Chichester made 6 changes to the side that lost to Havant last time out. Ben Deavall, Zac Conoly and Ben Polhill came into the pack, Sandy Wheatley made his debut at scrum half with Liam Rowland and Will Norton on the bench. It was a big day in the Norton household with brothers Charlie and Will playing together in the 1st XV for the first time. Leon Driscoll, who made 35 appearances for the Blues, returned at outside centre for the visitors.
The warm and sunny conditions were ideal for spectating but the rock hard, dusty pitch would make it a tough afternoon, particularly for the visitors.
KCS kicked off up the slope and some early sparring saw both teams turnover the ball. As in the previous games Blues found themselves down in the opening minutes. The visitors created an overlap and breached the Chichester defence close to the posts. Converted. 0 -7 and 4 minutes played. From the restart KCS started to move the ball around and tackles from Charlie Norton and Matt McLagan prevented try scoring opportunities. A penalty for offside 25 metres out provided the visitors with another 3 points. 0 - 10 and 8 minutes on the clock. From the restart Chichester contained KCS deep in their own territory. A Ben Polhill steal fed the backs and the visitors were penalised at the breakdown. Blues opted for the kick to the corner and from the lineout the pack mauled across the line with Nick Blount touching down. Converted by Charlie Norton. 7 - 10. From the restart Chichester advanced down the pitch moving the ball from side to side controlling play. Finally, an overlap was created and Sam Renwick dummied inside the last defender to score. Converted by Norton. 14 - 10. Within 3 minutes KCS were back on top with a converted try. 14 - 17 and a quarter of the game played. From the restart neither team seemed to want the ball with mistimed passes and knock-ons. A Blues’ infringement in the scrum provided KCS with another 3 points from the boot of Stoppani over 35 metres out. 14 - 20. Despite dominating the last 10 minutes Chichester were unable to get the ball over the line. Half time and 14 - 20.
It took 8 minutes of the second half for Chichester to reduce the deficit. A blistering 25 metre run from Renwick was stopped under the posts. Sandy Wheatley spun the ball out to Harry Seaman whose looping pass cleared 3 defenders to find Matt McLagan on the touchline for a simple score in the corner. Conversion missed. 19 - 20. As the minutes ticked away Blues looked more comfortable and were taking the attack to the visitors. After 58 minutes the referee produced a yellow card and KCS were a man down. Blues took advantage and from a KCS infringement reran the rolling maul play from the first half with Charlie Wallace touching down for the bonus point try. Conversion missed. 24 - 20. For the next 10 minutes Chichester absorbed the pressure when required and tested the visitor’s defence with probing runs from Renwick and McLagan. With 8 minutes left it was a carry from Martin O’Callaghan that found the gap close to the posts for the 5th try. Converted by Norton. 31 - 20. The try of the day came 2 minutes from the end when McLagan came off his wing to run a diagonal line between the KCS centres and receive a one handed off load from Shaun Baker to score under the posts. Converted by Norton. 38 - 20. Full time and 5 points.
KCS Old Boys never gave up and competed to the end. Their medical team were kept busy throughout the match and both teams will look forward to softer conditions in the coming weeks.
Supporter’s man of the match was Martin O’Callaghan.
Chichester squad: Drayson, Cameron, Deavall, Blount, Conoly, Polhill, Wallace (Capt.), O’Callaghan, Wheatley, Baker, Blewitt, Seaman, Renwick, McLagan, C. Norton, Spriggs, and Rowland and W. Norton
Next Saturday (28th of September) Chichester travel to the Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields, in Roehampton Vale, to take on London Cornish. Kick off is at 14:15.