Maidstone 5 v 58 Chichester
Chichester returned to Kent, after their defeat to Medway last time out, recording their second 10 try haul of the season.
Chichester made the second of three visits to Kent in the final 4 weeks of the season to take on relegated Maidstone, at The Mote, on Saturday afternoon. Chichester recorded their second 10 try haul of the season to win by 58 to 5.
Chichester made eight changes to the squad that travelled to Kent last time out. Arden-Brown, Grinsted, and Davies started in the pack, with Hutchin and Jenkinson in the backs and Belcher, Heber and Maxfield on the bench.
Chichester kicked off on an overcast and dry afternoon. Maidstone received the ball and their box kick went into touch at the halfway line. From the lineout Chichester attempted to maul towards the try line but were held by the opposition defence. In 3 quick phases Jack Bentall, Chris Johnson and Aaron Davies moved the ball to within 5 yards of the try line and, whilst the Maidstone defence were regrouping, Harry Seaman darted over the line by the posts. Converted. 0 - 7 and hardly 2 minutes on the clock. Blues lost the ball at the restart but a steal from Nick Blount fed Tom Hutchin who made 30 metres and found Sam Renwick in support to outstrip the Maidstone defence and dot down to the left of the posts. Converted. 0 - 14 and less than 5 minutes on the clock. From the restart both teams made handling errors resulting in a Chichester scrum on the halfway line. Seaman fed Hutchin who offloaded from the floor to Ben Robson, sprinting through a gap created by Jack Bentall’s dummy run, to score Chichester’s third try. Converted. 0 - 21. Maidstone finally got over the gain line and a darting run from their fly half was snuffed out by a fine cover tackle from Johnson on the Blues’ 22 metre line. A clearance kick was then charged down 20 metres from the Chichester line for a certain try but the opposition No. 8 somehow managed to knock it on. It wasn’t going to be Maidstone’s day! Maidstone infringed allowing Seaman to kick for the corner. Blues secured the ball at the lineout and the pack headed for the try line. Maidstone were penalised and Chichester opted for a 5 metre scrum with Seaman darting down the blindside to score in the corner. Conversion missed. 0 - 26. From the restart Blount received the ball on the Chichester 22 metre line and sprinted off down the pitch before finally being brought down 5 metres from the try line. Bentall advanced the ball and Seaman tried one of his trademark darts but was held up. A forward pass from the scrum handed the ball to the opposition but the Chichester pack pushed Maidstone backwards and Johnson picked up the ball to batter his way past three defenders to score. Conversion missed. 0 - 31. From the restart Maidstone enjoyed a short period of possession before knocking on at the halfway line. From the scrum Hutchin passed to Robson who offloaded brilliantly one handed from the floor for Renwick to run it in from halfway in a big arc, evading the Maidstone defence. Conversion missed. 0 - 36. Half time.
From the restart Maidstone conceded a penalty providing Blues with a lineout on the 10 metre line. An overthrow was picked up by Charlie Wallace who fed the rampaging Johnson. Having beaten 7 defenders Johnson returned the ball to Wallace to touch down under the posts. Converted. 0 - 43. Maidstone secured the restart and moved the ball into the Chichester half. A penalty was conceded and Maidstone kicked for the corner. Once again the packs cancelled each other out and, with no forward progress being made, it was left to the Maidstone prop to crash over the line. Conversion missed. 5 - 43. Both teams were making errors and conceding penalties but neither could capitalise. Finally the deadlock was broken and Seaman kicked right into the corner, after an infringement. Chichester won the lineout and somehow Maidstone stopped Johnson crossing the try line but conceded a penalty doing it. With no advantage gained play returned to the location of the offence and from the scrum Johnson, at acting scrum half, passed the ball to Seaman for his hattrick. Conversion missed. 5 - 48. Having won the ball at the restart Maidstone then knocked on giving Blues a scrum on their own 10 metre line. Seaman passed to Hutchin and on to Bentall who provided an exquisite inside pass to Robson. Robson passed to Jack Hamilton-Fox who off loaded for Ben Heber to scorch 30 metres down the touchline, evading a cover tackle, to dot down in the corner. Conversion narrowly missed. 5 - 53. Chichester weren’t finished and a scintillating piece of play involving Tom Belcher, Davies, Wallace, Jack Arden-Brown, Hamilton-Fox and Robson was stopped 5 metres short. Maidstone returned the ball and a fine clearance kick from Hamilton-Fox found halfway, Davies stole the lineout and Ed Grinstead made good progress into the opposition half. Maidstone conceded a penalty and Seaman found touch 15 metres from the try line. From the lineout Davies fed the ball to Arden-Brown and on to Bentall who wrong footed the defence for Chichester’s tenth try. Conversion missed. 5 - 58. Maidstone upped the tempo and put together a number of attacking moves in the Chichester 22. However, the Blues’ defence was resolute and they cleared their lines with a 60 metre run up field involving Jenkinson, Hutchin, Davies and Hamilton-Fox. With less than a minute left on the clock Ben Deavall and Hamilton-Fox combined to stop Maidstone’s final attack a metre from the line, denying them a further score. Full time and 5 - 58. Good luck to Maidstone next season.
Chichester squad: Deavall, Arden-Brown, Woods, Grinsted, Blount, Davies, Wallace, Johnson C, Seaman, Hutchin, Robson, Bentall (capt.), Renwick, Jenkinson, Hamilton-Fox, Belcher, Heber and Maxfield.
Chichester’s next match is the final home game of season, on Saturday the 14th of April, when they welcome Old Colfeians to Oaklands Park. Kick-off is at 15:00.