­tant win to toast on Satur­day – but had to cut short his cel­e­bra­tions,

The open­side flanker brought up his cen­tury of games for the Farn­ham Com­mon side, who he has played for right through from colts to se­niors, in a cru­cial 16-15 win over rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Thatcham.

Alex Cannon’s penalty three min­utes from time se­cured a first win since Oc­to­ber and moved Drifters seven points clear of the South­ern Coun­ties North dan­ger zone.

Rob Wills scored the only try, while Cannon kicked the rest of the points as the men from One Pin Lane ended a run of seven straight de­feats.

Coombes said: “I am very proud to have played my 100th game for the club. I couldn’t cel­e­brate as I had a friend’s birth­day to go to, but there will cer­tainly be some de­layed cel­e­bra­tions.

“It was a well ground-out and cru­cial win and we are not only con­fi­dent that we will avoid rel­e­ga­tion, but also push on and pros­per. It was a very tight game, and we had to come back from con­ced­ing an early try, and we showed great char­ac­ter to keep go­ing right to the end.”

Coombes still has a fair way to go to break into the all-time XV of Drifters top ap­pear­ance hold­ers, a list headed by the likes of Pat Spell­man on 586 and Ron Phillips on 470.

How­ever, if not for a three-year spell away from the club work­ing in France, from which he re­turned this sea­son, Coombes could have been near­ing a dou­ble cen­tury in­stead.

Mean­while, Drifters have a golden chance to put fur­ther day­light be­tween them­selves and the drop zone this Satur­day when they visit bot­tom side Swin­don Col­lege Old Boys, who have only won once all sea­son and are yet to taste vic­tory at home.

Alex Coombes (left) and Drifters in ac­tion against

Thatcham

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