Decisions go against Chiltern in big match
The first score for the home side came when the Chingford scrum-half sliced through a gap for a converted try.
Chiltern gave away several penalties early on and it came as no surprise when the last of them resulted in a yellow card for Tala Petelo. The offence was committed under the posts and Chingford’s excellent number ten calmly increased the lead to 10-0.
Chiltern came back into the game strongly and put Chingford on the back foot repeatedly.
The visitors were rewarded when, after a long break downfield, they were stopped just short of the Chingford line. The ball was recycled several times from the subsequent scrum and prop Charlie Perkins crashed over in the corner for Chiltern’s first try. It proved a Pyrrhic victory, however, as a Chingford player had dived on top of the try scorer well after the ball had been grounded, causing a significant shoulder injury which meant Chiltern’s scrum struggled for the rest of the first half and Perkins was forced off at the break.
There were numerous stoppages following two injuries to Chingford players and one for the visitors.
The hosts scored an excellent try after strong running by their flanker and just before the end of the first half, Stuart Pearham kicked a penalty for Chiltern, leaving the score 15–8 to Chingford at the interval.
Despite two enforced changes, Chiltern started the second half with a bang and, from an errant Chingford kick, ran the ball out of their 22 and fed winger Lloyd Anderson. Still 70 metres from the try line, Anderson twice stood up the covering defence and each time accelerated away before diving over for an outstanding score which was converted by Pearham.
After a scrum near the Chiltern line, young prop Callum Newton was punched several times by his opponent and retaliated with a punch of his own, the official spotting only the latter offence and red-carding Newton to leave Chiltren down to 14 and forced to play uncontested scrums.
Matters got worse when Chiltern tried to clear their line only to see the kick charged down legally. In following up the charge down, the Chingford flanker knocked on only for the referee to allow play to continue as he went on to score.
Chiltern came roaring back and after 20 minutes of the second period reduced the lead to three points when Pearham kicked a second penalty.
The visitors were forced to make another substitution when centre Pip Blake took a knock to the eye, Chiltern bringing Dave Francis into the centre.
Chingford took full advantage of their numerical advantage, scoring two late converted tries with Pearham contributing a final penalty in response.
Amersham, however, showed commendable commitment in pressing the ball and, after a few early scares, rarely allowed their opponents a clear scoring opportunity.
Raiders should have taken the lead after 16 minutes when Joel Danso was put clean through but town keeper Rob Munn did well to save with his feet and then a minute later, had to dive to his left when Danso turned and hit a fierce cross-shot.
They were to prove costly misses for Raiders as, seven minutes later, Amersham took the lead.
The visitors had been steadily working their way into the game on an unfamiliar surface and a good move on the left, involving Jake Mongston and Bertie Squires-Adams found Isaac Asare advancing down the wing. His cross was perfectly delivered into the danger area and Sheldon Washington was first to the ball to knock it past Lamar Russell in the Raiders goal.
Berkhamsted sought to respond immediately as Munn parried Jeffrey Mentah’s stinging drive and was relieved to see the ball rebound off the bar.
At the other end, Washington fed Aldred, whose cross-shot drifted just wide.
Danso then turned two Amersham players but put his shot over.
Amersham’s second goal was a classic counter as Anouar Zeroual and Tom Parry broke up a Raiders attack and a quick ball over the top found the pacey Aldred, who lobbed the onrushing Russell.
The second half was more humdrum as Berkhamsted pressed but were unable to find a way through.
The clearest chances fell to Amersham. After a move down the left, Washington found Aldred in space but his shot cleared the bar and then Washington, with a fine run, created his own opportunity but delayed his shot and the chance was lost.
Finally, Town substitute Jeremiah Debayo also broke through but again his shot cleared the bar. The game might have lacked quality but Amersham worked hard for their victory.