Dorchester U15’s v Chippenham U15’s – D&W Cup Semi-Final
Chippenham travelled to Dorchester in the D&W Cup semi-final and produced a rather lack-lustre performance and lost 54-7.
Dorchester U15’s v Chippenham U15’s – Sunday 12 March – D&W Cup Semi-Final
The assembled masses from Chippenham travelled by various modes of transport to darkest Dorset to faced Dorchester who have rightly earned a reputation as a skilful and powerful team who would need Chippenham to be on their game to get through to the Final.
The early signs showed the task ahead as the Dorchester side were already half way through their warm-up with lots of contact and vocal exercises from players and coaches alike before the Chippenham lads had even got into the changing rooms. Thankfully the rain that persisted all the way down the A350 halted but the game would be played on a wet and slimy pitch which wouldn’t help slick handling. Anyway, Chippenham did get themselves warmed up although the tempo was rather passive and didn’t bode well. The positive thing was Chippenham would be playing with the slope first half and had the kick off.
After all the preliminaries, the excellent Referee blew for the start of the match but that’s where it started to go wrong. Dorchester showed they were up for this match and after bossing the breakdown and tying in defenders, a gap was found and they scored under the posts, which was converted by the fly-half. The same pattern was repeated a number of times and regardless of the attempts made by Chippenham to mount attacks, Dorchester were sharper and pounced on any mistake and scored. The old saying about 'still being on the bus' was apt and soon it was 26-0 and Chippenham resembled a rather shell shocked Scotland after the drubbing they had at Twickenham. A number of players stood up and started to take some control with Tim, Ben W, Jake and Elliott in the vanguard. This caused the Dorchester winger to get a bit frustrated and after resorting to a little transgression, was given some sensible advice from the Referee. After the slow start, it was good to see some progress with Ben B taking the lead but with lots of vocal encouragement from the Dorchester coaches, they soon seized on an opportunity and scored another try. At half time it was 33-0 and Chippenham were facing an uphill struggle, quite literally as the turned round to play up the slope.
Whatever was said at half-time didn’t seem to have the desired impact because Dorchester scored soon after resumption of play, making it 40-0. Chippenham did show some good skills with George, Archie and Dobbie trying to get some go forward ball but when play broke down and regardless of some excellent tackling from Will and Elliott, it was Dorchester who capitalized and they scored a good try leaving it at 47-0. Under the rules of the competition, if there’s a 50 point difference then the match is halted but Chippenham weren’t too worried about that and were now getting into the match, even if it was rather late. From solid phase play and putting Dorchester on the back foot, Chippenham won a couple of penalties and after a great drive by Ben B supported by Henry, the ball found its way to Ben W and he pile-drived over the line for a try, which was converted well by Alex for 47-7. Chippenham made a few changes with Charlie replacing Ben B, Matthew replacing the impressive Jake, Hugo on for Oscar, Eddie on for Dobbie, Tom G moving to scrum half, Tom P moving to the wing and Jack replacing Josh. The fresh legs helped and Chippenham continued to mount attacks but the same thing occurred and soon Dorchester pounced and scored a good try which was converted. This made it 54-7 and it was still game on!! Archie led from the front and soon Chippenham were attacking the Dorchester line, only to be held up over the line. From the 5 meter scrum, Chippenham tried to mount an attack but this broke down just before the Referee blew for full time.
Congratulations to the Dorchester players and coaches who rightly progress to the Final and we wish them well. They are a very good side with some very talented players who deserved this win and it will take an excellent side to stop them. Sadly, Chippenham were not that side today and they played well below standard, being way too passive in too many areas of the game. This was a performance that will be worked on by the coaches at training and all the players need to pick themselves up for the big challenges ahead.
Onwards and upwards - We prepare to go again!!