16/04/12....Sun, lightening, thunder & hail as Chinnor wins the day -
RUGBY: National 3 SW - Saturday, April 14, 2012: Chinnor RFC 30 Vs. Newton Abbot 5; MATCH REPORT (Contributed by Bill O'Donnell.
ALTHOUGH this 30-5 victory for Chinnor at Newton Abbot takes them another step closer to a promotion play off match, it will chiefly be remembered for its amazing weather conditions.
Just two minutes into the match, which had started in sunny weather, the All Whites Mortimore was yellow carded for some misbehaviour at a scrum. Chinnor’s first score came in the eighth minute when a slick backs move saw Chase crash over for a try. Cathcart’s conversion gave Chinnor a 7-0 lead. On the 15th minute, a Newton Abbot infringement saw Cathcart increase the Chinnor lead to 10-0 with a penalty goal.
At this point, the skies darkened, the lightning flashed and a thunderclap loud enough to wake the dead saw the start of a relentless hailstorm. Remarkably, the hailstorm continued for 20 minutes covering areas of the pitch with a layer of chipped ice. When the hail ceased, the rain came down hard for the remainder of the match.
Needless to say, this extreme weather dampened down any sort of adventure. Chinnor began a pick and drive game and it took until the 30th minute for the next score, a penalty goal for Chinnor by Cathcart to increase the Chinnor lead to 13-0. Shortly before half time, Chinnor forced an overlap to allow Seymour a try in the corner. At half time, Chinnor led 18-0.
Chinnor had most of the possession in the early part of the second half and were held up several times short of the Newton Abbot line. The pressure eventually told when the referee, Carl Bennett, trotted under the posts for a penalty try, converted by Cathcart on the 49th minute, to give Chinnor a 25-0 lead. It was then the All Whites’ turn to exploit the weather conditions. A crossfield kick held up in a puddle in the corner and Newton full back Josh Smith just beat the cover to dive and slide the ball over for a try for a match score of 25-5 on the 60th minute.
In the difficult conditions, both sides made a decent fist of the game but promising moves broke down with knock ons and dead stops of the ball in the many puddles. Chinnor, however, had the better of field position as they strived to gain the extra try for a valuable bonus point to further their chances of a promotion play off match.
Chinnor brought on last Saturday’s Cup Final hero, Alex Woodhouse, who duly obliged in the 78th minute with the bonus point try for a final score of 30-5 to Chinnor.
Newton Abbot, with several changes of personnel, battled well to contain both Chinnor and the weather. The Chinnor defence was solid for most of the match and they played the atrocious weather conditions well. Again the Chinnor back row, with Waddingham powerful throughout, played exceptionally well as did Trevor Powell, in for the injured Stoop. Powell’s ball retention and guile were important in combatting the conditions.
If Chinnor can win their final league match of the season, at home to Chippenham next week, they will be playing in the promotion to National 2 South play off match at Chinnor RFC on Saturday, April 28. Their opponents will be either Tonbridge Juddians or Ampthill, both tied on 101 points and who, poetically, play each other in the winner-takes-all last match of their league season.
Newton Abbot: Smith T
Chinnor: Chase T; Seymour T; Penalty T; Woodhouse T; Cathcart 2C, 2PG
Chase, Seymour (Woodhouse 60), Colver, Powell , Gray, Cathcart, Jones, Winpenny, Tattersall, Pickett (Whelan 48) , Jackman, Smith, Harrison (Mowbray 48), Waddingham, Gilbert
Replacements: Whelan, Mowbray, Woodhouse