Warlingham huff and puff but the Deal is lost

Croydon Guardian: Top kicking: Mark Kozminski bagged eight points in the defeat at Deal & Betteshanger Top kicking: Mark Kozminski bagged eight points in the defeat at Deal & Betteshanger

Warlingham's season of inconsistency in London Division Two South East continued with a 27-18 defeat at Deal & Betteshanger.

Skipper Zac King and Kieran Scott got the tries while Mark Kozminski completed the scoring with the boot.

Warlingham were in confident mood having won their previous two games, but despite Deal starting the day 15 points points behind their visitors, there was not to be a third successive win.

With key players absent, the Warlingham team lacked cohesion, however, when fly half Kozminski was given a penalty opportunity in his own half he fancied his chances and duly slotted it to take an early lead. 

As is often the case, Warlingham's focus dipped after the score and Deal immediately struck back with an easy penalty to level the scores.

Having given away another dubious penalty, Warlingham were scratching their heads while Deal's scrum half grabbed the ball, took a quick one a scored a simple converted try.

Flanker John Dowling was prominent by tackling ferociously and locks Luke
Delderfield and Mike Fair made telling drives at the home side but when the ball fell loose, the Deal backs snaffled it and, slipping a number of half hearted tackles, scored a second try. 

A clever chip ahead by Warlingham saw centre Ben Wimble give chase
but, despite what looked like a certain try, the referee adjudged he was beaten to the ball by the covering defence.

Deal's tails were up and their backs looked increasingly dangerous. After a period of pressure on the Warlingham line the Deal scrum half again took the initiative and darted over for their third try which they converted. 

In reply, Kozminski converted a second penalty and a third attempt clattered against the upright.

After the break, skipper King and his number eight Tom Skinner,
together with prop Antony Abou-Zeid, showed their resilience and gradually pulled Warlingham back into the game. 

Skinner and Fair took the visitors close to the Deal try line and were awarded several penalties. 

The pressure was eventually too much and King was driven over the line by his colleagues for Warlingham's first try.  Kozminski made a brave attempt at the conversion despite the ball be blown off the tee during his run up. 

When the Deal fly half hoofed the ball down field it ricocheted off a Warlingham boot and went dead giving Deal a 5m scrum. 

Deal were determined and, despite a mighty defence by Warlingham, they secured their bonus point fourth try.

Warlingham were not yet done and their forwards again took the battle to the home side and were rewarded when prop Scott scored a try converted by Kozminski. 

With the grey skies closing in Warlingham fought back with ambition but to no avail.

Warlingham face another tough trip this weekend to high flying Lewes.

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