Herts/Middlesex 1 13/02/2016
Cheshunt 22 Old Streetonians 7
Cheshunt recorded another bonus point victory to maintain their position in second place in Herts/Middlesex one. Having to re-locate to Broxbourne School, with the Rosedale pitches unplayable, they enjoyed the excellent playing surface, which led to an open game. After dominating the first half, Cheshunt were disappointed to be only 10 points in the ascendency at the break, an early second half converted try from the visitors put the pressure on the Green and Whites, but in a far more even second 40 minutes, they were good enough to fashion two more tries and stretch their unbeaten league run to 13 games.
Streetonians were happy to go through the phases early on, but couldn’t make any ground against a determined Cheshunt defence and when the home side got the ball, they instantly looked more dangerous and most of the early exchanges were confined to the Streets half.
A clearing kick downfield from Streets was fielded by Johnno Wicks, he replied with a high kick which was dropped by the Streets defender just outside the 22, from the scrum Joel Bailey picked from 8 and surged into the 22 and Streets could only stop the momentum by giving away a penalty when they dived in the ruck. C’s kicked to touch for a catch and drive, although that was stopped, another scrum saw Bailey pick early and feed Reece Shoobridge, as he dived to the corner he was just tackled into touch.
Although Streets cleared, C’s were beginning to dominate possession and Connor Pearce was able to steal the ball at the lineout the launch the next attack, this time they stayed in the 22 and when the visitors gave away another penalty close to the line, Shoobridge took a quick tap, he used his supporting players to dummy the defence and wriggled over in the corner after 23 minutes, for the first points of the afternoon.
Streets became fairly adept at keeping possession with a limited pick and go game, but they made little ground and inevitably the turnover came and the ball was given to Dave Lever and C’s were quickly into the Streets 22 once again.
Although Lever was knocked into touch 15 metres out, Streets couldn’t clear from the lineout, a poor kick was collected by Alex Clark who fed Gregg Morris, he got over the line but was just held up, the scrum from five metres out then nearly got over, but with the Streets defence sucked in, quick ball was fed along the line to Dale Gardener who dived over in the corner to double the advantage just before the break.
Streets looked a different team in the opening minutes of the second half; prepared to play a more expansive game they began to look more of a threat. A break through the middle after several phases was halted by Mike Henderson, but again the visitors re-cycled and worked the ball along the line for the right winger to cross near the corner, an excellent conversion reduced the deficit to just 3 points at 10-7.
Although Streets raised the next attack, C’s felt they were a little unlucky when Lever was adjudged to be offside in open play, he was up quickly and intercepted the ball on the Cheshunt 22, with the Streets attackers all up in the line, he would have had a clear run to the try line, but was called back. It wasn’t long before Cheshunt had re-established their 10 point cushion, from a lineout 30 yards out they began a drive to the line, as it entered the 22, it picked up momentum and the visitors tried illegally to pull it down, playing advantage they still were powering towards the line and when a Streets defender ran around the back of the maul to pull ball carrier Pearce off the back, the referee went straight under the posts for a penalty try, with Shoobridge’s extras they had a 17-7 lead.
The home side left it late for the bonus point, with just 4 minutes on the clock another successful lineout from Pearce was fed to Bailey who ploughed into the Streets midfield, quick ball was fed back left and Wicks passed to Morris who wasn’t to be denied a second time and was unstoppable from 10 yards out to complete the scoring.
Cheshunt face a difficult away trip to Herts rivals Barnet next week
Angell, Morris, Brown, Pearce, Clark, Henderson, Duligall, Bailey, Shoobridge, Wicks, Lever, Claridge, Bolton, Gardener, Saunders. Replacements – Hussey.A, Willcocks, Amani.