Chiltern 2nd XV return to winning ways
A late arrival doesn't stop Chiltern returning from the 100 mile round trip with a Brucey bonus point win
With three quarters of the playing squad managing to do a Johnny Rice and misjudge how long it takes to travel the 50 miles to Thatcham, Chiltern climbed the mountain to the 2nd XV 15 minutes before kick-off. After a quick warm-up (too quick for young Rob Hill, who strained a muscle 1 minute before KO and was replaced by Johnny Rice at inside centre) and hasty rushed run through the match was under way.
You wouldn't have thought Chiltern were ill prepared as within a few minutes they scored there first try. Strong carries and quick play allowed David Stredwick to smash his way through two Thatcham players for the 5 points. Conversion missed, 0-5 Chilts.
That was the best the game got for Chiltern as continued sloppy play by some sloppy rigs meant the game rarely flowed. Penalties were traded by both sides (3-8) before Michael Brothers touched down in the right corner after some quick hands. 3-13 to the Chiltern Dynamite.
Chiltern were guilty of a multitude of sins which (ill discipline, poor handling, poor decision making, an inconsistent line-out and unsecure ball at scrums and rucks) meant the back line rarely had the ball and any decent ground made was regularly squandered, allowing Thatcham to clear the ball and play in the Chiltern half.
Fortunately for Chiltern, Thatcham weren't having the best of days either. As the ball ping ponged around the Chiltern feet during a scrum, the ball wriggled free and Ryan Greenstreet found it at his feet. Quickly picking the ball up, Mr Greensleeves took the odd decision to run directly back towards the scrum where a huge hole opened, allowing him to sprint clear and dive over under the posts. With the conversion successful Chiltern were oddly in a commanding position shortly before half time (3-20).
However, Thatcham managed to respond on the stroke of half time off the back of a series of Chiltern penalties and good touch kicking, pushing over in the right hand corner. Unconverted Chiltern led 8-20.
The second half was a drab affair. A penalty to Thatcham made it 11-20 and the game was dominated by continuous handbags. Ollie Cato did manage to flatten the Thatcham inside Centre which reflected the fact that Chiltern defended well to prevent Thatcham crossing over.
The final notable moment of the game was a Jack Kenyon breakaway try from within the Chiltern 22. Good line speed forced a knock on which was caught mid air by Kenyon who raced away to put the game to bed. The try easily converted and Chiltern left the pitch with a convincing win from a very unconvincing performance.
Man of the match was Josh Porter and notable mentions go to Ryan Greenstreet for some big kicks, Ollie Cato for managing not to lose his temper and Joe Batt for remembering the shower beers and post-match riddims.
Next week Chiltern host top of the table Chinnor in a rearranged fixture. Despite the fact the Six Nations will be kicking off, it is hoped a good crowd will support the boys in what should be a great contest, with Chiltern looking for revenge and a scalp following a 30-0 loss earlier in the season. Word is that Joe Winpenny can't WAIT to face his old club.