London 3 North/West, 28/01/2017.
Finchley 21 Cheshunt 14
Cheshunt turned in a lack-lustre performance on the road at struggling Finchley and were a little
fortunate to return to Andrews’s lane with a losing bonus point after the Finchley kicker failed to
convert any of the three tries.
It could have been a different story if they were able to turn some of the early pressure they
generated into points, but handling errors and a string of penalties kept turning the ball over and a
determined Finchley team kept the scoreboard blank, despite most of the play for the first 20
minutes being confined to their half.
Cheshunt’s first opportunity came after 10 minutes, Louis Mulholland had put in a nice grubber kick
down the line and the forwards put some pressure on the Finchley lineout, this led to an attacking
scrum 5 metres out, but a knock on gave possession back and then a couple of penalties saw
Finchley get out of their half for the first time.
Neither side were able to keep hold of the ball for very long, dropped passes and penalties meant
the game became a series of scrum and lineouts. Although in the initial stages there seemed to be
parity in the set piece, as the game progressed Finchley became more dominant and C’s struggled to
win their own ball.
After 23 minutes, Finchley got into the Cheshunt 22 for the first time after another penalty saw them
kick down the line, the catch and drive got close and their hooker peeled off the back of the maul to
touch down for a 5-0 lead.
More penalties given away by Cheshunt kept the home side away from their line and they added 3
more points after Cheshunt had initially stopped another catch and drive, but infringed under the
posts after half an hour.
The visitors created two opportunities, Sam Rule breaking into the 22 and Ryan Hussey taking the
ball on from a lineout, but both chances were squandered when C’s turned the ball over. From the
second spill, Finchley booted the ball back into the Cheshunt half, Kaz Topham did well to maintain
possession under pressure and was able to stay upright in time for the retreating forwards to set up
a maul on the Cheshunt 10 metre line, from the back Joel Bailey burst through the Finchley defence
and a 50 metre run took him into the 22, the last defender hauled him down just short of the line,
but not before he had got his pass away to the supporting Sam Rule who touched down under the
posts, with Mulholland’s extras the score was 8-7.
As the game progressed the home side were becoming more comfortable on the ball and put
together their best attack of the half just before the break, despite a thumping tackle form Josh
Willcocks they managed to dart into the 22 again, Mulholland stopped the try with a fabulous last
ditch tackle, but the forwards couldn’t stop the move legally and another penalty under the posts
took the score to 11-7 at the break.
With the breeze on their backs the home side enjoyed the territorial advantage in the second period;
they saw an early long range penalty sail wide, but added to their total after they kept possession
close to the line and finally had men over to score in the left corner.
C’s were disappointed to see Marvin Brown called back, when the referee called a knock on, but
they were back in the game after a drive from the lineout got them close, Finchley collapsed the
rolling maul and a quick tap, a couple of phases working closer to the posts and an inside pass from
Mulholland to Alex Brown, gave him enough room to touch down under the posts, the easy
conversion brought the score back to 16-14.
Finchley though finished the game on top and soon stretched back to a seven point lead, some poor
tackling saw their fly half dance through in the 22, despite Reece Shoobridge’s covering tackle he
had support and Finchley were over the line again.
There was still plenty of time left in the game, but C’s could only muster one more serious attempt
on the Finchley line, but were penalised for holding on to the ball on the floor, which allowed the
home side to get back up field and they were happy to get the ball into touch as soon as the clock
A rest week is followed by a home game against St Albans on the 11 th February.