Medway 25 v 20 Chichester
Blues travelled to Kent for the second time in 14 days and once again left with a losing bonus point.
Chichester made 9 changes to the team that lost to Tottonians, in the first home match of the season. Dane Gingell, Jon Lindsay and Hamish Minton came into the pack, Gareth Davies started at scrum half, Rhys Thompson and Charlie Norton joined the backs with Alex Margarson and Sam Drayson on the bench. Medway had opened their clubhouse extension earlier in the day and there was a large and lively crowd on the terrace. The Priestfields pitch was in fine fettle and conditions were excellent for rugby.
As they had done the previous week Chichester came out of the traps at pace. Medway were immediately under pressure when a clearance kick was charged down and then conceded a penalty in kicking range. 0 - 3 with only 2 minutes on the clock. The Blues were growing in confidence and pressed the home side. A clearance kick from the 22 was charged down and kicked on for Rhys Thompson to gather and touch down. Converted. 0 - 10 with 7 minutes gone. An opportunity for Blues to score another try shortly after was missed when the ball was knocked on. Medway picked up the tempo and started to probe the Blues’ defence. A combination of resolute defending, handling errors and infringements prevented the opposition touching down, when a try seemed inevitable. However, the Blues infringed a number of times in the scrum, and at the breakdown, and anything in kicking range was slotted by Redman, the Medway fly half. With just over half an hour played Medway were back in the game and Chichester down to 14 men, after a yellow card for a deliberate knock on. 9 - 10. Medway were unable to capitalise with their man advantage and there was no further score in the half. Half time. 9 - 10 and Chichester with a very slim lead.
Medway started the second half with purpose and soon had another penalty attempt after a Blues’ infringement. Converted. 12 - 10. Chichester responded almost immediately with there own penalty kick to regain the lead. 12 - 13. From the restart words were said and Chichester were again reduced to 14 men with a yellow card, this time for back chat. Despite having a man advantage, and putting Chichester to the cosh, Medway only managed to add 3 points before Blues returned to a full complement. 15 - 13. The home team finally breached the Chichester defence with a powerful run that evaded Blue’s tackles to score their first try out wide. Converted. 22 - 13. This was quickly followed by a penalty for a Chichester infringement. 25 - 13 with 10 minutes to play and the Medway supporters sensing a comfortable win. However, Chichester hadn’t read the script! As the clock ran down Blues had Medway pinned back in their own half defending for all they were worth. After an extended period of pressure, the breakthrough came as Medway were pushed back and Phil Veltom touched down for Chichester’s second try. Converted. 25 - 20. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time for Chichester to increase their score. Full time. 25 - 20 with Blues securing a losing bonus point.
Chichester squad: Prior, Gingell, Veltom, Lindsay, Lock, Minton, Wallace (Captain), Johnson, Davies, McLagan, Seaman, Renwick, Thompson, Golds, Norton, Maxfield, Margarson and Drayson.
Next Saturday (22nd of September) Chichester entertain Camberley at Oaklands Park. Kick-off is at 15:00.