Chinnor maintained their unbeaten record for the season with a welcome 44-10 victory away at Old Patesians in Cheltenham.
This fixture is always difficult as the conditions and combative opponents always test visiting sides. With both Pip Seymour
and Tom Gray unavailable, Mark Chase
, back from a long injury lay off, and Richie Williams covered the wings.
Chinnor attacked up the slope for the first half in very windy conditions which continued for the whole match. On the 4th minute Chinnor, after a speedy attack, lost the ball near Old Pats line. From the resultant scrum, hard tackling dislodged Old Pats ball and Andrew Smith
for Chinnor was first to react. He powered over the line for the first of Chinnor’s seven tries of the day. Cathcart’s conversion gave the visitors a 7-0 lead. This was increased to 10-0 by way of a Cathcart penalty goal in the 10th minute.
Old Patesians worked a field position in Chinnor’s 22 and full back James Butler went over for Old Pats first score of the day, which he converted himself to reduce the deficit to 10-7 with 14 minutes played. This heralded a period of pressure from the home side which culminated in a penalty goal from Butler to level the scores at 10-10 in the 27th minute. Old Pats kept the pressure on but turnover ball allowed Chase to scorch down the tram lines and put the supporting Colver over for Chinnor’s second try in the 34th minute. Just before the break, Goode broke through the midfield defence only to be held up short. The ball was recycled to the other side of the pitch where Chase was fortuitously awarded a try to give a half lead to Chinnor by 20-10.
Six minutes into the second half, great approach work from Chinnor’s backs led to Gilbert scooting over for the bonus point try and a Chinnor lead of 25-10. The next 30 minutes turned into periods of alternate defending and attacking by both sides. Stalemate was ended in the 74th minute when Goode broke out from his own 22 to score Chinnor’s 5th try to increase the lead to 30-10. Two tries then followed in quick succession with Stoop accelerating through to score in the 80th minute, Cathcart converting. Gilbert bagged his second of the day in the 83rd minute. Cathcart’s conversion brought the final score to 44-10 in favour of Chinnor.
Old Patesians are a tough and durable side, particularly in the forwards and not many sides will do well at Everest Road.
Chinnor were sucked into a dogfight for large parts of the match but were particularly adept at converting the slightest opportunity into points. The conditions were difficult with a significantly sloping pitch, a sticky surface and high winds. The Chinnor pack were tough and resolute with Waddingham and Gilbert shining. Goode and Stoop conjured up some magic at times. The introduction of the replacements in the 70th minute had a noticeably stimulating effect on the Chinnor performance. Old Pats is always a tough place and Chinnor will be pleased to have coped with both the opposition and the conditions.
Chinnor: Smith T; Chase T; Colver T; Gilbert 2T; Goode T; Stoop T; Cathcart 3C; PG
Old Patesians: Butler T, C, PG
Colver, Chase, Goode, Stoop, Williams (Corpe 83), Cathcart, Jones, Winpenny, Tattersall, Pickett (Whelan 69), Mowbray (Harrison 69), Smith, Jackman, Waddingham, Gilbert
Replacements: Whelan, Harrison, Corpe