Match Report - Surrey 1 - Vandals v Chipstead
By Stuart Howkins
Slow starting Vandals unable to overhaul Chipstead's seventeen point opening quarter blitz
CHIPSTEAD 30 WEYBRIDGE VANDALS 15
Even with a depleted side Vandals still had high hopes of continuing their rich vein of form which had seen them unbeaten since their loss to top of the league table Reeds Weybridge. They had further incentive to win this game as they had suffered a rare home defeat at the hands of their hosts earlier in the season, but Chipstead too wanted to bounce back with a win after losing to lowly Amplefordians. Indeed it was the home side who showed the greater desire and passion and their three try blitz early in the contest paved the way for their victory. Having been caught cold by this seventeen point avalanche, Vandals fought back with two tries of their own. But any thoughts they may have had of level pegging by half time were quickly erased as Chipstead stretched their lead to fourteen points shortly before the interval. The second half was a much tighter affair with Vandals denying their opponents any further tries, and scouring a third themselves, but two penalties either side of this try kept Chipstead well in front and they saw out the game to record the victory, largely achieved by their first half performance.
All the early ball went Chipstead’s way and a break in midfield and good support work led to their first try. Vandals cause was not helped when centre HARRY Reed had to retire with a mouth injury, and Chipstead continued the defensive scoring a second try wide out. Claiming two of Vandal’s lineouts they piled on the pressure, and winning a penalty they chose the set scrum from which they drove over for their third try. Vandals rallied with some determined and resolute play, and after winning second phase possession the ball was transferred to George Bolster, and the full back’s speed saw him beat the defence for the try. Vandals were quickly back on the attack and went close with a line out drive. They maintained the momentum. Eventually breaching Chipstead’s defence with centre Joe Spencer. Skipper Adam Bullett together with his back row continued to drive forward in open play. But Chipstead held firm, and got a crucial try just before half time. Winning a turnover they kicked to the twenty two and then stole another of Vandals line outs. Vandals held up the initial drive, but Chipstead continued to set up phase ball, and their patience paid off with a try under the posts for a simple conversation.
Chipstead were quickly on the offensive at the start of the second half increased their lead with a penalty. Harrison Edgerson, who came on at half time, then got Vandals back in the game when he fastened onto away ward Chipstead kick to drive over for his side’s third try. Still twelve points adrift, Vandals pressed hard but were unable to score again. Turnovers for both sides had been prevalent throughout the game, but the home side got the rub of the green as far as penalties were concerned, and they slotted over a vital penalty to take their total to thirty points. Vandals forced Chipstead into desperate defence in the last ten minutes in an attempt to score a bonus point try but their efforts frustratingly fell short.
Both sides meet again this week in the Surrey cup, and with home advantage Vandals will feel they can come out on top and go forward to the next round. However they must start in a more positive fashion, and from the outset dominate the early confrontations.
Vandals 2nd XV lost to a very resilient Guildford 3rd XV. After taking a 19-0 lead at half time Vandals were unable to see the game out eventually losing 19-26. 2nd XV still maintain their place at the top of their respective merit league table but will look to bounce back in their next game at home to Lightwater RFC.
Written by John Farrow