Chinnor 29 Blackheath 14

Photos courtesy of Alan Smith

Three tries in the last ten minutes put a gloss on the score line, in a game that was much closer than the final tally would suggest.

Chinnor took the lead early with a converted try by Reece Mitchell off lineout ball on seven minutes, and kept the visitors in their own half of the field for virtually all of the first half hour.
However, strong defence, notably from Steve Leonard, Leo Fielding and Jake Hennessey, denied the Oxfordshire side further score, and as Blackheath gained some momentum, excellent handling saw Jake Lloyd across for a try, converted well from out wide by Tom Ffitch, for parity at the break.

A lively opening to the second period led to a second Chinnor try on 42 minutes, as Jason Worrall spun out of a tackle to cross, but for much of the second period Blackheath held an edge as they forced the hosts into conceding a number of penalties.

Two lineout losses blunted their efforts, but a third opportunity on 67 minutes provided the drive from which ball was driven forward, before a long pass found Andrew Denham out wide to score, Ffitch adding a second fine conversion for a 14-12 lead.

Almost immediately, however, Chinnor wing Dean Hammond responded with a break down the left touchline to restore the hosts’ advantage, before two further scores sealed the win.

Prior to the First XV game, the two clubs’ second teams had competed for the Lauren Cyster Megabowl Trophy, in honour of Chinnor’s former physio who lost her short life to cancer in 2018.

The Club XV edged the contest 19-18 but, more importantly, the event raised £2,700 for the Oncology Ward at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

Graham Cox