A&F create a storm of their own with 6 try win over Chineham
Match report by Paul Hancock
Despite Storm Brian whipping up strong wind and showers through out this weeks game v Chineham, A&F showed just how far this new squad has come in the last few weeks. The most pleasing thing to see is that of how the team are now trusting each other fully to carry out their role and to how they are starting to figure out together what needs to be done to get on top of teams early in the game.
Conditions were always going to be an issue but the message was clear, do not kick ball away aimlessly and to be accurate in everything you do in order to maintain the ball, as defending in tough conditions will always eventually open teams up and this showed to be the case about 8 mins in when some great running lines from both backs and forwards along with some great ball retention lead to a very well taken try out wide by wing Dean Ancell who beat three covering players to get A&F off to a solid start. Converted by Lee 7-0.
A period of neutral play again with conditions dictating the shape ensued but eventually a strong run from Chineham 6 aided with some very average tackle attempts from a number of A&F players allowed a soft try to be scored by Chineham 7-7.
Chineham started to switch on to the conditions and the Chineham 10 (a very tidy player it has to be said) starting to pin back A&F and after a number phases and again aided by more poor tackling slipped in for another converted try. 7-14 Chineham.
After an under the posts "chat" A&F came firing out from the restart and again with Dan, Scotty and NAS causing headaches for the Chineham defense quick ball was becoming regular with eventually the team working deep into Chineham territory ball spun out to NAS who with some great footwork and vision slipped the ball to Meli who hit space at pace and drove over the covering Chineham player to dive over out wide for a fine team try, conversion missed 12-14.
From the resulting kick off A&F continued the same theme and pattern as before and NAS once again slipped through the Chineham mid field and this time the line was hit by Dean Ancell who touched down right under the post for his second of the day.....conversion MISSED in front of the post which will tell you how strong the wind was, however halftime and going in 17-14 up and with the wind in our favour next you could not be happier as a coaching team.
The second half was a bit of hit and miss again due to poor conditions and poor decision making from both teams. Chineham managed to get an early penalty 17-17 but with you could see that once A&F started to turn Chineham that Chineham where running out of ideas. Good ball retention was creating good opportunities and a few were missed it has to be said with stray passes not going to hand until eventually a good backs move resulted in Lee hitting a great line to go in unopposed finished with a very impressive swan dive (dick of the day awarded) 24-17 A&F.
A&F were not finished and the patience and composure was now starting to pay off. Two more tries in quick succession through Aaron Ireland (who had a very solid game and is improving considerably game by game) and Bogs who also contributed all afternoon seemed to kill off the Chineham spirit or so you would have thought 36-17 A&F
You have to hand it to Chineham they did not give up and they themselves were awarded two further tries but again due to some lacklustre tackling and complacency in the dying minutes. Final Whistle A&F 36 - 27 Chineham.
With a visit to top of the League Southampton next week the focus will very much be around the tackling area and learning that the game is for 80 mins plus ......regardless of the score. We go there with confidence and with nothing to fear.