Match Report: 1st XV v North Walsham
By Tony Coyle
CHILTERN SUFFER FROM ONE LONG JOURNEY TOO MANY!
Three and a half hours on the coach and having had to select our 58th and 59th player to represent the 1s this year, the last thing we needed was to be facing the form team of the league. North Walsham had just failed to topple runaway leaders Rochford, leading with 10 minutes to go a silly yellow card gave Rochford just enough time to score twice and sneak away with a 1 point win, hey ho!
We had three forwards on the bench and Jordan Scott in the centre! The physicality of the league and the number of games is affecting so many sides and four regular 1s players were unavailable as they are suffering the after effects of concussion. Things got worse when having held NW for the first 10 minutes, pretty comfortably, a missed touch kick gave the opponents the chance to run in a simple try and three minutes later a dropped pass in midfield yielded the same result 0-14. The boys bounced back and took the game to NW and were rewarded when after an excellent catch and drive Joe Batt who had a great game burrowed over for what would turn out to be Chiltern’s only score of the game.
After 15 minutes Monty Weatherall became another concussion victim and two mins after that Jordan Scott went off with a twisted knee. We now had two forwards in the backline which gave the outstanding NW backline space a plenty to score almost at will.
Half time came at 5-47 and within 5 minutes of the second half starting Jason Kilbey, concussion, Ollie Cato twisted knee, Ben Pothecary, rib damage, had all departed. Three more tries and down went Giles Westgarth with a hamstring tweak. With now only 12 fit players on the park, safety was paramount and as the game had gone past 60 minutes and with the agreement of all parties the game was stopped. It didn’t affect the result nor is it at all likely to have any bearing on the final league positions.
For our part the players never gave up but there were simply too many gaps to cover!
The one very positive note was that as part of the annual Vets tour NW challenged Chiltern to a golf match on the Friday which I am delighted to say we won comfortably, NW clearly sought and gained revenge on Saturday!!