Warlingham crash at home
After two resounding away league wins Warlingham were brought down to earth with a jolt when visitors Lewes inflicted 'six of the best' by way of tries at Hamsey Green on Saturday to win 37-5.
With several players absent with injury or non-availability Warlingham still anticipated giving the improving visitors a close encounter.
A colour clash saw Warlingham having to play in their alternative green strip and the absence of their blue and white shirts was accompanied by the absence their normal behind-the-line tackling which allowed Lewes to penetrate the gain line with ease.
An early lead from a try by the Lewes right winger could have been reduced by an eminently kickable penalty which Warlingham full back Joe McEvoy struck wide. The Lewes pack were in control and secured good, early possession for their pacy back line and two further unconverted tries followed, despite Warlingham picking up the pace and spending time on the Lewes try line without emerging with a score.
Scrum half Jon Perkins tried in vain to test the visitor's defence and hooker Dan Street marauding at every opportunity despite an ugly looking eye injury.
The ubiquitous centre Ben Wimble saved a certain try with an ankle tapping tackle but Lewes rounded off the first half with an easy penalty putting them eighteen points to the good.
With flanker Jon Dowling off injured, winger Jon Osborne joined the pack and livened up the Warlingham forwards with two solo efforts to break the Lewes stranglehold on the game.
But the visitors' defence held firm and Warlingham were unable to secure sufficient possession to string phases together.
When they had the ball their retention was also awry and Lewes snapped up any loose balls and made yards at every opportunity. Dan Street retired with his eye injury being replaced by brother Tom at hooker.
The constant pressure from Lewes was rewarded with three further tries, all taken with aplomb.
In the late stages of the game, when Lewes were indubitably home and dry, Warlingham struck back with a consolation try when Perkins cleverly chipped forward and quickly recycled ball reached McEvoy on the left wing. He outstripped the defence to score in the corner.
The referee, Stephen Wagstaff, then brought the game to a close with the final whistle with Warlingham well beaten but still firmly established mid-table of this strong league.
After the game, Warlingham coach Peter Wrightson said: "After our recent performances we felt we were in with a chance today but Lewes took all their chances and denied us any decent possession.
"A disappointing afternoon for us."
Warlingham: J.Delderfield, D Street, Scutt, L Delderfield, Robson (capt), Luxford, Dowling, Wiseman, Perkins, Saffery, Atkinson, Osborne, Wimble, Skinner, McEvoy. Subs: T Street, Davies, Doe.