Oxford Harlequins 33 - 47 Chippenham - A Nice Double!!
By Matthew Stephen
Chippenham RFC travelled up to Oxford Quins and a chance to play on their new AGP for the first time and produced a very good win.
Chippenham RFC travelled up to Oxford Quins for their return fixture and a chance to play on their new AGP for the first time. Over the last few seasons this fixture has proved to be very competitive and this one was no different. Chippenham had a number of changes in terms of personnel and positional from previous weeks but were taking a lot of confidence into the game. The introduction of Will Hendy for his 1st XV debut and the return of Brad Doggett would surely only strengthen the team!
Chippenham opted to play into what was a strong wind but they soon found themselves down when Quins scored an early penalty from in front of the posts.
The visitors managed to find their feet very quickly and soon took a 3-12 lead with tries from Matt Dickens and Charlie Palmer, Oli Alcorn converting one of them. Both tries were on the back of some very strong and direct forward plays. Quins started to use the wind advantage to good effect but Chip showed some great resilience in defence until the referee awarded Aaron Clark a yellow card for slowing down opposition ball. Quins capitalised with another penalty to take the score to 6-12 in favour of the visitors.
Chippenham once again took charge of proceedings with new half back pairing, Ben Hathaway and Jacob Unwin taking charge. A lovely line from Oli Alcorn off Unwin’s pass allowing him to score under the posts and he also added the extras with the conversion. 6-19 to Chippenham. It wasn’t long before Quins used some sustained pressure to score a try of their own taking the score to 13-19. Chippenham found it very hard to interpret the ref’s interpretation of the tackle and allowed Quins 2 further opportunities to take points from penalties. Chippenham had allowed the home team to gain a foothold back into the game with the score at 19-19 for half time.
The interval seemed to benefit Quins and they scored a quick try and conversion leading by 26-19 but this was matched by Chippenham’s powerful No 8 Charlie Palmer scoring his second. Oli Alcorn added the extras 26-26.
As expected, it was always going to be a game of small margins. Brad Doggett went on barnstorming run for a try of his own and again Alcorn converted. Quins came back and scored a try and conversion leaving the score at 33-33. The final stages of the game was somewhat competitive and feisty but it was the visitors Chipenham that dominated with 2 further tries by Matt Daw and Connor Beer - Alcorn with the extras finishing the game as 33-47 winners.
This was a very capable and pleasing performance from Chippenham built on a solid set piece and forward dominance throughout. They showed some real character and self belief that leaves them looking forward to the local challenge against rivals Wootton Bassett next week.