CHINNOR kept up their unbeaten run as they beat Weston-Super-Mare 55-10 in front of a big crowd with a scorching first-half display of pace and power.
With Tom Gray back fit, Mark Chase changed wings to cover Pip Seymour who was out injured.
Chinnor got off to a blistering start when Colver crossed for the first of Chinnor’s ties on two minutes. Just two minutes later, from a rolling maul, the ball arrived in the hands of Mark Chase who sidestepped his man to go over in the corner for the first of his hat trick of tries of the day. Chinnor’s lead was increased to 15-0 in the 10th minute when, from quick lineout ball, Stoop sliced through the Seasiders defence to dot down under the post. Cathcart’s conversion improved the home side’s lead to 17-0.
The bonus point try came for Chinnor in the 14th minute when the Kingsey Road side stole lineout ball and set the backs racing. Chase, sidestepping in and out, touched down in the corner. Cathcart added the extras from the touchline to give Chinnor a 24-0 lead. On the 20th minute, Goode made great inroads through the centre of the visitors’ defence before offloading to Chase. His deft footwork slipped in fellow winger Tom Gray who sidestepped three opponents to go under the posts for Chinnor’s 5th try. Cathcart converted to increase the lead to 31-0.
Weston-Super-Mare began to get back into the match and battered the Chinnor line for a sustained period but, ultimately, to no avail as the home side stole lineout ball to clear their lines. A delightful short chip over and collect by James Cathcart , on the 21st minute, allowed Matthew Goode to storm through the Seasiders defence for Chinnor’s 6th try. Cathcart increased the lead to 38-0.
Perhaps the best try of the day came two minutes before half time. After sustained pressure in their own 22, the Seasiders kicked for touch. The alert Gray caught the ball on the volley in touch and instantly sent a long pass to the Colver in the centre of the pitch. He whipped the ball across to Chase on the other touchline. Chase hit the afterburners and sidestepped and jinked his way through the visitor’s defence to touch down under the posts. Cathcart did the honours and the referee, Carl Bennett effective throughout, blew for half time and a Chinnor lead of 45-0.
The second half was altogether a much more muted affair. Chinnor clearly eased off and Weston-Super-Mare took advantage to take the game to their hosts. In terms of points scored in the second half, the visitors matched Chinnor at 10 points all.
First points of the second half went to Chinnor. From the lineout from a penalty awarded to Chinnor, a rolling maul was driven to the line with Gilbert touching down to increase the lead to 50-0. On the 46th minute Waddingam was replaced by Harrison and Goode by Corpe. On the 49th minute, a garryowen from the Seasiders was expertly caught at full pace by Frank Jones who set Stoop running at the line. He was held up short but deftly offloaded to the supporting Harrison who dotted down for Chinnor’s final score of the day on the 48th minute to give a 55-0 lead. Chinnor slackened their efforts and then committed a series of offences which displeased the referee. On the 62nd minute, Chinnor’s Mowbray was yellow carded for a high tackle. One minute later, Chinnor was reduced to 13 men when Chase was sent for a rest for coming in at the side. The Seasiders took full advantage of Chinnor’s reduced numbers. A well worked rolling maul from a penalty led to Weston’s Jamie Rudkin touching down for the visitors first score to reduce the lead to 55-5. Five minutes later, the Seasiders scored a smart try from their own half, scorching down the tram lines for left wing Matt Watkins to score in the corner. With the score at 55-10, Weston continued to press until the final whistle.
Weston-Super-Mare are to be congratulated for playing right through to the end of the match despite their mauling in the first half. Their second try was well worked and flanker George Wright had a good game.
In some ways, this was a bitter-sweet performance by Chinnor. The first half was all power, pace and passion leading to some breathtaking scores and a commanding half time lead. But what happened in the second half? Players were falling off tackles, energy levels seemed to drop and structure collapsed. Perhaps the commanding lead was unhelpful. However, it was a good result and our best ever against the Seasiders and we can’t complain at 9 tries. Mark Chase deserved Man of the Match for the quality of his three tries.
Next week sees local rivalries re-emerge with the away match at Oxford Harlequins. The second half for that match won’t be in doubt.