Chinnor 22 Blackheath FC 33
Fry, Fry and Fry again!
Chinnor, lying 9th in National One, have had what they consider to be a successful first year at this level and those that remember the home leg will realise our 22-14 victory was hard earned.
So it was, and playing into a strong breeze, we fell 11-0 behind after 28 minutes. Two penalties and a fortuitous break away from a touch line maul by their winger was against the run of play. Indeed an attack from a first minute interception on half way by Leo Fielding was desperately snuffed out deep in the home side’s 22m as the Club applied some early pressure. Both sides then shared attacking opportunities which foundered on good defence causing knock-ons or turn overs.
After each score when Chinnor kicked their first penalty from 40 yards after 19 minutes, quickly followed by the try and another penalty, Blackheath did very well to gain possession from each restart. This allowed the visitors to gain a temporary foothold in the Chinnor half from the first two and then a more permanent one from the third, leading to a lineout, 10 metres from the Chinnor line. The subsequent catch and formidable drive resulted in a well-deserved try touched down by Harry Fry, bringing the score to 11-5 on 30 minutes. Further pressure came with growing confidence among our lads resulting in a chance for Jake Lloyd who just failed to hang onto a difficult scoring pass.
After what was a pretty forgettable first half, Club came out with renewed energy and purpose which had been lacking in the opening 40 minutes. The team were now beginning to dominate physically and forced the home side into conceding penalties one of which enabled the Club to kick to the corner as they sensed a chance for another score care of a catch and drive. From 10m out the maul was pulled down as it drove towards the line. A yellow card was issued and the next lineout, now from 5 m, made no mistake. This time Fielding nailed the conversion of Fry’s second try to put Blackheath into an 11-12 lead.
With Harry Bates and Anders Nilsson leading much of the effective carrying and Club enjoying much ball and territory another Fielding penalty stretched the advantage to 6 points, 11-15. Another good take from kick-off, this time by Andrew Daish, created the platform for a sustained attack involving backs and forwards as the visitors took advantage of their increasing superiority. A lineout close to the Chinnor line did not completely follow the script but the loose ball was gathered by Bate and after good approach work the ball came to – guess who – our jubilant hooker, a hat trick for Harry! This took the score to 11-20 with a quarter of the game left.
Skipper, Markus Burcham, had received several knocks during the game and one to his hip meant we witnessed the most unusual sight of the captain leaving the field and being replaced by the ever reliable Alex Pickersgill.
With Blackheath now fully into overdrive and showing continuing excellent continuity and interplay it was inevitable that more scores would come. The bonus point try came after further good build up and a neat grubber kick from Jack Daly which was eventually gathered by Henry Staff, this time with the added points courtesy of Fielding, 11-27.
With the game won, Blackheath kept the scoreboard ticking with 2 more penalties before Chinnor showed late but spirited resistance and after a prolonged attack managed to put the winger Ryan in for his second try 22-33. A satisfying result as we cruise to our last 2 games both at home, on the 13th v Rotherham and the 27th against Esher. Please get along to cheer the lads for a giving us a successful season with an honourable 4th place guaranteed as a minimum.
PS Great to see Graham Cox at the last two games.