Clinical Blues remain the team to chase
Marck Olive and James Garland both grabbed two tries as Whitstable won comfortably at Eltham to consolidate their hold on Shepherd Neame Kent 2. The last time the Blues swept to the top they immediately surrendered the initative but there were no mistakes in SE9 on a day when conditions were far from conducive. Olive scored both his tries in the opening 40 minutes as the Blues opened a 20-point lead and skipper Ben Cliff said the second half was all about making sure they did not give the hosts a way back. He said: “Conditions were horrible, the pitch was boggy and it was raining throughout. “We said at the start what we needed to do, we had to tire them out and move the ball as much as we could in the conditions. “Strangely (given the conditions) we did that quite well, there were a lot of passes thrown about. They did not really threaten, they had a few chances but our defence was good as it has been all season.” Olive’s opening score came inside the first five minutes and Garland quickly made it 10-0 before further tries from Olive and Anthony Cairney doubled the lead and secured the bonus point. Garland’s second came from a pass skilfully flicked off the wrist by prop Luke Pepper, with Andy Till completing the scoring on a day when all the conversions were missed. Cliff said it had been another good team display but did praise the contribution of 18-year-old winger Will Reid, who is now adding strength to his undoubted running ability. He added: “At half-time we knew the game was won, we just needed to stay switched on which everyone is doing much better. It’s not a case of ‘we’ve got four tries we can do what we want now,’ we stick to our plans.” Blues head the table by three points from Foots Cray, with main rivals Brockleians four behind with a game in hand. Whitstable are without a game this weekend giving them a week’s rest before their potential title decider at home to Brockleians on Saturday, February 17. The club are also hosting a VP lunch that day and expect a large turnout.