On a pleasant but showery day, Chinnor's long trip to North Somerset was rewarded with a 50-3 victory against Bridgwater and Albion to leave them lying second in the league table.
With skipper Joe Winpenny
unavailable due to work commitments, Liam Gilbert
took over the captaincy and Ian Stock
stepped up to fill the front row vacancy. The backs were unchanged but with the addition of new boy Henry Colver
on the bench.
The match started awkwardly for Chinnor when the ball was dropped straight from the kick-off and retrieved by the home side. Chinnor was then penalised at the ruck to give Bridgwater a 3-0 lead from the boot of Sam Osborne. James Cathcart
evened up the score for Chinnor on the 10th minute with a well struck penalty goal - the start of an impressive afternoon's kicking for the Chinnor fly half.
On the 13th minute, Mark Chase
flew through the defence to cross the line but lost the ball in the act of grounding it. From the resulting scrum, the Chinnor pack redeemed the situation by shunting their opposition off the ball to allow Sam Stoop to scoot in for Chinnor's opening try, improved by Cathcart.
A few minutes later, Gilbert, in imperious form throughout, touched down for a pushover try from opposition scrum ball after Goode was held up short of the line. With Cathcart's conversion Chinnor were now 17-3 ahead. From the restart, Bridgwater regained the ball and set to attacking the Chinnor line. They were unlucky when the ball was adjudged held up over the line after a good passage of play. Chinnor's next score came in the 24th minute when Gilbert stole lineout ball and set up a midfield ruck. Gathering the ball, Stoop grubber kicked the ball before Corpe to nimbly tapped the ball straight to the supporting Stock who sprinted over for a classy try. Cathcart once again improved the score to give Chinnor a 24-3 lead at half-time.
Straight from the restart kick, Gilbert gathered the ball and ripped through the centre of the defence to set the supporting Mark Chase
up for an easy try, once again converted by Cathcart. The Chinnor lead was now 31-3.
Good work from the pack allowed Chinnor's impressive emergency scrum-half, Frank Jones
, to score his debut try for the club - with Cathcart providing the inevitable to give Chinnor a 38-3 lead on the 52nd minute. Chinnor then brought on all their replacements and the Bridgwater side, unfazed by the score, continued to attack at every opportunity. Chinnor then had a 10 minute defence work out resisting the home side's valiant attempts to score. It was not until the 72nd minute that Chinnor troubled the scorers again when Gilbert touched down to cap a fine all-round performance. Cathcart did the usual for 45-3. The last score of the day came from a sweet passing movement across the backs leaving Seymour with an awkward run in. His well judged chip and scorching pace allowed him to regather the ball and touch down near the posts. Unbelievably, Cathcart missed the kick. A few minutes later, the whistle blew for full-time to give Chinnor a 50-3 victory.
Although a comprehensive victory, Chinnor were not in top gear throughout. Bridgwater, with injuries and absences, were forced to field several Colts in their side. Perhaps overwhelmed at times, they could not be faulted for endeavour and energy and played with their heads held high at all times. Their attitude and the experience they will gain will forge them into respectable opponents in the forthcoming months.
For Chinnor, the pack had a dominant afternoon and the backs moved speedily at times. New boy Henry Colver
came on for the injured Goode and looked to the manor born. Cathcart had an impressive day with the boot but Gilbert caught the eye with everything he did and gave a scintillating performance.
Chinnor: Stoop T; Gilbert 2T; Stock T; Chase T; Jones T; Seymour T; Cathcart 6C, PG
Bridgwater & Albion: Osborne PG
Chase, Seymour, Goode (Colver 45), Stoop, Corpe, Cathcart, Jones, Stock (Pickett 71), Tattersall, Pickett (Whelan 52), Jackman (Devine 52), Smith, Gilbert (c), Hastings, Mowbray (Devine 72)
Replacements: Whelan, Devine, Jones