Combe Down 2nd v Chippenham 3rds
Slow start, but showed great character in defeat.
Gentlemen of the thirds traveled to Bath for this always interesting encounter. Chippenham were depleted of a few regulars, including bolstering the 2nds. However were boosted by the addition of youngsters Hugo & Snatch from the U 17 Deano Academy, the returning Luke Hylands, Dom on debut and Jim "ibuprofen"Hamilton. So Chippenham had to shuffle the announced side as Big Andy Cunnington could not making until later, Wheeler slotted in at loose head much to Johnny G disgust "what are doing there.... Cpt prerogative!!" So Chippenham had a very slow start and could not get in to the game with Combe down scoring 3 early tries. First phase was also a problem with the scrum not as stable as usual and line out was a slight lottery. Chippenham did manage to get into the game and stopped the ascendancy with some great defence. Hugo and Snatch were showing up well, slightly too pacy at times for the gentlemen! Dom Hannis playing his first ever game at fullback after a couple of fumbles, did run the ball back with great urgency. Dunn made a few good runs. Johnstone was plucky in defence. The game was getting a bit feisty with some off the ball and head on head from an over testosterone opposition no# 8 missed by the referee. Combe down did make a break down the left side and Snatch made a great covering tackle from the opposite wing. Combe down did see yellow for their No 7 off the ball incident!! Chippenham were awarded a penalty which Snatch converted. Big Andy arrived and hangover Hubbard departed, not so amazingly we were now solid now at scrum time now giving the backs a great platform. Luke Hylands was his combative self in defence as was all the team to be fair. The backs line were putting some great phases together with Hanlon and Hartwell combining well. The half finished with Chippenham now in the game after that early onslaught.
Second half continued in much the same vain, too say a feisty encounter understated with Mr Goodall not seeing eye to eye with the opposition lock!! Chippenham received the ball in our own half and young Snatch backed himself ghosted past the defender great pace!! This boosted Chippenham but could nothing with next try with Combe centre cutting a great line to score untouched. Line out with Bell was not the usual slick operation Hugo, Dunn and Wheeler did spoil on occasions. Fielder and Spurway were combining well, but Chippenham but struggled to penetrate. Combe did score again with young Dyke scoring for them. Unfortunately for Chippenham, Gentleman Jim Hamilton saw red for an alleged punch when led out on the floor. This galvanized Chippenham who finished using Fielder green ball to pick and go pick and go for the influential Hanlon to score an awesome team try, great character unconverted.
Full time Combe Down 2nds 38 -13 Chippenham 3rds
Man of the match: Paul Hanlon
Thanks to Debutantes: Hugo, Snatch and Dom. Also all Gentlemen 3rds!
Next game: 15th Dec home to Melksham 3rds meet 1315
No game next week.... so 1st XV home!!
So Gentlemen Social get your pass sorted!!!