National One has had the full mixture of emotions so far this season for The Villagers and this game was no exception!
In brisk conditions and with a deceptively swirling wind the hosts came out of the blocks fastest and forced a kickable penalty on 2 minutes which Warren Seals slotted over. This was an early warning to Chinnor that their defensive discipline was going to tested to the full in their first ever game in the Northern Echo Arena- a warning that was largely well heeded.
From the early restart there followed a good spell for the visitors with Orisi Nawaqaliva catching the eye with some powerful surging runs which DMP struggled to contain. A penalty on 9 minute gave Caolan Ryan to chance level the scores. With the visitors enjoying the majority of possession it was a rare foray into Chinnor territory that drew another opportunity for Seals to restore DMP’s three point lead. Chinnor were to rue not converting their possession into points . The hosts broke out into the Chinnor half and executed an excellent backs move using the full width of the pitch on 31 minutes which Callum Mackenzie finished off out wide. Seals added the extras.
From the restart Chinnor gathered the ball and formed a ruck. The ball popped out to a surprised Talite Vaiolette who , despite standing offside, was allowed to run freely down the touchline. With Chinnor’s defence out of place the lock dotted down to score the hosts second try giving DMP a commanding 18- 3 lead. Chinnor continued to apply the pressure with Tom Burns putting in a number of strong carries. Just before the break The Villagers were awarded a penalty which allowed Caolan Ryan to reduce the deficit to 18-6.
Chinnor continued the second half as they had left off the first with plenty of the ball . With greater depth to their backline Chinnor began to stretch the home defence. The DMP lineout faultered all game & Joe Dancer constantly reaped the dividends. From a Dancer steal a Yellow card was shown to the DMP No 6 Joe Duffy on 47 mins for pulling down the ensuing maul. As Chinnor’s man advantage was coming to an end Kieran Goss latched on to a wide pass and in glorious full flight wrong footed the defence and comfortably out gassed the chasing cover to score. Caolan Ryan‘s conversion closed the gap to 18-13. An exchange of penalties between Ryan and Seal saw the hosts hold a 5 point lead 21-16 going into the final 10 minutes.
With the momentum very much in the Villagers favour and with the experience of the recent last minute tensions very much in mind Chinnor manged the end of the game in excellent fashion. The forwards retained possession superbly and despite the ticking clock remained the calmest folk in the stadium. A scrum was forced 5m out centre field in the final minute and visions of Rotherham entered the supporters mind. However today we had a different ending. There followed a series of scrums , resets, penalties against the hosts & a yellow card on 80 mins for Prop Alfie Barron. Due to an apparent injury DMP had now became unable to field a competitive front row resulting in uncontested scrums and the avoidance of an inevitable match winning penalty try. With guaranteed scrum possession and other offside penalty advantage Chinnor came up short at their first attempt. With the scrum again opted for it was Jack Ramshaw who provided the deserved levelling try by crashing over. Caolan Ryan calmly slotted the conversion to seal the win and send the dedicated travelling supporters into raptures.
It’s rarely dull watching Chinnor this season and only a madman would leave a game early. The good news is that there’s another 7 days for the fingernails to grow before their weekly trim!
MoM Kieran Goss ( Shown above in full flight)