Chinnor U16s see off Buckingham rivals
By Alex Bond
A closely contested match in which Chinnor U16s played well, putting training in practice...
There was a beginning, a middle and an end. In the beginning, the play was close with only one score in the first half. In the middle there was a try apiece and in the end there were three tries. And the sun shone on Chinnor....
The match was a turnaround from the week before and the team knew they had to prove to themselves that they could win. Buckingham, who sit top of the table in division 2 of league were tidy and brought 15 players, including a bigger pack than Chinnor.
The play in the first few minutes was tense with both teams attempting to assert themselves. There were plenty of minor handling errors on both sides and the scrum was tested from early in the game. Buckingham had the edge, but credit to front row of Louis A, Shaun B and Sam G, they held their own against heavier opponents.
The engine room of Magnus P and Richard B stood out with good play in the lineout as well as carries and tackles made. Finn S excelled at clearing out at the ruck, whilst Ed M didn't show any signs of being full of cold. Archie D set the tone from #8 and the forwards play was solid. At times, runners were not supported as quickly as they could have been, but this improved as the game progressed.
The only try of the first half came from a loose ball following a Buckingham line-out on their 5m line that Shaun B snaffled up and dotted down. 7-0 going in to half time.
The second half started with Chinnor putting all the pressure on only to knock on within spitting distance of the try line. Buckingham showed they were resilient, clearing their lines well. Chinnor were getting the ball wide distributed through the hands of Chris B at fly half. The pairing of Joe H (Mr Tackles) H and Dylan T (Mr Duracell) at centres worked well. It was seven minutes into the half that Will F, on the wing, ran the straightest line imaginable, breaking two tackles to score just to the side of the posts. 14-0.
Buckingham then came back, seizing the opportunity of a dropped ball to score under the posts. 14-7.
The combination of Dan M at #9 in the first half and Max B at #9 in the second half worked too, with both delivering ball to the back line and making contributions on the wing when not in their preferred position. Both carried particularly well on the wing, making good ground often requiring more than one Buckingham defender to stop them or by providing a timely offload.
Chinnor then made their only substitution with Max M coming on to play in the front row. With fifteen minutes to go, the captain (Dylan T) showed what he was made of breaking two tackles and running from the half way line to score. 21-7. Not to be out-done, Ben S at full back did the same two minutes later. Converting his own try and maintaining his 100% kicking record the score was then 28-7.
Buckingham were down, but certainly not out and came back to put Chinnor under pressure. After a period of being camped in the Chinnor 22, the visitors went over but did not convert. 28-12 on the final whistle.
Two special mentions go out. The first to Ben N who played for the opposition for nearly the whole match. He put in a good shift (including at least 12 scrums) and did not let any of his team mates get past him. Second is to the Chinnor bench of Ben G, Alex B, Josh E, Gus B & Harry R who did not get on. Thanks too for all the touch line supporters.
A really good display of team work as well as individual contributions. No one had a poor game and the work rate was high. Buckingham were strong opposition and capitalised where they could. There are, as always, areas to improve on but that's for next week...
Referee: Mr Rob Alexander
Photos: David Metcalf & Brian Pridmore