London 3 North/West. 10th December 2016
Old Merchant Taylors 25 Cheshunt 34
Cheshunt played some of their best rugby of the season and secured a bonus point victory, which
helped them leapfrog their opponents and climb a couple of places in the league. The match was
played on a gloomy afternoon, but the pristine conditions of the OMT pitch, allowed both sides to
play entertaining rugby.
Although Cheshunt threatened first, when Connor Pearce broke through, the visitors couldn’t keep
hold of the ball and it was the home side that had the better of the opening exchanges. They were
able to get into Cheshunt territory after a couple of penalties and when C’s infringed again 30 yards
out, OMT’s kicked the penalty to be first on the board.
Cheshunt almost immediately had the chance to level, but Louis Mulholland’s penalty effort was
pulled wide. They remained in the OMT half after a bulldozing run from Gregg Morris, this time Joel
Bailey couldn’t quite keep hold of his pass on the 22 with the line at his mercy, however, an
infringement from the home side allowed Mulholland to level the scores after 19 minutes.
OMTs spent the next 10 minutes camped inside the Cheshunt 22, they missed an incredibly easy
chance under the posts, then converted a more difficult kick to restore their 3 point advantage.
Cheshunt then missed another long range penalty opportunity, but the drop out re-start went to
Bobby Bolton, he spun through a couple of tackles and released Pearce who again burst through the
centre, as the last tackler came across he found Bailey and he crossed the line near the posts, with
Mulholland’s extras, C’s led 6-10.
Again the re-start found its way to Bolton, this time he found Reece Shoobridge who spotted lots of
space deep in the OMT half and pressure from the Cheshunt attackers forced the home side to
concede the put in at the set piece, Mulholland picked and a short pass to skipper Tom Claridge saw
him crash through and over the line, another conversion extended the lead to 6 -17 at the break.
Cheshunt were now the better team and threatened from all over the park, although they spent
sometime in the OMT half, they couldn’t add to their score until they were able to attack from deep
and against a less structured defence, when an OMT attack was turned over Alex Clark soon spotted
some space down field, a nicely weighted kick was fielded by the covering home defence, this time
the clearance kick found Mulholland on halfway, his high up and under was pursued by Bolton, he
tackled the ball catcher, then pinched the loose ball and scored under the posts, another conversion
took C’s to 6-24.
Cheshunt were enjoying themselves on the immaculate surface, Shoobridge made some lovely
breaks from fly half, Sam Rule, Kaz Topham and Richard Valentine all threatened with ball in hand
and the travelling support were treated to some attractive rugby. Morris, Oliver Martines, Jake
Phillips and Richard Lynn all worked hard in the front row, Frank Hall stopped many potential OMT
attacks at the breakdown and Alec Lawrence continues to impress and improve every week.
The home side though had their moments and the forwards were able to drive over from short
range halfway through the second period to narrow the gap to 13-24, but Cheshunt were soon out
of sight, with a lovely solo try from scrum half Mulholland. From a scrum on the OMT 22, he picked
and ran to the short side, Topham ran the dummy run perfectly, drawing the defenders which
allowed Mulholland around the outside and he outpaced the defence to the line and secured the
bonus point try, this time Shoobridge added the extras to push the score to 13-31.
Cheshunt were a little bewildered when the referee awarded a penalty try to the home side a few
minutes later to again bring the lead back to 11 points, but Cheshunt were in control and were able
to spend most of the rest of the game in the OMT half.
They certainly looked to have finished with a flourish, after another break from Shoobridge they
should have scored again, but the pass was dropped and OMT thought the danger had passed when
they had cleared to halfway; Bolton again took the high ball and returned the clearance with a
beautifully struck drop goal from just inside the half, to complete the Cheshunt scoring.
There was still time for a last attack from the home side and they crossed with the last move for a
consolation score, the conversion was missed which denied them a losing bonus point.
Next Saturday Cheshunt welcomes Datchworth to Andrews Lane.