Match Report 1st VX v Eton Manor
CHILTERN COME OFF SECOND BEST TO A GOOD ETON MANOR SIDE IN APPALLING WETHER CONDITIONS
Having beaten Eton Manor at home at the beginning of the season, a dreadful, wet day on a very heavy pitch greeted Chiltern’s first trip to North London. Eton Manor have put together an excellent series of results and were very unlucky not to beat the league leaders Chingford.
It really was a horrible day for rugby but in the end Eton Manor were simply more streetwise with a very solid pack who played the conditions extremely well. Simply standing upright, trying to catch a greasy ball or finding purchase to push in the scrums was really hard work but to their credit Eton Manor controlled the game with long cross kicks to touch which in turn put pressure on the Chiltern line out.
With so many mistakes being made the number of scums was disproportionate to a normal game of rugby and Chiltern could just not stop Eton Manor getting that early nudge which the referee seemed unwilling to stop. Two penalties against Chiltern in the first half yielded six points from successful kicks by the Eton Manor captain who had an outstanding game at 13. They also used the rolling maul effectively but Chiltern’s defence was strong and time and again broke out of defence but having strung some runs and passes together the final ball so frequently eluded them. Midway through the first half Eton Manor capitalised on yet another dropped ball and very efficiently drove over the line for the first try which was duly converted. Still Chiltern endeavoured to play rugby right the way through to half-time but failed to score and Eton Manor were comfortably ahead 13–0.
Chiltern made some positional and substitution changes at half-time and enjoyed a much better first 15 minutes of the second-half which culminated in a penalty for Stuart Pearham 13–3. However the optimism soon disappeared as by now it was simply a case of which side would make the fewer mistakes as the conditions worsened still further. For the last 20 minutes it was impossible to see which team was which as the kit had ceased to show any colour except brown! Whilst two more tries were scored by Eton Manor to put the game beyond Chiltern’s reach the attitude and commitment of the whole Chiltern side never faltered and perhaps the final result, 3–25 was a little flattering to their opponents.
It was good to see yet another Chiltern colt, Dan Kingsley made his debut for the 1st XV and next week we welcome North Walsham to Weedon Lane. They will again be very strong opponents as was demonstrated when we managed to eke out a hard fought draw earlier in the season. Kick off will be at 2 PM.