CHINNOR kept up their unbeaten run by beating Weston-Super-Mare 55-10 with a scorching first half display of pace and power.
With Tom Gray back fit, Mark Chase changed wings to cover the injured Pip Seymour.
Chinnor got off to a blistering start when Colver crossed for the first of the tries on two minutes.
Minutes later from a rolling maul the ball arrived in the hands of Chase who side-stepped his man to go over in the corner for the first of his hat-trick of tries.
Chinnor’s lead was increased to 15-0 in the 10th minute when from quick lineout ball Stoop sliced through the Seasiders’ defence to 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 the ball from a 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.
In 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 to no avail as the home side stole lineout ball to clear their lines.
A delightful short chip was collected by James Cathcart, on the 21st minute, allowed Matthew Goode to storm through the Seasiders’ defence for Chinnor’s sixth try. Cathcart increased the lead to 38-0.
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 Colver in the centre of the pitch.
He whipped the ball across to Chase on the other touchline. Chase hit the afterburners and side-stepped and jinked his way through the visitors’ 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 a much more muted affair and Chinnor clearly eased off and Weston-Super-Mare took advantage to take the game to their hosts.
First points of the second half went to Chinnor when from a lineout from a penalty, a rolling maul was driven to the line with Gilbert touching down to increase the lead to 50-0.
In 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 and 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 the first half mauling. 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 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 an away match at Oxford Harlequins.