Skeleton crew suffer cup final heart break again
By Matt Grapes
After an extraordinary run of bad luck with injuries and unavailability it was looking doubtful that Chinnor could fulfil this fixture. Our thanks to Jake C, Archie, Seb, Danny and their families for rearranging commitments to allow us to send 2 teams to the Amersham 7s, although with only 8 players in each squad it was going to be a tough test of fitness for the boys.
The Chinnor White team played in a mini league and contested two tremendous drawn fixtures 17-17 against Amersham and Chiltern and then remarkably 17-17 again against Towcester (who provided a constant stream of helpful advice to the referee through out the game). Everyone in the squad worked exceptionally hard with Joe L providing strength and some exceptional running from captain Harvey and Ted the unstopable. However by game 3 the lack of substitutes was showing and a tired team lost the final game to Buckingham heavily.
The Chinnor Black team started with a cracking game against the other Buckingham side, exchanging tries throughout the game with Tom C in typical ebulient form and Charlie a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the pitch. Alas Buckingham prevailed with a try in the last seconds of the match (17-22). In their second game Chinnor blew away the physical Towcester side with Ed showing all the mesmeric skill he had before his injury (26-7).
We were drawn against hosts Amersham in the semi-final in a brusing battle on the dusty pitch 1. Three tries to 1 down and with Amersham camped on our 5 metre line it looked like the festival was over for us; however Chinnor refused to give up and some monster tackling from Morgan and Jake C meant we survived. Chinnor then pulled themselves back into the match with a breakaway try and kept the pressure up. They were rewarded with a third try and when the conversion sailed over we had won the match 19-17.
However the efforts of the semi-final had taken their toll and it was a tired, small squad that were presented with a second chance against Buckingham in the final. It proved a match too far with Buckingham running in a flood of tries in the 1st half and beginning of the second. Still the depleted Chinnor squad refused to finish with a wimper and despite an increasing injury list (meaning they were now bolstered by the Chinnor White squad) they still finished the game with the final two tries of the match.
An excellent effort from all the boys in Chinnor's first go at 7s for this age group. With a bigger squad, even greater things could have been acheived but all the coaches were very proud of how they played today.