Match Report: 1stXV v Sudbury
By Tony Coyle
CHILTERN COME AWAY WITH A HARD FOUGHT WIN AGAINST DIFFICULT OPPONENTS
After the abortive game against Diss last week Chiltern made the long trip to Suffolk to play Sudbury for the first time. Whilst the opponents made life difficult for Chiltern, in the end the team had enough quality to come away with a 24-20 victory.
A very strong wind blowing end to end meant that play was pretty much confined in one half for the whole game. Sudbury took first use of the elements and found Chiltern a bit rusty having not played for two weeks. An early penalty right in front of the posts didn’t help and Sudbury led 3-0.
The Chiltern scrum was in good shape although the lineout was a trial for both sides with the strength of the wind. There were a plethora of scrums and handling was not wonderful. Nevertheless both sides tried to attack whenever possible but both defences were sound. After 20 minutes a clearance kick by Chiltern failed to find touch and the Sudbury centre set off on a mazy run and found support on his outside to go over for the first try of the game, 8-3 to Sudbury. Chiltern made some personnel changes at this point with Joe Butler making his welcome return to Chiltern coming on from the bench. This had a galvanising effect and a well worked move gave centre Ben Pothecary enough room to take a splendid running line to cross for Chiltern’s first try which unsurprisingly went unconverted against the wind!
Sudbury used the wind to pin Chiltern back and a slip in midfield gave them their second try which they converted to give them a 15-5 lead. Chiltern then had probably their best part of the half and put their opponents under pressure and it was no surprise that Jordan Scott, who had an outstanding game, drove over the line to reduce the deficit and the half ended 15-10 to Sudbury.
Early in the second half Chiltern were rewarded for some intelligent kicking to set up an opportunity for Monty Weatherall to reduce the arrears with a nicely taken penalty but after a couple of mistakes Sudbury found enough space to extend their lead with a well taken try which they converted 20-13!
At that point Perham and Butler took the game by the scruff of the neck and time and again forced Sudbury back into their own 22. Another penalty by Weatherall followed a long break by Butler and then a trade mark try from a sniping dart from Pearham, put Chiltern into the lead for the first time and a late penalty from Weatherall sealed the victory.
It wasn’t pretty but sometimes a hard fought win is good enough.
Saturday sees the return of local rivals Ruislip to Weedon Lane. They are having a difficult season so far but nothing can be taken for granted in this league. Kick off is at 2.30pm