Herts/Middlesex 1. 07/11/15
Old Streetonians 0 Cheshunt 15
Cheshunt edged a tough encounter on windswept Hackney marshes, against a determined Streets team and moved up the league to fourth spot. The remaining first half of the fixture list in the run up to Christmas will prove vital, and C’s will hope to be in the promotion mix at the start of the New Year. Kicking with the elements in the first half, Cheshunt had a few early forays into the Streets 22 without threatening very much, the breeze coming and going, often bringing some rain, which made running rugby difficult on the exposed pitch. The set piece was securing possesion at both scrum and lineout and the pack were looking menacing with ball in hand, when C’s were awarded a penalty around halfway, the ball was booted deep into the Streets 22 for an attacking lineout. The catch and drive worked perfectly and at the back of the maul Ryan Hussey helped Aydan Duligall get over the line for the opening score in the left hand corner after 15 minutes. Hussey, Jake Phillips and Ollie Martines in the Cheshunt front row continued to dominate the scrum, Streets finding it difficult to produce any decent first phase ball to raise an attack, but when they got their hands on loose ball, they showed a willingness to counter. They were well marshalled in midfield by Tom Claridge and Bobby Bolton, strong tackling stopped them from getting over the gain line and when the ball went wider, Declan walker, Dave Lever and Richard Valentine were always on hand to snub out any attacks. Cheshunt created the next opportunity, this time in the right corner, with another attacking lineout, as the maul drove towards the line, a Streets forward illegally came around offside, Martines took exception to this and the referee sent both players to the bin for ten minutes. The visitors however were able to remain in the red zone until the home side were off side under the posts and Reece Shoobridge extended the advantage to 8 points with a simple kick. Although Cheshunt continued to have the better of the exchanges, they were unable to add to the lead before the break, the Streets defence remained organised and committed and difficult to break down. The home sides game plan was simple in the second period, they seemed determined to play as much rugby in the Cheshunt half as possible and long kicks down field proved difficult for the Green and Whites to return with any profit and whilst the Cheshunt line always remained intact, they were aware that, with the strong breeze, penalties would be easy from anywhere in their own half. The discipline at the break down was excellent, Duligall, Alex Clark and Joel Bailey driving the pack forward, Marvin Brown and Josh Willcocks doing the hard yards and half backs Shoobridge and Johno Wicks keeping them on the front foot. The introduction of Greg Morris in the front row added another strong runner in close quarters, Dave Angell and Omid Amani came on to make some telling tackles and forced the Streets attackers back. As the Streets pack started to tire, Cheshunt were able to spend more time in and around the opposition 22, Phillips and Brown forced turnovers which led to a series of scrums and lineouts 30 yards out, as the clock was against them, the home side, needing a couple of scores to claim victory tried to run out of their half, Dave Lever spotted a loose pass in the centre and intercepted, unchallenged he ran in under the posts and with Shoobridge’s extras Cheshunt stretched to 0-15 with just 12 minutes left. Although most of the remainder of the game was spent in the Cheshunt half, the home side didn’t look like they would break through the Green and White wall, despite losing Duligall towards the end of the match, sent to the bin for delaying a Streets penalty. A tough contest never the less and Cheshunt were delighted to come away with the victory, as well as a few walking wounded, Walker having to retire near the end, after his bone crunching tackles had repelled the Streets attacks, time after time. Next Saturday, Cheshunt welcome Barnet Elizabethans to Rosedale, Barnet sit in fifth place in the league and can leap frog Cheshunt with a victory, another tough encounter.
Martines, Phillips, Hussey, Brown, Willcocks, Clark, Duligall, Bailey, Shoobridge, Wicks, Lever, Claridge, Bolton, Walker, Valentine. Replacements – Morris, Angell, Amani.