Match Report 1stXV vs Diss
By Tony Coyle
A 65 POINT, 9 TRY BONANZA, WAS A WONDERFUL FINALE TO CHILTERN’S FINAL HOME MATCH OF THE SEASON
Finally, some sunshine and a dry pitch greeted visitors Diss to Weedon Lane on the occasion of Chiltern’s annual Presidents lunch. It was great to see over 140 people sitting down for an excellent meal who were then treated to a splendid exhibition of running rugby by the 1ST XV. A hard fought draw away at Diss earlier in the season had sounded some warning bells and with further injuries Chiltern were fielding far from their strongest side. However the patterns of play shown last week were again in evidence as the boys clearly decided to run the ball whenever they possibly could and the crowd were richly rewarded with some fine tries.
Diss kicked off and with the ball safely secured Chiltern attacked from inside their own 22, the ball being moved through numerous pairs of hands before Dan Kingsley cut through the last remnants of the defence only to see his scoring pass intercepted right on the try line. Both sides attempted to test each other out over the next 10 minutes before Chiltern secured good scrum possession of the ball which was worked out to Jack Kenyon on the left. He nicely side stepped his opponent and had the strength and pace to reach the line for the first try which was well converted by fly half Stuart Pearham.
The strength of Chiltern’s defence with George Bartlett and Ryan Cole to the fore, constantly posed problems for Diss. Attacking again down the right and after several forward drives Pearham saw the Diss fullback was out of position and delicately chipped the ball over the defensive line for centre Ollie Choules to run onto the ball unopposed and score the second try near the posts which Pearham converted. Diss were trying hard to stay in the game and some superb handling saw them outflank the Chiltern defence to score their first try in the corner which went unconverted. As hard as they tried Diss were always struggling to contain the constant attacking threat of the Chiltern backs and after one offence too many Pearham kicked a simple penalty to put Chiltern 19-3 ahead after 20 minutes.
Both sides continued to run the ball whenever possible and after 30 minutes and with Chiltern securing the ball wide out on the right Pearham put in a lovely cross kick to the opposite side of the pitch which was nicely caught by Kenyon who went over for his second try. There was still time before half time for Chiltern to score again when, after another good handling move, young Dan Kingsley, who enjoyed a splendid match, cut back inside the final defence to score his first try for the senior side. Half-time followed with both sides grateful for a rest but with Chiltern comfortably ahead 29–5 and with the bonus point secured.
The second-half continued much as the first had finished with the next try scored by Dave John after good interplay by the forwards. The try was converted by Pearham who, two minutes later, intercepted the ball on the halfway line and had more than enough pace to score himself. The try was converted by centre Ollie Choules who throughout the game combined well with Pearham. 15 minutes gone and after several concerted drives towards the Diss line the ball was picked up by scrum half Teddy Reus who gleefully scored. As we all know full-back Chris Jack loves the dry conditions and he was nicely on hand to take a perfect scoring pass from Ollie Choules and dive over in the corner. Three minutes later and Chiltern scored again this time by Jack Kenyon for his hat trick and which took Chiltern to 60 points for the game.
We were then treated to Chiltern’s final try which perhaps was the best of the afternoon. Chiltern’s forwards secured good turnover ball inside their own 22. It was fed quickly out to Chris Jack who fed centre Dave John with a lovely pass. John raced away beating the defence on an arching run. Outpacing the covering players he was brought down inches short of the try line but he had the presence of mind to twist and reach over the line to score his second and Chiltern’s 9th try.
In amongst the scoring blitz Diss had scored a converted try themselves and later on, with the game comfortably won, Chiltern rather switched off and conceded two further tries which gave Diss a bonus point.
It was a wonderfully entertaining game for the large crowd to enjoy and the final score of 65–22 was a great send off in the side’s last home game of the season. When the other league results became known it was a real fillip to see that Chiltern had secured fourth place in the league. This was always going to be a rebuilding season but despite using 58 players so far, to achieve that position with 18 wins and two draws out of 25 games is a testament to the skill, attitude and commitment of the players and the coaches.
Next week the team travel to Brentwood for the last game of the season. Having beaten Brentwood in the first game of the season we have watched them reach and then cement their place at the top of the league. However, to be sure of winning the league they need to beat us next week!!
It will be a really tough task for the boys to stop them doing so but rugby is a funny game and I hope that many club members will make the trip across to Essex to cheer the boys on. They have given us wonderful entertainment this year and the applause at the end of the game today confirmed that enjoyment.