A&C face must win game halfway into season
TO quote Elvis Presley, it really is ‘now or never’ for Amersham & Chiltern RFC’s survival hopes, writes Jon Batham.
An eighth straight defeat – 27-14 at the hands of Guildford on Saturday – left team manager Charles Owen-Conway to candidly admit Saturday’s visit to Colchester is as close as you will get to a must win game with less than half the season played.
With just one point to show for all their efforts so far, A&C are four adrift of Saturday’s hosts at the foot of National Three London & South East, and Owen-Conway knows another defeat would mean the spectre of an immediate return to London One looming large.
“We always felt Guildford would be the toughest of the three games we had earmarked for points,” he said. “But unless we win these next two games against Colchester and Chichester, it is going to be a very long season for us.
“Colchester are another team yet to win and the closest to us points wise, so if we were to lose there is absolutely the danger we would be cast adrift.”
Again, against Guildford, the hosts contributed hugely to their own downfall, with lineout horrors and decision-making at key moments proving terminal, but such naïvety comes from youth, according to the manager.
“We have a talented side but, having lost five players to clubs higher up when we got promotion, we lack experience,” he added.
“So they are not always pragmatic when you want them to be.
“The last thing you want to do when five metres from your own line is to throw the ball long. We did it twice and it cost us.”
“We did lots of good things right and they were under the cosh at a man down, but we just needed to be more patient in that last quarter of an hour.
“Up until the last play of the game we had a bonus point, but then committed hara-kiri.”
Andy Fluker and Tony Machado were Chiltern’s try scorers, with Fluker converting both scores.
Try scorer: Amersham and Chiltern RFC’s Tony Machedo in action against Guildford RFC at the Ash Grove ground.