These 2 local rivals have had some titanic struggles over the years & this was another. Croydon led 10-0 at the break, but Chipstead reeled them in, the winning try coming in the last 10 minutes.
Chipstead’s victory was based on cleaner possession from the set pieces. Croydon, missing 2 of their heavyweights were under pressure in the scrums & scrum half, Will Curtis
was constantly harried at the base.
Chipstead’s line out was very secure, giving a good platform for the rolling maul, whilst many of Croydon’s lines were messy, heaping more pressure on the No 9.
That said, there was little between the sides in the loose & open play.
Croydon took the lead after 8 minutes with an opportunist try. Chipstead found touch on the half way line & the quick thinking, Chris Friend took a lightning throw to Craig Bond who chipped over the full back to gather & score.
Chipstead dominated possession but Croydon were very dangerous in open play. They scored again on 35 minutes. This time line out ball was good & terrific handling in the backs found Sam Clarkson
, apparently, hemmed in on the left touch. Somehow he found his way past 3 tackles to score from 30 metres.
Croydon pressed hard at the start of the second half for the crucial third score but it would not come. Chipstead eventually forced their way up field and reduced the arrears with a try on the right by full back Guy Maynard
after a crash ball had punched a hole in the centre. They equalised with a penalty soon after.
Thereafter, Chipstead always looked the likely winners as Croydon had to play on the back foot off scrappy ball.
The decisive try came in the dying minutes &, despite a frantic final flurry, Croydon could not come back.
A fair result & a great disappointment to go out of 2 Cup competitions in 4 days.