Once again injuries and last minute cry-offs in both squads meant this was always going to be a tough fixture.
Chey having been called up, and sitting in changing room, to add bulk to the 1st XV decided to grab Simon Weston (carrying a knock) and jumped in a car to shoot back to the 2nd XV game - as half an hour before kick off they were still at 13 players !
The fact that Chipstead then started much the brighter was a bit of a shock - taking the game straight to the OW's keeping the ball tight and running hard lines to gain good ground. Some excellent kicking from Weston kept the play in the right half of the pitch. A Brace from the good-looking Driver brother, both converted by Weston, and an un-converted Try by Adam made the score-line look very flattering in a very even contested match. A couple of excellent last ditch cover tackles by Bridgey had certain stopped OW's from getting any foothold.
Unfortunately just before half-time Weston got involved in a tackle (no idea how) and managed to hurt his shoulder and had to go off. A quick re-jig of the remaining 14 meant there was always likely to be gaps for OW's to exploit and right on the whistle through a great passage of play they scored wide out.
HT - Chipstead 19 v 5 Old Walcountians
The second half was a real rear-guard action Tom Hawgood pressed into fly-half was constantly under-pressure from the OW backs sensing all was not lost. Chipstead were able to call on the dominent set piece to help alleviate the pressure - winning all (bar one) of their own scrums and the majority of the oppositions ones too. The one mistake was a bit of a shock having driven the scrum backwards at a rate of knots the OW's scrum wheeled around in an attempt to slow the progress having done a virtual 270 degrees the OW's No8 picked up the ball from the back of the Chipstead scrum and ran off - With the Chipstead pack dizzy, and confused that they hadn't been given a penalty, the Eight fed his winger to score - The backs were awake enough to force the scorer into the corner.
Sensing blood the OW's really rallied and off a rather lucky break when a speculative kick bounced around and mistakes were made a soft try was given up - that would of been bad enough but Adam also went over on his knee and had to limp off - Steve D had to move into the back line to help out and the pack were left with seven - Jumping Stuart Flack was expected to cover every blade of grass as the only fit forward !
Four points up, 15 minutes left but with 13 players it was going to be a real testing finale to the match. It was with great credit that heads never dropped and cheered on, in the horrible wet conditions, by the dozen of die-hard supporters Chipstead kept battling but with only 5 minutes left on the clock OW's breached the line again and went ahead for the first time in the match.
It would of been easy to accept defeat and be proud of the performance to stay in the game as long as they had but the 2nd XV has developed a real 'never say die' attitude and buoyed by an important (and impressive) intercept just as OWs were looking to kill the game off - Chipstead's pack went on the offensive working from their own 22 right down to the OW's try-line only to be held up just short ! The referee looked at his watch and everyone thought the whistle would go but he said there was just enough time for one more play !
Everyone on the touch-line would of expected to see the scrum dominence used but knowing that OWs' would expect just that a quick shove was then followed by a flick pass from young scrum half Dane Small to centre Bridgy for him to crash over in the corner !
It was hard luck on the OW's but Chipstead felt it was just deserves for the battling performance they had put in.
MoM - Adam G. & Steve D.
Chipstead 2's have their first ever cup game next week when they host Merton in the Surrey Jug !