Chippenham finish season in style with exciting win over Trowbridge
By MATTHEW STEPHEN
In the final match of the season and in front of a packed crowd, Chippenham produced 8 try’s and beat Trowbridge 50-35.
In the final match of the season and in front of a packed crowd, Chippenham produced 8 try’s and beat Trowbridge 50-35. It also had added meaning as this was the last league match on the grass pitch at Allington Fields as a new RFU Artificial Grass Pitch will be installed over the summer months.
It’s always good to welcome Trowbridge and their many travelling supporters and today was no exception. The weather did its bit to mark the day and the sun shone throughout although there was quite a stiff breeze that blew directly across the pitch. After the excellent warm up that included watching the 2nds beat Sutton Benger, Chippenham kicked off the match and played up the slight slope. The warm up certainly did the trick and Chippenham produced some very powerful attacks which smashed Trowbridge backwards, time after time. Brad Doggett got very close to scoring but was held up before swift recycling of the ball found its way to Aaron Clark and he crashed over for the opening try out wide. Al MacKenzie was just short with the conversion but Chippenham showed their early intent 5-0.
The Pack were dominate in both the set piece and the loose with the back row of Hendy, Beer and Dickens rampant around the pitch. Chippenham were building excellent pressure against a resolute Trowbridge defence but the pressure was released through little errors and a few penalties. But their hard work soon produced the next try after the impressive Gareth Angell surged through the Trowbridge line and created space for fellow 2nd Row, Harry Murphy to score. The extras were missed but Chippenham were now up 10-0. This spurred Trowbridge on and they then mounted some excellent attacks using their backs wherever possible and made full use of the ground Chippenham gave up with silly penalties. From one attack, Trowbridge used their forwards to drive over and score their first try under the posts. This was converted and left the game at 10-7.
It was now Chippenham who mounted the next attack and the pressure soon built to a level that the excellent Referee felt was too hot and he gave a yellow card to each side and both were down to 14 players. From the next attacking scrum, Chippenham launched Brad Doggett off the back and he scored a great try. Mackenzie had no problem with the conversion and Chippenham had opened up a 10 point lead at 17-7. The Referee blew for half time in what was a full blooded Wiltshire derby that had been played at a ferocious pace throughout. Time to regather thoughts and ready for the final half.
Whatever was said to both sides by their respective coaching teams during the break, certainly had an effect.. Trowbridge restarted the game and scored a try straight away!! This was converted and game on at 17-14. Then it was Chippenham’s turn and Matt Dickens expertly leapt to take the restart kick and he burst through a couple of tackles and scored a lovely bonus point try. No extras added 22-14. The tempo that Chippenham were playing at was huge and soon the next try was scored by Jacob Unwin after he sold a massive dummy which the Trowbridge backline bought. MacKenzie added the extras making it 29-14 and at this point both teams were back to 15 men. The speed the game was played, created lots of space and soon it was Trowbridge who benefited as they scored their 3rd try, which was converted. 29-21.
Credit has to be paid to both teams for the way they played the game and fully entertained the large crowd of supporters and next it was Chippenham who scored after a great move off the back of an attacking scrum that saw Mackenzie carve a lovely line and touch down near the sticks. He also converted his try taking it to 36-21 and Chippenham were looking comfortable. However, in this entertaining game, nothing was certain and next it was Trowbridge who scored after their Fly Half chipped the ball ahead from 15 meters out from the Chippenham line, only for the ball to hit the upright and bounce perfectly into the arms of the Trowbridge Centre who scored. With the successful conversion, it was now 36-28 and all to play for.
It all got quite frantic as both sides were really chasing the win and throwing everything into it but it was Chippenham who were getting the upper hand and Unwin made full use of the space created and scored his second try. Mackenzie got the extras and the game stood at 43-28 with 10 minutes left but plenty of time for more action. After great hands and a deft chip ahead from Doggett, the advancing Unwin regathered and scored his hat-trick try under that sticks, making the Mackenzie conversion a formality as Chippenham reached the half century 50-28. Trowbridge may have been down but they certainly weren’t out of this match and they mounted a number of concerted attacks which resulted in the forwards crashing over the Chippenham line and scoring the final try. The conversion was made and the excellent Referee blew to bring the curtains down on a truly entertaining game of rugby.
As this was the very last league match on the Allington turf, the rugby produced definitely matched the occasion and great that Chippenham earned a deserved bonus point win against such determined opposition and we look forward to seeing Trowbridge next season.