An impressive touring Oundle side proved too strong for Chew Valley but Chew showed plenty of spirit as they went down by seven tries to two.
In contrast to the previous week end, the sun shone, the pitch was dry and it seemed a perfect morning for Chew’s last fixture of the season against a touring Oundle side. Oundle had played Clifton the previous day and had easily overcome them 36 to 5. Within minutes of the start it was clear to see how they had done this with Oundle spinning the ball rapidly down the line, where there very quick winger raced away to open the score. Five minutes later an identical move increased the Oundle score and Chew were left wondering how they could counter the speed and handling of the Oundle backs. However, Chew came back and looked threatening as they progressed into the Oundle 22. Unfortunately, some poor passing by the Chew backs gave Oundle the interception and their outside centre sprinted away followed by Elis Fowler. Elis almost caught the Oundle back with a diving tap tackle but despite a stumble, the Oundle player touched down. Chew fought back and, following an excellent kick by Elis Fowler which bounced awkwardly in front of the posts for the Oundle full back, Danny Callaghan managed to touch down. This seemed to lift Chew and there followed a period of play where both sides played some excellent rugby with the Chew backs tackling well and the Chew scrum standing up strongly to the Oundle forwards. Unfortunately, just before half time, an excellent move by Oundle saw the ball flying down their line and despite some heroic tackles by Chew, the Oundle forwards managed to drive the ball over the line to make the score 26 to 7.
Chew started the second half well making deep inroads into the Oundle half with some penetrating runs by the backs with good forward support. This culminated with an impressive drive over try by the forwards. This set the scene for a particularly entertaining second half with both sides playing well. However, the superior speed and handling skills of the Oundle players meant that any mistakes by Chew were quickly capitalised upon and despite the territorial advantage being fairly evenly split, Oundle were able to add three further tries to their tally.
All in all, Chew played very well against an impressive Oundle team and they should be encouraged by their performance. Commiserations go to Kyle Cording who played with his normal 100% effort but was rewarded with a broken collar bone; at least he won’t miss any rugby while he recovers.