CHINNOR’S 40-28 victory at home against Chippenham on Saturday was no easy matter but gets them through to the all-important play-off for promotion to National 2 South.
Even though Chippenham were down to 14 men with just seven minutes played when lock Adrian Price was red carded for punching, Chinnor were continually tested by the more than competent side from Wiltshire.
Chippenham began the scoring on 14 minutes when a catch and drive was driven over for Lyons to touch down.
Sam Saunders’ conversion gave Chippenham a 7-0 lead. Chinnor responded just three minuteslater when a simple passing movement saw Seymour outpace the defence to score in the corner. Cathcart’s conversion from touch brought the scores level at 7-7.
Chippenham kept up their pick and drive tactics and, from a position in front of gaol and courtesy of some poor tackles, saw Crockett touch down under the posts.
Saunders’ conversion gave Chippenham a 14-7 lead. Chinnor were struggling to get possession of the ball and a series of handling errors kept giving the ball back to Chippenham.
It was not until the 34th minute that Chinnor came back into the match by way of some soccer skills from scrum half Frank Jones.
A downfield kick bounced backwards to the on rushing Jones who side footed the ball past the defender, ran past him and picked up the ball and dived over the line.
With the conversion drifting off in the strong breeze, the Chippenham lead at half-time was 14-12.
Four minutes into the second half, Pickett scored the third try for Chinnor from a line out catch and drive close to the Chippenham line.
Cathcart again converted from the touchline to put Chinnorahead for the first time in the match by 19-14.
With Chippenham down to 13 men with Snape’s yellow card, Chinnor elected for a scrum for a not releasing penalty. Gilbert picked up from the base and drove over for Chinnor’s bonus point try. Cathcart’s trusty boot increased Chinnor’s lead to 26-14. Chippenham would not give up and their forwards pounded away and released prop Tom Dunn to score on the foot of the post. Saunders’ conversion reduced the deficit to 26-21 in favour of Chinnor.
In the 67th minute, Chinnor’s pressure on the Chippenham line paid off when Gray jumped athletically to flick an overhead pass to the unmarked Harrison who dotted down by the corner flag. Again Cathcart converted from the touchline to increase Chinnor’s lead to 33-21. From a lineout, quick ball saw Powell, on for the injured Seymour, bemuse the opposing defence to beak the line and hand off to the galloping Waddingham to score under the posts. Cathcart increased the lead to 40-21. Chippenham were not dead. From a quick tap penalty, hooker Turner powered over and Saunders’ conversion was the final score of the game leaving Chinnor with a 40-28 victory.
Although Chinnor looked out of sorts at times and were guilty of errors of precision, there were enough flashes of ability at crucial times to get by.
Chinnor entertain Tonbridge Juddians this Saturday in the play-off (2.30pm kick off).