Momentum continues to build as Chinnor leave Devon with a share of the spoils

CHINNOR extended their unbeaten run to four games as they shared the spoils with Plymouth Albion.

Laurence May converted Sam Yawayawa’s try with 11 minutes to go to help the Thame-based side leave Devon with two points.

Plymouth seemed the happier with the result in a game which waited 53 minutes for its first points as scrum-half Joe Snow kicked the ball into touch to end an enthralling encounter.

Chinnor had finished the game on top but the result keeps the momentum going, while they remain unbeaten at Brickfields.

Director of rugby Matt Williams made seven changes, four positional, from the win over Sale.

Lock Jack Ramshaw made his first start of the season following his recovery from an Achilles injury, while prop George Davis and winger Yawayawa came into the side.

Albion’s physicality was evident from the first whistle, but Chinnor had a pack that was more than up to the contest.

The hosts were on the front foot early on and a kick over the top had the Oxfordshire side retreating.

However, it was a repeated tactic which Chinnor dealt with comfortably all game as Yawayawa and Jake Ashby were always first in a foot race, while full back Kieran Goss was immaculate under the high ball.

Albion’s heavy pack also included a couple of handy ball carriers and, while they broke the gain line a few times, Chinnor always had an answer.

Two fine shots from Davis epitomised their defensive shift, while Cameron Gray and Ehize Ehizode, who was moved to blindside flanker in place of the unavailable Ofisa Treviranus, continued their impressive form.

Even with 14 men for ten minutes following centre Pete Laverick’s yellow card, Chinnor had the answers in defence.

The ball was spread wide to the left from the resultant lineout and Alexander Ducker was stopped short, before Setareki Raumakita knocked on.

That proved to be the home side’s best opening of the first half and, while Chinnor created very little themselves, their defence had been outstanding.

One sour note had been the sight of Gray being helped off the pitch with an ankle injury, but Joe Dancer took his place and impressed on his first appearance in nine weeks due to an elbow injury.

One of his first contributions was to steal possession at a lineout, while a fine hit from Yawayawa had stopped Scott Makepeace in his tracks and forced the lock to knock on.

Chinnor had certainly done the dirty work in a first half which, despite the scoreline, had been good to watch for the arm-wrestle it proved to be.

Ten minutes into the second period and a high tackle from Yawayawa led to a kickable penalty, but full-back Daniel Powell’s attempt hit the right post.

The 900-strong crowd only had to wait a few more minutes for the first points, though, and it went Chinnor’s way as Laurence May slotted a 30m penalty in front of the posts.

However, Plymouth scored the first try of the game just two minutes after the restart.

Nice hands between Raumakita and Daniel Pullinger saw the hosts find a gap and hooker James Salter dived over, Powell converting, to make it 7-3.

The home side were starting to control the game, but they were only able to add three more points, courtesy of Powell’s right foot.

Chinnor, though, have grown in confidence over the last month and, despite having very few chances, took their opportunity to draw level on 69 minutes.

Jason Worrall, moved to outside centre from the right wing, burst through a gap and offloaded to Carl Kirwan.

It looked like the skipper could have done the rest himself, but he looked left for Yawayawa who had work to do before powering over. Fly-half May still had a tough conversion from the touchline, but he nailed his kick to make it 10-10.

A Plymouth knock on then allowed the visitors to end the game on top.

Worrall and Caolan Ryan both made fine carries, but Chinnor were unable to unlock their hosts again.

A knock-on then gave Albion the chance to run down the clock and there was almost a sense of relief from the hosts when Snow kicked the ball into touch.

Plymouth Albion: Powell, Raumakita, Squire, Pohe, Ducker, Morley, Snow, Higgins, Salter, Pullinger, Pearson, Makepeace, Kelly, Mills, Collier.
Replacements: Daly, Britton, Setter, Crouch, Weeks.

Chinnor: Goss, Hodson, Worrall, Laverick, Yawayawa, May, Ashby, Davis, Selway, McNulty, Ramshaw, Gray, Ehizode, Kirwan, W Ryan.
Replacements: Southworth, George, Dancer, Manning, C Ryan.

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