London 3 North/West.
8 th October 2016
Cheshunt 31 Finchley 14
Cheshunt finally recorded their first league win of the season, despite a performance which lacked
any consistency, they were still comfortably good enough to breeze past Finchley and earn a
valuable bonus point, thanks mostly to some fine pieces of individual skill.
The visitors had the better of the opening few minutes and an early attack was halted by a crunching
tackle from Omid Amani, but a few missed tackles allowed Finchley to remain in the Cheshunt half.
Slowly Cheshunt began to get in the game and were a little fortunate to take the lead after 10
minutes, after a short time in the Finchley 22, a clearance kick found its way to Dave Lever on
halfway, he didn’t collect the ball as cleanly as he might have intended, but managed to chip the ball
beyond the first line of Finchley defenders, Sam Rule was quick to collect the loose ball and was soon
back into the 22, tackled just short, he popped the ball to Omid Amani in support, who crossed to open the
Both sides were guilty of losing possession, unable to string together a series of phases which saw
the game played around the halfway mark. Finchley often looked dangerous on the counter attack
and when C’s failed to clear the visitors were soon in the Cheshunt 22, however, the home sides
scrum was beginning to dominate and kept winning the ball back.
Cheshunt started to enjoy the majority of possession and when the visitors gave away a free kick,
Reece Shoobridge took a quick tap, he swapped passes with Bobby Bolton, then found Connor
Pearce in support who ran through under the posts, with Shoobridge’s extras C’s were 12-0 up after
Cheshunt now were beginning to turn the screw and should have added to their total, Bolton and
Marvin Brown both cut holes in the Finchley defence and gained ground, but C’s were unable
convert the chances and ignored a simple penalty chance, in an attempt to get to the try bonus point
Finchley took advantage in the last 10 minutes of the half, after a lull in the game, suddenly the
visitors back line burst into action, they cut through the centre and in under the posts to reduce the
arrears to 12-7 after 33 minutes. Although the Cheshunt forwards were completely dominant, the
Finchley back line looked dangerous, but neither side were able to add to their total before the half
A long kick from Dan Saunders soon put Finchley back under pressure, deep in the 22 C’s attacked
from a scrum and were just held up short, they spent some time close to the try line, but Finchley
held firm, finally they cleared, but Sam Rule created some space for Bolton to dance back into the
22, Finchley could only halt the Cheshunt attack by conceding a penalty, again Cheshunt turned
down the easy pot at goal. Although they started to march towards the line from the scrum, when
they picked, a simple interception saw the visitors clear down field. Finchley were then quickly in the
Cheshunt danger zone and should have taken the lead, but with the line at their mercy, dropped the
ball 10 metres out.
Finally Cheshunt put some daylight between the scores with the try of the match, good lineout ball
from Josh Willcocks allowed Bolton to again get through the first line of defenders, he found Jake
Phillips in support 30 metres out, he avoided the first two tacklers, then threw two outrageous
dummies to send the Finchley defence the wrong way and ran in near the posts, the conversion
stretched the advantage to 19-7, as the game entered the final quarter.
That should have signalled a comfortable end to the afternoon, Cheshunt seemingly in control of
most aspects of the game, but when they were robbed of the ball in mid field, the right winger ran
clear to score under the posts to pull back to 19-14.
Searching for the all-important bonus point C’s pilled on the pressure, Dave Lever nearly went over
in the corner, but was ruled to have put a foot in touch, C’s were now camped in the 22, a Finchley
scrum under their own posts was shunted backwards, the ball squirted out and Pearce reacted
quickest for the simplest of touchdowns and back to a 12 point advantage.
Instead of playing the remainder of the game in the Finchley half, Cheshunt continually tried to
attack from deep, until the ball found its way to Dean Gardener, he sent a long kick down field,
which bounced down the right touchline and then up into his brother Dale’s arms, from 40 yards he
outsprinted the covering defence and completed the scoring, 31-14.
A week off from league rugby, Cheshunt travel to Ely in the national cup next Saturday, the following
week they return to league action when they visit St Albans.