Chippenham leads Bradford
Bradford on Avon RFC 10 - 34 Chippenham RFC after a storming second-half blitz.
A cliché perhaps, but this was a game of two halves.
In windy, overcast conditions on BoA's first pitch, the first half produced stalemate between two apparently well-matched teams, strong in defence.
BoA took the lead 5-0, before Chippenham got a try back to level the half time score at 5-5. Neither try was converted, not surprising with both kicks being from wide and with a strong cross-wind. The match looked as if it would be a replay of last week's forward-dominated arm-wrestle against Chew. Chippenham were often second-best at the breakdown, but remained strong defensively. Injuries to Charlie P and Freddie N didn't bode well, but the replacements filled their boots perfectly and the boys reached half time level, deservedly.
The second half was a different story, with Chippenham scoring a further five tries and two conversions. Whatever the reason, now Chippenham were winning the breakdowns, making life hard for BoA, recycling well, making more penetrating runs by forwards and backs, and better using their hands and feet. Defence remained good - with good pressure from the defensive line forcing BoA handling errors, and some fine tackles.
On a different day some late ill-discipline and a strange patch of line out errors might have been more costly, and three injuries kept Elaine busy and took some shine off the morning.
However, this was a performance and result that the whole squad and coaching team should be proud of. The boys were under a lot of pressure, went behind, fought back, levelled the scores, competed hard, and ultimately pulled away to finish with six tries against always-dangerous opposition.