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1st XV - Match centre

Old Centralians
Sat 16 Feb 14:30 - South West Division - Wadworth 6X South West 1 East Full time Attendance 220

Chippenham 1stXV 31-32 Old Centralians 1stXV

Chippenham got very close to winning this one and in all reality, should have beaten the 2nd place Old Centralians but it didn’t end that way.

Chippenham got very close to winning this one and in all reality, should have beaten the 2nd place Old Centralians but it didn’t end that way.

After recent fixtures against teams at the top of the table, which have tested the strengths of Chippenham, there was a real confidence that they could turn over Old Centralians, who occupy 2nd place in South West 1 East and so it very nearly happened. However the scoreline shows that they lost 31-32 and have to accept just 2 points as opposed to the 5 that they could have got.

It was a great day for Rugby although the ground was a bit claggy and a strong breeze blew down the pitch. Old Cents had the advantage of the breeze in the first half and very quickly showed their intent with very direct, powerful running and sloppy tackling allowed them to take a 0-17 lead within as many minutes. This was not the start that the Chippenham team or the massed crowd was expecting. Thankfully the team regrouped and patiently started to build good possession and mount some powerful attacks, using their strengths. It wasn’t long and soon plenty of pace on the ball from the half back pairing of Ben Hathaway and Tom Fogerty created space for Charlie Palmer to burst through and score the Chippenham opener. Oli Alcorn was very unlucky with the conversion into the wind and the ball managed to hit the crossbar and bounce out. 5-17. It was a match that was played at full pelt and no quarter was given with some massive hits going in but it was Old Cents who made the most of a few missed tackles and they scored again making it 5-22 and a gifted bonus try point in the first half. Chippenham came straight back with bags of pace and a wide pass to young Harry Dyer saw him skin this opponent and score in the corner. Alcorn did a great job with adding the extras and brought it back to 12-22 and Chippenham were back in this match at the end of the first half.

Chippenham 31 v Old Centralians 32. 16/02/19. Despite a strong second-half by Chippenham it was Old Centralians who came out winners.
90 photos

The early stages of the second half were very cagey but Chippenham were now playing some smart rugby and kept Old Cents pinned down as they played possession rugby with plenty of speed. This was starting to show on the opponents and they were starting to flag. The Chippenham forwards were driving tirelessly with Charlie Palmer, Ed Hendy, Matt Dickens and the rejuvenated Aaron Clark at the fore. From one impressive drive very near the Old Cents line, the ball was spread wide to Alcorn who used his power to drive over the line and score Chippenham’s 3rd try. He also calmly slotted the conversion, making it 19-22. It was all getting very tight but huge respect to both sides as it was a massive contest but both teams played within the laws and it never boiled over. Great to see. Chippenham looked like they were taking control until a wayward kick was charged down and Old Cents mounted an attack. Fogerty did a great job in regathering and it looked like Old Cents players had gone off their feet and prevented a fair release at the breakdown but the Referee saw it differently and reached into his pocket and produced a yellow card for Fogerty.. From the penalty, Old Cents opted for the posts and swiftly open up the gap to 19-25. Chippenham regrouped but then things went a bit awry and not to plan after another kick was charged down and this time Old Cents scored a converted try and stretched the lead to 19-32. At this stage and with 14 men, you could have thought it was all over but not this team. They had belief and soon mounted a really powerful attack that a tiring Old Cents couldn’t hold and quick ball found its way to Captain Matt Dickens and he cruised over the line to gain a try bonus point. Alcorn’s kick brought it back to 26-32 and just one score in it.

With Chippenham back to 15 as Fogerty had served his time, the attacks came thick and fast and even when Old Cents tried to hold onto the ball, the defence was massive with Dave Lewis, Jacob Unwin and Alcorn shoring up the midfield well. It was the Chippenham mobile forwards who led the way and they pounded relentlessly their opposite numbers and showed excellent ball retention until they wore them down and Charlie Palmer crashed over for his second try. This left the game at 31-32 with the conversion to come but time running out. Alcorn had had a great day with the boot and he lined the kick up from 30 meters out. The crowd hushed and took a collective breath as he strode up to take the conversion, only for it to hit the upright and bounce out!! The Referee blew the final whistle and Chippenham had just lost by a single point, 31-32.

For the home team, this loss was not just from one kick but from a slow start and small collection of incorrect decisions taken throughout the match. Old Cents did well, they played some excellent rugby and capitalised upon their opportunities. Chippenham continue to build experience match by match and will hopefully learn from this and finish the season with the controlled wins they deserve.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Crab Football

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Wadworth 6X South West 1 East results

Royal Wootton Bassett

League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Wimborne 20 45
9. Salisbury 20 44
10. Trowbridge 20 42
11. Chippenham 20 40
12. Witney 20 29
13. Swindon 20 20
14. Stratford Upon Avon 20 16

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