Herts/Middlesex 1 17/01/15
Cheshunt 0 Verulamians 17
http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/pictures/Cheshunt-v-Verulamians-Rugby-Slideshow/pictures-25835968-detail/pictures.html#7 mercury photo slide show
Cheshunt turned in their poorest performance for several weeks, but still should have come away with something from a game in which they dominated possession and territory. Not being able to finish again proving to be a weakness, their opposition however, gratefully grabbed any opportunity that came their way. A stiff breeze across the pitch made an expansive game unlikely, but Cheshunt tried to keep the ball in hand as much as possible from the kick off. They immediately pinned V’s in their own half, clearance kicks were often collected by full back Geoff Hayden and right winger Declan walker and they ran back into the Verulamian defence to set up more attacks. The visitors consistently infringed at the break down, but two penalty chances from Johno Wicks sailed agonisingly wide in the difficult conditions. Incredibly, V’s first visit into the Cheshunt half, and the only visit they managed in the first period resulted in a try. A spilt ball was quickly seized upon by the away side, they got the ball to the left winger who had enough space and speed to get outside the initial defensive line, he then cut back inside and ran to the line for a 0-5 lead after 22 minutes. C’s thought they had levelled soon after, Hayden broke from deep, linking with Wicks they got the ball to Scott Glynn, although confronted by four defenders, he still got over the line, but the referee deemed the ball to be held up. From the resulting scrum, the Cheshunt pack nudged forward, but when the ball was fed out it was dropped and another chance went begging. Just before the break another penalty in midfield was kicked down the line, after the lineout, Wicks broke through the first line of defence, but as the cover came across, his long pass to Dave Lever could not be collected when only metres from the line. Cheshunt just couldn’t get on the board. Verulamians started the second half with their best period of the match, following a catch and drive from a lineout just inside the Cheshunt half they spent some time in the 22, but when C’s were awarded a penalty, the V’s number 8 didn’t retreat and he was yellow carded after 12 minutes. Cheshunt then started to dominate territory again, but just couldn’t produce the scoring pass, playing advantage from a V’s knock on, the home side attacked down the right wing, just as the referee called advantage over, a stray pass was intercepted by the V’s defence, the ball was put through several pairs of hands and the visitors had another try against the run of play, with the extras they had a 0-12 lead with just 15 minutes on the clock. Both sides lost players to further yellow cards towards the end of the game and Verulamians confirmed Cheshunt’s miserable afternoon when they crossed again from another catch and drive near the line to finish 0-17. Next week, Cheshunt travel to Haringey where they will hope to find the form they were enjoying before Christmas.
Short, Bagley, Martines, Donnelly, Brown, Willcocks, Duligall, Angell, Ewing, Wicks, Lever, Claridge, Glynn, Walker, Hayden. Replacements – Roberts, Clark, Gardener.