Datchworth 1st XV 32 - 8 Cheshunt 1st XV
By Steve Hall
A lop sided scoreboard fails to do justice to an entertaining match
The lop sided scoreboard fails to pay justice to the contribution Cheshunt made to this entertaining match, the visitors matching the in-form team in the league, in most aspects of play. However once again Cheshunt paid dearly for not taking advantage of continued pressure in the opposition red zone, but saw their opponents capitalise when they created opportunities.
Datchworth raised the first attack of the game, but a couple of penalties soon got Cheshunt back in the Datchworth half. Neither side were able to get into the 22 until Geoff Hayden collected a wayward kick to touch near his own line, he ran across field and ball along the line was fed to Jack Gutteridge who took play to the half way, Cheshunt continued to go through the phases, but finally gave the ball away on the 22,. The home side tried to follow Cheshunt’s example and run out of danger, but a loose ball was picked up by Alan Thorne, he fed Joel Bailey who carried the ball to 10 yards out, again C’s went through the phases until Datchworth transgressed at the breakdown and Geoff Hayden put the visitors first on the board, after 15 minutes.
Datchworth responded immediately, levelling the scores with a penalty from close range. The game then went through a scrappy phase, both sides turning the ball over and when Cheshunt gave away possession with a dropped ball close to their line Datchworth, eventually, got the first try of the match, they missed a couple of chances to get over the line but in the end squeezed over in the left hand corner. Followed by an excellent conversion, it gave them the lead after 27 minutes. 5 minutes later, Tom Reynolds was harshly shown a yellow card for entering a ruck at the side, the sweetly struck penalty from the 10 yard line extended the home side’s advantage to 13-3.
Cheshunt attacked from the re-start, Thorne piled into contact and Jake Phillips sent Adam Chantler down the left wing, he found Lewis Daymon in support but Datchworth were able to scramble to ball into touch 5 yards from their line, during this play a Datchworth player, also somewhat harshly, was sent to the sin bin. Although Cheshunt continued to have a large percentage of the play they were unable to add to their score, then with the final play of the half, a fine chip ahead was collected by the home side left winger on half way, he raced to the corner and another superb touchline conversion gave Datchworth a 20-3 lead at the break.
Again the visitors started strongly in the second period, running through the phases until a forward pass gave away possession. Cheshunt were frustrated by the feeding at the scrum and felt they should have had an obvious free kick on half way, instead they were penalised for not pushing straight and Datchworth kicked to the corner. At the lineout, Reynolds was penalised for collapsing the maul and was shown a second yellow, eventually the referee realised that it was his second spell in the bin and upgraded it to a red, Cheshunt would now have to compete for the last 30 minutes with 14 men. It rather ended any chance of a comeback for the Green and Whites and it spoilt an entertaining game, completely devoid of any foul play. It wasn’t long before the home side took advantage of the extra man and crossed the line again, 27-3.
The visitors didn’t give up and were rewarded for some continued pressure on the Datchworth try line when Bailey forced his way over. Cheshunt threw caution to the wind and ran any ball they could secure, Chantler broke down the left, the ball was fizzed across field for Gutteridge to scoot down the right wing, again they were camped on the line, but as so many times this season, when they turned the ball over, their opposition were clinical when they got back into the Cheshunt 22, getting over the line again to seal the bonus point and end any Cheshunt revival.
Next week Cheshunt entertain Old Priorians, the league leaders, at Andrews Lane.
Martines, Phillips, Short, Reynolds, Boulton. F, Angell, Clarke, Bailey, Daymon, Chamberlain, Gutteridge, Thorne, Boulton. R, Chantler, Hayden, Replacements:- Chalk, Dickson, Shoobridge