First half blitz proves too much for Stow
On a day of remembrance, the chiefs put on a first half performance full of style then dug in to resist the second half comeback from the visitors.
After the deluge of rain yesterday, it was a real pleasure for the players to run out at a sun drenched Allington Fields. Before kick off, all players and the loyal supporters gathered in front of the club house to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of world war 1. A few poignant words were said by the junior chairman followed by the club president, an impeccable 2 minute silent was then observed by all.
The game started with Chippenham in a dominant mood, forwards and back combining well to stretch the Stow defence out wide and test them around the fringes of the break down. The first score came about when the forwards punched holes in the Stow defence close to the ruck, feeling a bit left out, inside centre Theo M, thought he would get involved with some of the hard work being put in by the forwards and with a ruck 5 metres out Theo managed to find enough room to crash his way over. Chippenhams' second came from some quick ball from the forwards and some lovely hands by the back line to give Tom T enough space to score in the corner. Chippenhams defence continued to put pressure on the Stow attack managing to stop their big, dangerous ball carries early, Ollie A and Liam S were leading the way with some monster hits to stop Stow in their tracks. The chiefs grabbed their third of the game through number 8 Hugo P who was able to break the first up tackle before showing good pace to leave the Stow defenders grasping at thin air. With a three try advantage, the chiefs appeared to switch off and their usual high intensity defence started to misfire, this allowed Stow to grab their first try of the match. This setback, kicked the Chiefs back into action with Fly half Fin F grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck grabbing a hat trick either side of half time, the first was a fine solo effort, picking the ball up deep in his own half and using a wide variety of evasive running to score. His second, and last before half time came from a period of sustained chiefs pressure, with the forwards looking to drive over from close range but being beaten back by strong Stow tackling. Following a pick and drive from Myles R the Chiefs were held up over the line resulting in a scrum 5 metres out. Theo M and Fin F had swapped and when Theo got the ball at 10 Fin hit a lovely line to ghost over the line.
The second half was a much closer contest and with the Chiefs making a whole host of changes and struggling to adapt to the increased intensity from the Stow team. The visitors were looking dangerous out wide with both their outside centre and left wing constantly causing problems for the disorganised Chippenham defence and their big powerful forwards blasting holes through the middle. Stow scored 5 second half tries to Chippenhams 3. Fin F completed his hat trick when he dropped back to full back to cover a kick, picked up the ball and outpaced the Stow defence to score. Ben C then score the try of the day, a quick strike from the scrum and Fin D fed the ball to Theo M, he drew his opposite number and Jamie W hit a sublime line to burst through the tackle and run into space, with over half the pitch to cover the Stow winger never gave up the chase and with Jamie less than 5 metres out a perfectly timed tap tackle took him down, however Jamie did not panic and from the ground he managed to find a lovely offload to Ben C who had made up a lot of ground to support the break, Ben took the pass and dotted down under the posts. Ben rounded off the scoring for the Chiefs with a pick and go down the short side and with the help of Ollie A he managed to power his way over the line.
A good test for Chippenham with plenty of positives from the players and a couple of areas to work on. The referee, despite looking a bit odd with his 70's style attempt at a moustache, he's growing it for movember and all donations great-fully received, allowed the game to flow nicely and encouraged a high tempo game from both teams.
Well done both teams on a tough fixture, Dorset and Wilts Cup game next Sunday away at Trowbridge with training as per usual on Friday.