Chiltern win ugly to continue the perfect start
Coach Dave Neale had to cope with six enforced changes from last week, with key players Dave Francis and Josh Davies both injured in the pre match warm up.
On Saturday Chairman Scott Jarrold hosted a special reunion lunch for past players and officials so there was a good crowd to watch the Chiltern squad put under serious pressure for the first time this season, edging the win in a scrappy low scoring contest between two well matched teams near the top of the table. Coach Dave Neale had to cope with six enforced changes from last week, with key players Dave Francis and Josh Davies both injured in the pre match warm up. So no great surprise that the team struggled to impose themselves on a tough and experienced Eton Manor team, paying their first visit to Weedon Lane . Early Chiltern pressure was not converted into points with the bold decision to pass up penalty shots at goal, and it was over 20 minutes into the first half before scrum half Mikey Brothers made a searing break in midfield and a few phases later Luke Antos went over from short range. Fly half Stuart Pearham who kicked brilliantly all day added the extras. Chiltern struggled in the set pieces and let the visitors back into the game, yet conceding only one successful penalty to see the home team into half time 7-3 ahead.
The second half was a scrappy affair, interrupted by several scuffles as both sides struggled to impose themselves. Man of the match Stuart Pearham pushed the home side further ahead with a superb long range penalty before Eton Manor hit back with a well taken try in the corner to close the gap to 10-8. Another Pearham penalty made the final score 13-8. This was by no means a match to remember although credit to the squad for winning ugly, something all good teams have to be able to do. There are stern tests ahead notably away to North Walsham next week.
Match report by Peter Osborne