A&C face must win game halfway into sea­son

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

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.

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