Chinnor U13 A's Vs Oxford
Date: Sunday 11th December, 2011
Title: Chinnor (U13) A Team Vs Oxford (Cherwell Valley)
Referee: Rob (“Who is the fair-est of them all”) Alexander
Final Score: Chinnor 37 Oxford 0
To set the scene: it was a cool, grey and overcast day with a slight southerly crosswind. Chinnor produced their top referee for this game (Rob Alexander) renowned for being fair, honest and instilling a fatherly discipline on all his subjects. Rob was particularly well turned out for the game, resplendant in his trade-mark, indecently snug fitting shorts!
It should be noted that this season to date, Chinnor U13 A’s have delivered a failry ‘lacklustre’ performance and although have fielded a good number of players have definately not been playing as a team. There have been some outstanding individual performances (Cameron, Connor, Will, Dan, James (Bezu), James (Bailey), etcetera) and some games we have a good performance by the forwards but this has been dampened by a desultory showing from the backs (and vice verca).
This was the day that everything changed, where every lad was awake, had realised that it was Sunday AND they had a game to play and where everyone played together, as one team. This Sunday, they not only played but they played to win and it was a delight to watch the spectacle.
Last point (of my preamble), and it may have no bearing but was something that I certainly noticed - I often see our lads getting a little apprehensive (dare I say nervous) before a game as the opposition hoves in to view. This may be because they have some experience with a certain side or individual player or simply because the opposition seems big or intimidating or aggressive. I sensed none of this as the teams lined up, the boys seemed relaxed and happy (and ready), again this may have been because there were no massive, physically intimidating players on the Oxford bench. However, worth noting in my view.
Chinnor won the toss and kicked to start. Good ‘kick and chase’ (the boys were very awake!), beautiful collection by Connor and intense, athletic run to touch down right by the Oxford posts (5/0 to Chinnor). Should be noted that Connor is new to the team and looking for a more aggressive, interesting game than his usual football, I think that he may have just found this and will be a major contributor to the team, well done Connor! Unfortunately the conversion was missed.
Oxford kick, recovered by Cameron (welcome back) and ultimately ends as a scrum on the hafl way line. Penalty to Oxford as the scrum is forced through 90 degrees, taken quickly and a good, strong drive resulting in another scrum. Chinnor ball and a superb freestyle attacking run instigated by Dan, aided by John (Choo), Connor and Brandon and ultimately placed down by James (Bailey - always keen to run for the try) for 10/0. Again (and this proved common throughout the game) the conversion was missed.
Oxford kick to restart and we see them driving down the right hand wing the first time that we see them properly on the attack. Fortunately, our boys were firing in all cylinders and we were playing as strong a defensive line up as they were in attack. The drive was rebuffed and we saw some great teamwork from Dan, John (Choo), Will and Cameron (Cameron was generally both outstanding and devestating in his mid-field role). Chinnor teamwork forced an error witrh Oxford knocking the ball forward and the ensuing penalty was delivered to devastating effect by Connor (again) who went galloping off at speed, running a full half pitch to bring the score 15/0 to Chinnor. Again, no conversion!
Restart by Oxford saw Cameron immediately rip and re-posses the ball for Chinnor, now we see James (Bezu) enter the fray and another searching run to the Oxford try line. Unfortunately Oxford seemed to realise the way that the game was going and had pretty much their entire squad in readiness on the line and ‘smothered’ the ball, denying James the opportunity to touch down and the ball ultimately forced off pitch for a line out.
Cameron leaps and steals the ball from the line out, passes to Freddie who in his inimitable style (he is playing tight-head prop, after all) tilts his head and drives for the line, moving the ball inexorably towards the Oxford try line again but this time pushed off for another Oxford line out. Once in play the ball stolen by Dan and another great run to try but disallowed. Chinnor scrum right by Oxford posts, ball released, collected by #19 (apologies #19 but I cannot remember your name) and another beautifull try. This time converted by James (Bailey) to close the first half 22/0 to Chinnor.
Half time Comment: Great first half, very fluid and very ‘team Chinnor’. The lads wanted to win, wanted to stamp their authority on the game and ran the ball, passed but most importantly, thought and executed as one team!
Oxford start with a kick. Immediately recovered by Ed (Hall) and passed off to Max for another try, converted by James (Bailey) to bring the score to 27/0. Great tackiling in the midfield by Cameron and Chinnor generally allways looking for that next opportunity. Great drive towards the Oxford goal masterminded by Dan with the ball being ‘fanned out’ to Chatrlie for another try in the right hand corner, bringing the score to 32/0.
We then saw a succession of strong forward runs by Connor further testing the Oxford defence followed by a lovely run across the try line by Cameron for a successful touch down, bringing the final score to 37/0.
Men of the Match:
In my humbe opinion the accolade should go jointly to Connor and Cameron with special mention to Will, Dan, Mark (Little), Brandon and James (Bailey) and hearty well done to the complete team for ‘playing as a team’. Would like to see some more of this.
Final mention, of course, going to the ref for a superb disciplined game (and those shorts!)