Having beaten Vandals the previous week in the Surrey 1 league fixture there may of been some level of confidence in the Cup fixture Saturday. Unfortunately after the teams agreed to a slightly larger playing squad of 20 - Chipstead could only actually manage to get 18 players to the Thames ringed island ground - the fact that only 5 of those players had played the previous week meant we had to dig deep into our reserves and this ultimately was the difference between the two sides.
Having a rather 'experienced' 139 year old front row and two fathers playing with their sons really showed - The set piece was strong, won ball against the head and held its own but was never going to be as mobile as the Vandals pack and that was the real difference. The fact Chipstead were still in the match until 15 minutes into the second half was a real tribute to the players that had donned the blue and gold putting heart and soul into everything. It was only after a serious injury (club have since confirmed that the player is recovering well) to one of the Vandals back rows, caused the game to be moved to the second pitch, disrupted Chipstead more and Vandals ran in a number of relatively 'soft' tries.
Chipstead did finally recover to have a real purple patch in the last few minutes but was very much too little too late.
A disappointing end to the cup run but hopefully all of the experience will help those 2nd team players involved and able them to deliver a result in their Surrey Jug Semi-Final in a few weeks’ time.
This Saturday sees both teams at home again so let’s have a good Thursday training session and two W's on the board come Saturday afternoon !
FTL - UTC
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.