Match Report: 1st XV overcome the Honorable Artillery Company
By Tony Coyle
CHILTERN OVERCOME THE HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY (HAC) IN AN EXCITING AND CLOSE MATCH
In a nail biting contest Chiltern squeaked through with the last kick of the game having seen their lead whittled away by a very proficient HAC side who had been promoted to London 1 for the first time and who had made a promising start to their campaign.
Chiltern despite a stuttering lineout were significantly stronger in the forwards and particularly at scrum time where they won numerous penalties to keep up their momentum going forward.
HAC looked to move the ball whenever possible but Chiltern’s defence was solid and HACs only score in the first half was a late penalty against two well taken tries by Chiltern. The first of these did not occur until the 25th minute when, after excellent work by Ollie Cato, his fellow lock Euan Prime was driven over from some way out to put Chiltern ahead, the try comfortable converted by fit again Stuart Pearham.
HAC came back strongly but after conceding yet another penalty a catch and drive by the Chiltern forwards saw the ball moved at speed through several pairs of hands before reaching Jack Kenyon another returnee who swept over for the second try beautifully converted from the touchline by Pearham.
Both sides continued to attack whenever possible but apart from the late penalty to HAC there was no further score in the half. In the second half Chiltern continued to be resolute in defence and repeatedly made inroads into the HAC half and two further penalties by Pearham saw Chiltern extend their lead to 20-3.
Whether the boys thought it was game over I’m not sure but HAC never gave up and after an extraordinary heel against the head against the dominant Chiltern scrum some weak tackling provided enough space for the HAC prop to score their first try. With their tails up HAC came again and scored their second try which was converted to make the score 20-15 to Chiltern.
With only a couple of minutes left Chiltern failed to clear their lines and HAC worked their right wing over in the corner for a try to bring the scores level. HAC’s 10 converted the try form the touchline and HAC were ahead 20-22!
I’m not sure if any of the spectators could believe it but with time running out Chiltern threw everything they had at the opposition. First a penalty gave them field position but HAC secured the ball and tried to run the clock down but they went one drive too far and were penalised for holding on. Cool as you like Pearham took the kick from wide out on the wrong side of the field but judging the wind perfectly sent the ball through the posts to secure the win at 23-22. It may have seemed hard on HAC but over the whole game and with the Chiltern dominant it was probably just about the right result much to the pleasure of the vociferous crowd of ex players who had turned up in numbers for their annual lunch!
Next week sees the local derby away at Fullerians. Kick of is at 3.00pm and Chiltern will be looking to achieve a better result than last year when we were distinctly second best when we visited Watford.