Chiltern 3s make it 7 out of 7 on the road
3XV in title winning form put on another clinical performance against Barnet 2XV
A quick Google search and you will find little on Barnet except that it is a quiet, Conservative slice of suburbia with high house prices and a council whose Twitter handle spends a disproportionate amount of time desperately flogging the benefits of recycling to its constituents. If that sounds not dissimilar to home, it still took Chiltern 3s a while to warm up, settle in and eventually play some decent rugby, finally dispatching the opposition to continue their quest for the league title.
Yep, the final 3XV fixture of the calendar year saw Chiltern travel to North London to face Barnet Elizabethans. The match began with a scrum early on, but the home side were in no mood to get shoved about so the game quickly went to uncontested. Instead, Barnet, whose name derives from the Old English, ‘bærnet’, and loosely translates to ‘land cleared by burning’, had to put up with an unstoppable rolling maul which at times felt like Chiltern were using a scorched-earth strategy of their own.
Sticking with this brief military motif as I try hard to use historical analogy, we’re now going back over 500 years to the 1471 Battle of Barnet which was structured in a surprisingly similar way to this fixture. After a bright and tense beginning, Lancastrian morale was crippled by a series of events, symbolised by the Chiltern maul wearing down Barnet’s confidence, and eventually Yorkists were able to run rings around them, which is represented by flowing back moves in the second half. About those back moves - as mentioned, my research reveals that Barnet Council are relentlessly pushing their #SpreadTheSparkle Twitter campaign and Chiltern duly obliged with some sparkling play, with forwards recycling the ball effectively and then spreading the ball out wide for some glittery tries.
Having said all that, Barnet Elizabethans pressed hard in the last five minutes for a consolation try but Chiltern’s defence held firm under quite relentless pressure. Going in to a mid-season break, as the final whistle went and our try-line was safely left uncrossed, it felt like testament to the spirit that exists within the squad and has helped solidify Chiltern’s current place at the top of the table.
Highlights include: Raf’s dubious try and no one knowing what had just happened; Sitzy’s miraculous kick to touch being ruled out by someone quite thick; the spectator with the tight jeans and brolly receiving a fiery put-down from the ref; their man getting a yellow for a cheeky hand-off; the aforementioned defence at the end; further tries from Scott, Jason, Gazzard and someone else but I can’t / won’t remember.
Good win. Enjoy the holidays - LC12