The visitors have not had a good start to the season and after last week’s encouraging victory over Colchester the home crowd were looking forward to some entertaining rugby. Today’s game was being refereed by Mike Hudson who although a member of the Bucks Referees Society has also progressed to officiating at championship games. He had a day off from higher level duties and it was a pleasure to welcome him back to Amersham where he showed today just why he has reached the heights of senior rugby with an excellent performance.
It was a dank, grey, wet, miserable day and certainly the greasy ball did nothing to help Chiltern’s desire to play quick offloading rugby, with numerous knock ons and slips frequently curtailing try scoring opportunities. That said after only five minutes play scrum-half Stuart Pearham raced through a gap before throwing a lovely long pass out to winger Lloyd Anderson whose pace and strength saw him outflank the visitors defence to score the first try of the game which Pearham converted.
The Chiltern pack were much improved in the scrum and despite missing several potential tries through over-elaboration, a series of scrums near the visitors line yielded a number of penalties which finally resulted in Chiltern being awarded a penalty try which these days results in an automatic 7 points. Chiltern continued to press and time again it was only the last pass going astray that stopped them increasing their lead. However with about five minutes to go to half-time the dam finally broke and with some excellent support play number eight Jordan Scott was driven over the line for the home side’s third try converted by Pearham, 21-0 at half time.
Whilst it was somewhat disappointing that the boys had not achieved the try bonus point by half time there was little doubt that it wouldn’t be long before they achieved that objective and so it proved with Jordan Scott scoring again after being put into space on the visitors 22. His strong run put him clear for the bonus point try which was not converted. With the bonus point secured Chiltern’s concentration undoubtedly slipped and having conceded territory, it was to the visitors’ credit that they set up a series of excellent driving mauls and thoroughly deserved to score a converted try which bought the score to 26-7.
Skipper Ryan Cole, who himself had an outstanding game, not surprisingly delivered a very stern lecture to his players who duly responded with an excellent final 20 minutes in which they scored a further three tries. The first of these was scored by Jordan Scott to complete his hat-trick (and Man of the Match award) after excellent interplay with him running well over 30m scattering defenders in his wake! Although the try was scored in the left-hand corner Pearham converted magnificently. Chiltern were now well on top and with the visitors clearly tiring, after a storming run by Ryan Cole off the back of a line out, the ball was slipped to centre Tala Petelo whose strength took him through the remaining defence for a try under the post which Pearham converted.
With the game entirely safe and a bonus point secured Chiltern used their full complement of substitutes but despite this and with the last play of the game centre Josh Davies, who enjoyed another excellent match, finally got his reward driving through the defence to score the seventh and final try converted by Jack Kenyon.
In all the circumstances and on a wet miserable day 7 tries and a bonus point was a very satisfactory outcome particularly as Chiltern had to make a couple of last minute changes to the side, one of which saw the debut of Jason Kilbey on the flank who was not in the least overawed by playing at this level for the first time.
Children have now used over 40 players in 1st XV games this season whilst continuing to win regularly. Many of these players are young and talented and have come through the club from mini and junior level which bodes extremely well for the future.
There are two more games to go before Christmas the first which sees the team make the long journey into Norfolk to play Diss next week before returning for a home match on 16 December when the opponents will be Old Haberdashers. This game coincides with the annual Christmas lunch which will be publicised well ahead of the game but where traditional Christmas jumpers will be very much in evidence!
Updated 11:42 - 3 Dec 2017 by Tony Coyle