Old Reds slope overcome by impressive Chinnor defence

Chinnor’s impregnable defence proved too much for the Old Redcliffians with a 21-10 hard-fough away victory.

Chinnor’s impregnable defence proved too much for the Old Redcliffians with a 21-10 hard-fough away victory.

With Goode injured and Corpe unavailable, Henry Colver and Tom Gray were promoted from the seconds and Richie Williams joined the replacements.

Alex Waddingham debuted for the club at openside flanker.

On the seventh minute, the home side were penalised for a high tackle and James Cathcart duly despatched the resultant penalty goal to begin the day’s scoring.

Old Redcliffians then began a sustained period of pressure. Always attacking the low left-hand corner of the notoriously sloped pitch, they strived desperately to breach the Chinnor line.

After 15 phases, Chinnor managed to hold up the ball in a maul and thereby clear their lines.

However, the home side once again attacked down their favoured left-hand side and looked certain to score an opening try when a double tackle from Sam Stoop and Mark Chase on the home winger, airborne over the try line, prevented the touchdown.

This was perhaps the critical point of the match for Chinnor. Shortly afterwards, Old Redcliffians’ Joe Hall stepped up for his third penalty goal attempt and narrowly missed. All in all, Hall missed five kicks at goal during the match.

Old Redcliffians continued to dominate territory and possession and Chinnor were content to defend vigorously and happy to wait patiently for opportunities.

The next score came in the 33rd minute with a penalty goal from James Cathcart for Chinnor for another high tackle to give the visitors a 6-0 lead. On the 37th minute, Chinnor turned the screw when Tattersall in midfield turned over possession and set the Chinnor backs running.

Gilbert, running wide, outrageously swerved and dummied the defence to slip the ball to Henry Colver whose sprint took him under the posts for Chinnor’s opening try, duly converted by Cathcart to give the visitors a 13-0 half time lead.

At the start of the second half, the pattern continued with Old Redcliffians attacking and Chinnor defending. However, Chinnor went further into the lead on the 57th minute with another Cathcart penalty goal to increase Chinnor’s Lead to 16-0.

Two Old Redcliffians’ try attempts were stopped on the line by last ditch cover tackles. On the 61st minute, the visitors lost Seymour to a yellow card and a few minutes afterwards a mass brawl ended with a yellow card for each side.

With Chinnor now down to 13 men, Old Redcliffians redoubled their efforts and were rewarded a minute later with a try from Owen, converted by Hall. With the score now at 7-16, Old Redcliffians continued to press and on the 69th minute reduced the deficit to 10-16 with a penalty goal from Hall. However, the home side’s hopes were dashed on the 73rd minute when, following a towering Garryowen from Cathcart, the athletic Stoop regathered the ball and fed the backs.

Gray hit the line at terminal velocity to scorch over in the corner for Chinnor’s second try to give a final score of 10-21 to Chinnor.

This was a game where Chinnor’s defence excelled. Spending a lot of the match without the ball, their well-organised and calm defence kept Old Redcliffians at bay. However, whenever they had a chance, they took it. Old Redcliffians were tough and over determined at times with skipper Hooper skilfully managing to avoid the referee’s attention throughout.

Had their kicking been more polished, they might have scraped a victory. Chinnor will take heart from this victory and be grateful for their defensive skills, determined tackling and determination not to give anything away.

Gilbert again was magisterial, particularly in the lineout, with Stoop getting back to form and increasingly influential. The pack had a tough day at the office but withstood everything thrown at them by tackling everything that moved.

The new boys, Colver and Gray, promoted from the seconds were accomplished in everything they did and promise much for the future. Waddingham at open side tackled his heart out. The emergency scrum half, Frank Jones, again played well and is beginning to look like a natural scrum half.