Woodroff, Nelson, Fairley, Race (C), Dewhurst, Crossfield, Gurney, Rutherford, Owen, Fulgoni, Merle, Weatherall, Akerman, Weeks, O'Keefe, East, Willmoth
After a night of torrential rain, we were “blessed” with a cold day, a soft pitch and proof that the drainage investment on the first team pitch had paid off. Fair play to our ground staff (I do believe we have staff, ex Downton Abbey?) - the pitch held well throughout and was a very playable surface. Onto the game…
Chess Valley were bullish about their chances, recalling a victory over us last year and set out their stall with some good attacking rugby from the start. A&C tackle count was quickly twice that of CV and for a good period we kept play in their 10 metre line, however a breach finally happened and they made the first score under the posts, with a conversion to follow.
0 – 7
A&C came back into the game and dominated for the next period. Our scrum was strong and we camped out in their 22 for a good part of the first half, showing some good moves which were met with a strong defence. Following an opportunistic kick through from George we were rewarded with a 5 metre scrum. From the base Devan picked up and wriggled his way through two tackles to score under the posts.
7 – 7 (T: Devan, C: Monty)
Things settled into ruck, counter-ruck and tackles from both sides. A&C were guilty of over-committing and not clearing out quickly enough, which gave CV the chance to progress but good defensive work kept play to the middle of the field until CV found a gap and again scored under the posts.
7 – 14
Tails up, A&C put pressure on from the kick off and again set up camp in CV’s 22. A good lateral move from the backs ended up with the ball in Harry East’s hands and, having lost a boot in the process, Shoeless Harry barged his way through to touch down. Just think what he could do with both boots on?! Monty converted to even the score.
14 – 14 (T: Harry, C: Monty)
Second half started much the same as the first but A&C’s error count rose as they missed tackles and lost turnover ball. This gave CV the opportunity to find gaps and they quickly added three more scores … 14 – 35
This was an unfortunate spell for A&C, with scores resulting from lost ruck ball as concentration lapsed. Not letting heads go down, again A&C stepped up their aggression and took things forward with some good phases of play going from one wing to the other. Some good rolling mauls and pick’n’drives made good ground only to result in a knock on more that once.
That said, some aggressive midfield play pushed CV back and released the ball for Monty to score A&C’s third, which he also converted from the touchline.
21 – 35 (T: Monty, C: Monty)
CV still had the upper hand and found more gaps to score another four tries (against another A&C try) to close out the game.
Final score: A&C 26 – 59 Chess Valley
Scribe: Anthony Fulgoni