A very close win against our trivals
By Tom Brewer
Tries: Armstrong, Emmett, Dall'Occo, Ovens
Cons: Jones (2)
The Law men traveled by coach into Mordor (as one does not simply walk) and were filled with eager anticipation to take on the old foe.
A fantastic start from the Law saw the mighty men smashing through tackles and playing with ambition and intent in the opening phases. Chipstead were forced on to the back foot frequently in the opening quarter however managed to halt the Law game plan with some aggressive breakdown work at crucial points but this would only delay the first score which would eventually come through Rick Armstrong, who was popped the ball by Tom Maclean at close range. The conversion was knocked over by Tom Jones and the Law were on their way after a dominant start. The visiting Law men did not let up after some more penetrative runs put the law within striking distance again this time Maclean assisting Josh Emmett from a tap penalty, big bird barging over to draw level again with Armstrong in the overall try scoring stakes for the season (both big men in third place with 6 tries apiece). The score was unconverted, this was followed by a real fightback by Chipstead.
The home side gained territory followed by points due to the Law's indiscipline, first a kicked penalty and then eventually a converted score close before halftime. Going into the break only leading by 2 points was a real wake up call for the Lawmen who had been dominant in attack but when starved of possession struggled to maintain the same levels of discipline and accuracy. Unfortunately the second half began in similar fashion with a botched clearance leaving the Law needing to put in an arduous defensive shift, and whilst they held the home side out for some time, eventually the ball was spread wide and a Chipstead centre went through a gap to score. The kick was missed meaning the home side led by two. They held onto this lead for while spoiling any Law attacks as the away side continued to make errors. Eventually a kickable penalty was awarded and Jones stepped up to draw the sides level. Tensions were running high with both teams trying to seize the initiative tempers boiled over and after the second episode of handbags in the match James Thomas and a Chipstead forwards were both awarded yellow cards, Thomas's second against the same opposition this season. The Law were desperate to regain the lead but this desperation proved to cost them as several attacks were thwarted by under-resourced rucks or lapses in concentration when close to making a breakthrough, it seemed as if the deadlock might not be broken until a moment of magic late in the half occurred.
The ball had been turned over by the Law close to their own 22 and sensing a mismatch of numbers was shifted wide early to centre Alex Tindall who demonstrated some of his recent sparkling form as he backed his pace and went round his opposite man, as he approached the half way line, one on one with the full back he delivered a well timed pass to the rapid Louis Dall'Occo. Dall'occo who was able to break away from any cover tackles and pace towards the line and under the posts for a converted score, giving the Law the decisive lead with less than ten minutes remaining. Minutes later a long fly hack up field gave the Law good territory and an attacking lineout. The driving maul had misfired on occasions throughout the game due to silly errors, but the lineout itself was an area of real strength with Dom Horne throwing close 100% on the day after coming into the side. Another crisp throw and take in the lineout was driven close to the line, after a few breakdown phases Maclean went on a perfect little lateral run from the base of a ruck seemingly taking out all the Chipstead defenders and giving the final pass to Duncan Ovens who dove over the line for the bonus point score in the 79th minute.
The Law men were jubilant in the their celebrations and can be proud of their efforts to wrestle back a game with some inspiring expansive play right up to the end of the match. With two games to go the Law find themselves in 5th place and will be pushing to go even higher in the league and also to avoid any threat of relegation.