Coombes celebrates milestone with crucial victory
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