Comedown for Chinnor U16s
By Alex Bond
Determined opposition and a below par performance give the U16s something to work on!
An early start to secure the 4G pitch at Maidenhead saw the Chinnor U16s setting off for the Berkshire town a little earlier than on a normal Sunday morning. After a good warm-up, the players took to the pitch and started well. It was a close tussle for the first 15 or 20 minutes before the hosts found their rhythm.
The starting line up at the business end was Adam M, Louis A, Sam G, Magnus P, Rich B, Ben N, Finley C and Finn S. Later Gus B and Rosco P came on to good effect. All the forwards worked hard and when Chinnor had possession, they looked threatening. In defence however, the tackling was not low enough. This gave Maidenhead all they needed and they repeatedly drove into the pack making a few yards every time. Maidenhead were effective in the ruck, generally quicker and lower than the Chinnor players, though they were penalised a couple of times. The forwards had to work hard to contain an attacking Maidenhead and to their credit they worked hard at it.
In the backs, Joe H and Josh E shared duties at fly half, whilst Max B and Dan M did the same at #9. Chris B, Tom K and Joe H all played in the centre with Will F, Dan M and Max B alternating on the wings. The backs did well to distribute the ball and were unlucky with a couple of dropped balls that cost them dear. The opposition #11, #12 and #13 were strong and denied the visiting backs the usual freedom of movement that they might otherwise have enjoyed.
The best lines run were by Eddie C at fullback who twice came from nowhere and would have scored had it not been for the stout defence that Maidenhead put up. Chris B's boot found touch every time he was called to do so. Max B passed consistently well at #9. Finn S had a good game clearing Maidenhead players in his path. Louis A showed more of his carrying ability. Dan M tackled and ran well on the wing. Finley C and Gus B both showed their strength carrying the ball. Magnus P and Rich B both tackled well. Adam M, Sam G and Ben N all worked hard in the front row and in contact. Tom K and Joe H showed a combination of good hands and the ability to carry into contact. It was a delight to see Rosco making tackles with the biggest smile on his face. Josh E kicked effectively both to clear lines and try to overcome the host's defence. Will F showed that he has not lost his pace!
There were many positives to take from the match and the Chinnor side kept working until ten minutes before the final whistle. To give some perspective, the score at half time was 12-5 and 24-5 ten minutes before the end of the match. The hosts were accommodating and well organised. Maidenhead deserved the win, though Chinnor should have shored up their defence to ensure a closer scoreline. Tackle practice will be on the agenda at mid-week training!!