Chiltern bounce back from Chingford disappointment
After the previous week’s defeat to leaders Chingford, Chiltern came out on top against visitors whose play was significantly better than their league placing would suggest.
Chiltern attacked from the outset and, after several productive drives towards the Ruislip try line, a spilled pass was all that prevented the first score of the game.
However Ruislip had infringed offside so Stuart Pearham stepped up to kick the resulting penalty.
Both sides were attacking with intent but Chiltern’s defence was the stronger of the two and it was no surprise when they gained turnover ball from a Ruislip knock-on and, with an excellent referee playing advantage, Jack Kenyon scooped up the ball from the floor brilliantly and ran in from 45 metres for Chiltern’s first try, converted by Pearham.
With the defences on top, the only other score of the first half was another well-taken penalty by Pearham, which took Chiltern into half-time with a 13–0 advantage.
After the previous weekend’s injuries, Chiltern were fielding yet more debutants and when new prop Peiotr Balacenko unfortunately pulled a calf muscle in the warm-up, it meant one of the newcomers, Dayne Matthews, ended up playing the whole match which, at the tender age of 39, was a magnificent feat.
Chiltern were quickly into their stride at the beginning of the second half but, having completely disrupted a Ruislip scrum, a lapse in concentration allowed the home team in for their first, converted, try. Chiltern’s lead was further reduced when Ruislip converted a penalty, making the score 13–10, which was hardly a reflection on the amount of possession and attacking play Chiltern had enjoyed.
The score clearly galvanised the hosts and from the kick-off, they moved the ball quickly to the outside channels where Kenyon ran beautifully to outflank the Ruislip defence but, with a try seeming inevitable, Kenyon was brilliantly tackled a metre short of the line.
Chiltern were first to the breakdown and after securing possession, a pop pass saw number eight Jordan Scott dive over for a try that was converted by Pearham.
Chiltern were now comfortably in control and after a further period of pressure Pearham nipped in to cheekily snaffle the ball and dive over the line under the posts for Chiltern’s third try, which he also converted for a 27–10 lead.
With a matter of minutes remaining, a missed tackle left a gap which was well exploited by the Ruislip backs and led to their second try, which was duly converted for 27-17.
There was sufficient time for Chiltern to get back into the Ruislip 22 but some brave defence kept the hosts from scoring another try, which would have given them a bonus point.
Chiltern remain third and a gap is developing between the top four and the remainder of the clubs in the league.
On Saturday, Chiltern make the short journey to Watford to play a Fullerians (ko 2.30pm) side who currently sit mid-table.