After the big cup win last weekend Chipstead 2's were in buoyant mood to play local rivals PJF in the Surrey South Conference league match.
With the 1st XV currently suffering a number of injuries the 2nd XV were once again asked to help cover and it looked like numbers might be a little short but assisted by a couple of late cry-ons' - Bridgey's wife and Tom Helliwell and a Lazarus return from Charlie Grant we actually could call ourselves a squad ! PJF who had big challenges in their home leg, and only just mustered a team, also seemed to have swelled their ranks arrived with a squad determined to turn their luck around. Both squads had a good mix of Old, Young, Thin & Not so thin so it had the look of an even, open match and that's exactly what it proved to be.
PJF started the brighter bringing their big runners to good use but although making good inroads were held out - Then Chipstead in turn used their bigger pack to try and generate the first score but both teams were guilty of letting opportunities go begging. PJF were the first to make the break through when they were finally able to get in behind Chipstead and one straight line carry (taking advantage of Josh 'Honey Monster' Driver on guard duties) twinkle-toed their way under the posts.
Chips went back to keeping it tight and letting the forwards take the game to PJF and were rewarded when Stewart Flack carried over the line but in the corner which gave Forrest little chance to convert. The game then ebbed back the other way and it was PJF using the slope to their advantage to generate quick ball and broke through it looked like Johnny 'Soccer' Watson would make the cover tackle but whatever skills, the recent round-ball convert brought with him, included trying to take the PJF's player head off ! The penalty try was a formality after that !
Going back to the drawing board Chips ground their way back into the Purley half and tried to get back on terms but firstly Forrest's aging legs gave out and secondly some individual mistakes it looked like the opportunity was missed but 'Bridgey's wife' Stoney was the recipient of some very suspect defence and waltzed his way to the line and converted the score himself.
HT Chipstead 12 v PJF 14
Shrek had already replaced Forrest, but more subs were required as Big Face and Glenn were deployed, to cover Big Paul's shoulder and Spiv's ego, respectively. With the fresh legs Chipstead really took the game to PJF and with them also having had to make some changes due to injuries they were not quite the same defensively and the ball carrying Will and Big Face made good yards for Shrek to score the try to put Chips in the lead for the first time. In typical fashion of the day this spurred PJF back into life and they went on the offensive making good breaks and they were rewarded with a penalty but in a slightly surprising turn they decided to take the kick for points which was duly converted to level the score.
Chipstead then had to turn to the bench again as both Paulie and Stoney also took on injuries unfortunately we only had one player left so meant the last quarter would be played with 14. With a constantly changing back line, depending on where on the field they were, the forwards decided to try and keep the ball tight and worked themselves up to a 5 metre scrum - having made impressive yards in most set pieces - the forwards were set for a 5 yard scrum, probably for the score, but as the drive came on rather surprisingly debutant Charlie in his first senior match, now at ten, over called the drive and robbed the pack of its reward by crashing into and over the blind-side wing for his try. Johnny tried his hand at the egg and failed miserably…
The pitch began to open up for both sides but despite the numerical advantage it was Chipstead who got the next break-through Big Face really enjoying playing less than a full game broke through the line and rather surprisingly found Shrek as his only support offloaded the ball to him and although the veteran prop was excellently tackled by the PJF full-back just short of the line Big Face was on hand to finish the score off 4th kicker of the day Louis slotted it.
With the clock ticking away the play of the day was to be had by PJF camped deep in their own 22 and with a scrum going backwards the ball was moved from one side of the pitch to the other all inside the dead ball area ! out to their wing and without an opposite wing to cover him was free to show what he hadn’t been able to do all game and run ! and Fast ! Louis at fall back got across and although could not complete the tackle managed to slow the full back down so that Dave Steve, who seems to play better week by week, completed the tackle 3 yards from the line but it was just rewards that the PJF full-back Mark Trumper (voted MoM by both sides !) completed the score under the posts.
The scores were close once more but the clock was not on PJF’s side and Chipstead, in an effort to kill the clock, kept the ball tight and in doing so the PJF forwards became frustrated and one of them in an attempt to win the ball back ‘illegally in the red zone’ received a, rather harsh, yellow card and gifted Chipstead another set piece play 5 yards out back-rower Will Thomsett who had played most of the game at Centre completed the scoring - 6 tries to 3.
Chipstead 34 v PJF 24