Wimbledon 45 v 25 Chichester
Chichester left southwest London on Saturday evening with a valuable bonus point having scored 4 tries in little over 20 minutes against high flying Wimbledon.
Chichester travelled to second placed Wimbledon who were looking to secure the play-off berth and a bonus point win to keep the pressure on Tonbridge Juddian. Could the Blues record their first National 3 win against Wimbledon? What transpired was a game of 2 very different halves and Chichester leaving SW20 with a valuable bonus point.
Richard Adams returned at fly half, with Henry Anscombe moving to scrum half and Ross Miller starting at inside centre. Tom Belcher returned on the bench. The sun was shining on a spring afternoon in south west London but the blustery wind made kicking extremely difficult.
Straight from the kick-off Chichester were under the cosh, defending in their own 22. The early pressure was absorbed until a penalty was conceded for not releasing. A fairly simple kick was missed by Crooke, the Wimbledon No. 10, who went on to slot home his next 7 kicks. From the restart Chichester made some progress towards the Wimbledon try line but were soon repelled and a deft chip from Crooke was gathered and offloaded for a simple score by the home team. Converted. 7 - 0. Shortly after Wimbledon were penalised at the scrum and Henry Anscombe knocked the ball through the posts. 7 - 3. In the space of 23 minutes, and despite some valiant defending, Chichester conceded 3 further tries under the posts. 28 - 3. As the first half ended Chichester moved the ball into the Wimbledon 22 and Crooke, the influential No. 10, was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on. Pressure was applied and Wimbledon conceded a penalty 2 metres from the try line. From the scrum Anscombe fed Seaman who dotted down in the corner. Anscombe produced the kick of the day to convert from the touchline. 28 - 10 and half time.
Replacements Belcher and Shepherd came on at the restart. Chichester started with determination driving deep into Wimbledon territory with great runs from Sam Renwick and Aaron Davies. A driving maul from the lineout resulted in a simple touch down for Tom Belcher. Conversion missed. 28 - 15. A Wimbledon attack was intercepted by Jack Maslen on the 22 with his fine clearance kick finding touch 10 metres from the home team’s try line. The ball was fumbled in the line out by Wimbledon allowing Chris Johnson to make one of his trade mark bullocking runs releasing the backs with Renwick scoring in the corner. Conversion missed. 28 - 20. From the restart Wimbledon were again under pressure losing their scrum and conceding another penalty. The kick into corner set up a driving maul from the lineout and from the subsequent pick and goes on the try line Johnson touched down for Chichester’s 4th try and a bonus point. Conversion missed. 28 - 25. Wimbledon’s coaching staff were left scratching their heads with their team conceding 4 tries in 22 minutes. However, with 12 minutes left Chichester conceded a penalty for not rolling away and the momentum swung back to Wimbledon. 31 - 25. In the last 5 minutes Wimbledon scored 2 further converted tries to dash Chichester’s hopes of an improbable win! Final score 45 -25. Chichester should take heart from their performance in the second half and the bonus point could prove crucial come the end of the season.
Chichester squad: Deavall, Arden-Brown, Veltom, Blount, Dickin, Davies, Bentall (capt.), Johnson, Anscombe, Adams, Robson, Miller, Renwick, Seaman, Maslen, Belcher, Shepherd and Evans.
Next week Chichester take on Guilford at Oakland Park. Kick-off is at 15:00 and your support would be greatly appreciated.