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Home > News > Chesham 46 - Oxford Harlequins 3XV 22
Your News Chesham 46 - Oxford Harlequins 3XV 22

Chesham Rugby Club finished the 2010/2011 season on a high on Saturday afternoon with a hard fought 46-22 home victory against Oxford Harlequins. The Stags were confident of a win going into the game but they were pushed hard in the first half by a determined and skilful Oxford side. The home team knew they needed to secure a bonus point win, and hoped that other results went their way to stand any chance of a second placed spot in Berks, Bucks & Oxon 1 North.

The visitors began strongly and started to put some real pressure on the Chesham defence, they were rewarded with a penalty which was duly converted to give Oxford the lead. This seemed to give the Stags a wakeup call and they soon began to play some attractive rugby. A well worked backs move with plenty of offloads and fine support play saw scrum-half James Hook cross the line for the first try, which was unconverted. Minutes later the visitors hit back with a try of their own, which was converted to regain the lead.

The home side seemed to be struggling to produce the rugby they are capable of, but the pack soon began to tighten up and produce quick ball for Cheshams dangerous backs. A try from full-back Steven Morris gave Chesham the lead once more, before winger Chris Marriott latched onto a loose Oxford pass and raced clear to score the Stags third try. At this stage Chesham seemed to switch off and Oxford showed their class by scoring two more tries to give them a 22-17 lead at the break.

After some harsh half-time words from Head Coach Rocky Clark, Chesham were clear with what was needed from them in the second half. An improved defensive effort and more incisiveness in attack would see them clear, and they soon delivered the goods.

Second row Ollie Cato rounded off a fine season by bursting through on one of his trademark carries to level the scores. This was soon followed by No. 8 Gary Szulc showing an impressive turn of pace to cut through a crowded Oxford defence and touch down between the posts. Cheshams fitness was now beginning to show and they were able to put their game plan into action. The pack were beginning to dominate and secure some solid possession which was enabling the home sides backs to show their class and run through their set moves to gain territory.

Chesham scored three more tries to finish off the game on what had become an impressive afternoon for the Stags. Morris scored his second of the afternoon after showing his speed to go round the outside of the Oxford defence, before outside-centre Phil Cornhill capped an impressive season with a well worked try of his own. Soon after winger Olly Jaycocks proved that his fellow backs were not the only ones with pace by outstripping the cover to touch down between the posts.

Despite a shaky start Chesham were able to show what they were capable of in the second half. The fitness that has proved so decisive this season shone through again and enable the home side to shut out Oxford in the second half, conceding no extra points. In addition, the scoring of five well-worked tries proves what a cutting edge Chesham can have when everything clicks.

Man of the Match was named as Steven Morris for his two tries and solidity at the back of an impressive Chesham performance. The season was duly celebrated on Saturday evening as the whole club looked back on their achievements which included Cheshams womens team winning their league and securing promotion, a feat which was also achieved by the clubs second team. Chesham Rugby Club were also able to field a third team for the first time in ten years, a real achievement for the town.

Despite achieving the bonus point win, results elsewhere did not turn out to the Stags advantage and they finished fourth in the Bucks, Berks & Oxon 1 North table. The season has been a successful one for Chesham Rugby Clubs first team but they will ultimately rue a lack of ruthlessness, as the teams above only remain there due to the bonus points they have achieved. Chesham will now rebuild over the summer under their star coaches, and come back bigger, better and stronger to improve on this seasons position.

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