OH travelled to Chingford for the second time this season due to an unplayable Croxdale Road. Pitches were damp but spirits were not as the prospect of repeating an away victory was salivating. The warm up could have been described as patchy and tentative but the pre-match team talk delivered by Captain Jonny Whittle was focused on owning and winning the opening 10 minutes of the game.
Early territory through phase play and kicks to the Chingford corner from the boot of Tom ‘Taj’ Jackson became an early trend to the game. After a midfield scrum, Clarky used his pace to get around the Ching midfield and create a 2 on 1 opportunity. The only problem was that scoring involved giving the ball to Charlie ‘Brick Top’ Johnson which he was clearly reluctant to do and the end result was a shocking forward pass off the left hand. “Yeah well I obviously didn’t want that Sp*ccy #@?$ scoring another try did I?” was his defence in the showers post-game.
The OH faithful didn’t have long to wait however for the first points of the day as a penalty in the midfield was secured following a solid lineout and good centre combination between Harry ‘Griff’ Briffitt and Clarky. Great strike from Taj.
A further penalty and strong field position was gained within 10m of the Ching try line. The lineout was won but the unnamed catcher attempted to feed the ball back to the oncoming pack by passing back whilst being sacked. Lifters scolded for lack of protection. Knock on. Scrum and a let off for Ching.
A second opportunity came in quick succession. Another lineout in the corner. This time the lineout was cleanly won and maul successfully constructed. A few more rumbles came from the forwards who showed they were up for the fight early on and Jay Lad flopped over for the first try of the day. Clean conversion.
Chingford had a rare foray into the OH half and won a kickable penalty just outside the 22 to try and get their first points on the board. Penalty missed.
The territorial game plan continued for Habs and another penalty allowed for a lineout and several forward pick and goes round the fringes. End result was Brick Top scoring despite best attempts to prevent this by Mr. Clark. Conversion missed.
Territory, possession and repeated tight carries kept OH in control for the remainder of the half. Another period of play in their 22 and Ching were on the receiving end of a yellow card for pulling down a maul. Kick to the corner, Habs line out, maul, phases and then space out wide for Conor to finish. Simples. “Monster Conversion”.
Second half continued in the same pattern. Repeated pressure on the Ching line saw a couple of potential scores held up and after relentless pressure the Ching winger stopped a clear try from a tap and go, the referee had seen enough and awarded OH a penalty try.
Credit to Chingford who could have let their heads drop with the game appearing out of sight, they started to get themselves going with some strong carrying and tackling. One such collision resulted in Brick Top being pummelled so hard into the ground that he left an imprint. After a decent line break, Chingford scored their first points of the game. Conversion slotted.
Another penalty to OH, Taj’s boot continued to deliver.
With more fight in them, Chingford put together their best spell of the game and score in the corner. Someone shouts in ‘Beautiful’ Ben Lewry’s face in celebration, but this doesn’t go down well with his best friend and bodyguard Cian O’Riordain who comes to his rescue and shields him from such profanity. Bit of handbags. Conversion missed.
No more scores as OH see the game out. A mature and focused performance overall against a Chingford outfit that has the ability to trouble the top sides in the league. This was built on control, territory and possession from a strong set piece. Let’s hope we can take this back to Croxdale very soon (weather dependent).