Match Report: 1st XV v Old Priorians
By Tony Coyle
CHILTERN SECURE A FINE BONUS POINT WIN AGAINST CLASSY OPPONENTS
Despite some late changes due to sickness Chiltern produced one their best performances of the season to see off a very good OP side. Outside half Stuart Pearham was sidelined after his red card in the Cup Final but Joe Butler combined really well with Monty Weatherall at 12 and Dave John at 13 to provide a potent attacking threat building on quality ball provided by the forwards.
The Chiltern scrum was again dominant throughout and repeatedly were awarded penalties the first of which after 5 minutes saw Butler put the ball into touch on OPs 5m line. The lineout was secured and after several drives a nice pop pass left Joe Batt with a simple run in for the first try which was converted by Weatherall. Another penalty 3 minutes later at the scrum allowed Weatherall to push the score to 10-0 and Chiltern looked very comfortable. However after dominating the first quarter an unnecessary penalty gave OPs good field possession and although wave upon wave of attacks were repulsed OPs managed to give their outstanding 12 just enough space to make the line for a try which was not converted but 10-5!
Chiltern were galvanised and with some ferocious play from the Westgarth and Risbridger driving them forward, some delightful back play and sleight of hand gave Mikey Brothers some space but still 40m out. He dodged, weaved and suddenly was through the defence and under the posts for a try which Weatherall converted 17-5. Chiltern remained in control and their discipline was outstanding throughout the game. Just before half time the forwards won yet another penalty 1m inside the OPs half. There was more than a little surprise when Wetherall stepped up but he was in doubt and the ball sailed over the crossbar to put Chiltern 20-5 ahead at half time.
The second half started with a bang; a penalty took Chiltern into the OP 22 and they were then awarded another penalty, however, playing advantage Joe Butler put an exquisite cross kick right across the field, Brothers caught it on the full, made some ground before offloading to the excellent Jake Cutter who was on his shoulder and had the strength to hold off the covering defence for a brilliant try which was unconverted, 25-5.
Chiltern then had a poor 10 minutes, some sloppy play gave OPs the chance to camp on the Chiltern 5m line and after numerous drives had been help up, OPs knocked on but the referee, who had an excellent game, was however unsighted and from the ensuing scrum OPs had the put in and got across the line for their second try again unconverted 25-10. Worse was to come. After kicking off Chiltern were slow to react to OPs running from inside their own 22 and three passes later the 12 outpaced the Chiltern defence to make the score 25-15!
Enough was enough and Chiltern went back to the way they had dominated the first half. Again and again the forwards and backs drove at OPs making steady ground until finally a small gap gave prop Lachlan Collier room to run and his strength, despite 3 players hanging on his back, allowed him to score the bonus point try converted sweetly by Weatherall, 31-15 and clear. Chiltern weren’t finished however and another beautifully timed pass from Butler put Weatherall away and he showed just how quick he is to outflank the OP backline to score in the left hand corner. Just to rub it in his conversion from the touchline never looked like missing so a resounding 39-15 scoreline sent a large and vociferous crowd home very happy at having watched a quality game of rugby with Chiltern thoroughly deserving their victory.
Next week we have another home game this time against Southend. We haven’t managed to beat them since we joined the London leagues and didn’t do ourselves justice in Essex earlier in the season! Please come and support the boys next week, kick off is again at 2.00pm