London 3 North/West
7th January 2017
Stevenage 31 Cheshunt 33
Cheshunt just edged a10 try thriller at Stevenage on Saturday, Louis Mulholland’s excellent touchline
conversions in the second half proving to be the difference, as the visitors extended their unbeaten
league run to 5 games and have moved into the top half of the table.
Cheshunt had several chances to clear their lines from the kick off, but a combination of poor and
charged down kicks enabled Stevenage to remain in and around the 22. After spilling a couple of
chances the home side took the lead after 10 minutes, a chip ahead was collected by inside centre
Banna, who touched down under the posts leaving an easy conversion.
Cheshunt entered the Stevenage half for the first time from the re-start, but they were soon pinned
back in their 22 when they lost the ball in contact and the home side piled on more pressure and
should have added to their total.
Another Stevenage attack was foiled when Sam Rule tackled, then held the player up to earn C’s a
scrum on their 10 metre line, Mullholland picked and went from the base and raced into the
Stevenage half, he found Joel Bailey on his shoulder who took play into the 22 and another inside
pass sent skipper Tom Claridge in under the posts, with the conversion the scores were level after 20
The game was turned on its head as the visitors now dominated possession and territory down the
slope and controlled the rest of the first half. Rule broke free down the left, but didn’t notice Dale
Gardener haring down the left wing, however, C’s retained possession and earnt a penalty on the 22,
Mulholland’s effort missed, but back came C’s after the dropout and further pressure on the
Stevenage line saw one of the forwards yellow carded for slowing down the ball. Another drop out
found Gardener, he burst into the 22 and as cover came across cleverly kicked the ball into space
with the outside of his boot, Richard Valentine took the ball close and from the maul Aydan Duligall
was on hand to dive over, this time the conversion was missed but C’s had the lead 7-12 after half an
Just 4 minutes later, Gardener was also instrumental in setting up the next try, a kick ahead was
collected deep in the Stevenage 22 by the covering scrumhalf, but Gardener’s persistence made him
concede a 5 metre scrum, the Cheshunt pack heaved towards the line and when the ball was
deliberately kicked out of the scrum the referee had no option but to go under the posts for a
The rest of the half was spent in the Stevenage 22 and C’s looked to claim the bonus point try before
the break, Alex Browns inside pass to Duligall nearly got the visitors over the line again, but they had
to be content with a 7-19 advantage at the whistle.
From the start of the second half the home side fought back and were soon back in the game, a
speculative kick ahead was collected by the scrum half who kept the ball alive, play was switched
across the field and despite a wonderful tackle in the corner from Rule, Stevenage had enough
players on hand as the ball found its way to centre Crompton who crossed the line.
A thumping tackle by Richard Valentine allowed Connor Pearce to win a penalty and a quick tap
eventually found its way to Mulholland, he broke through, but his chip ahead for Valentine was just
covered by the retreating defence. Despite the visitors controlling most of the territory, it was the
home side who added the next try, the ever influential scrum half, Dane Edge again the creator, he
looped around and then found second row Mitchell on the charge to cross near the corner 17-19
with 17 minutes of the second period gone.
Cheshunt failed to make the most of the next opportunity, instead of re-cycling the ball was kicked
away, but they were soon back in the Stevenage 22 with an attacking scrum, ball along the line
found its way to Rule, this time he set Gardener away and although he still had work to do, he
shrugged off the last defender and crossed in the corner, followed by the first important touchline
conversion, C’s led 17-26 with 15 minutes left on the clock.
A thrilling finish was guaranteed when Cheshunt failed to clear their lines in the 22, a hack through
and a race to the line won by replacement Ripley, which pulled the score back to 24-26.
The Green and Whites immediately restored their 9 point advantage, Pearce athletically won the re-
start, Bailey and Gardener took the ball on, then inside to Alex Clark who raced over from the 22,
Mulholland knocked over the extras and that should have been enough to see the game out.
Stevenage though were not finished, with just a minute left on the clock, Mitchell crossed for his
brace, the conversion again narrowed the gap to 31-33 and the visitors had to hold on for the last 60
Next Saturday, Cheshunt entertain Hemel Hempstead who will look to secure their second place in
the table as they continue their push for promotion.