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Home > News > Chesham 25 - Wheatley 27
Your News Chesham 25 - Wheatley 27

Chesham Rugby Club fell to a frustrating two-point home defeat on Saturday afternoon to Wheatley. A slow start, tactical naivety, and a confusing refereeing decision saw the Stags slip to their third defeat of 2012, despite fighting back from two tries down. With other results going their way Chesham still sit in fifth place of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Championship, but know that they must begin to record some results to secure their mid-table status.

With an extremely strong wind blowing at their backs, Chesham kicked off knowing that they would need to rack up the points in the first half against a dangerous visiting side. However, it was Wheatley that started strongly. The visitors secured possession and pushed into Chesham's half, attacking well and looking to break through. The Stag's defence was working well as a unit and began the task of holding Wheatley's strong runners out. With good line speed and some impressive tackling from Jack Davies in particular, Wheatley moved from side to side, making only limited ground. Eventually, Chesham were able to turn the ball over and mount an attack of their own. With the pressure building Wheatley gave away a kickable penalty, and fly-half Tom Hirst put the first points on the board.

Chesham then seemed to let their guard slip and Wheatley launched a good attack. The Stags defended an attacking lineout well, but then failed to secure the fringes of a ruck and allowed the visitor's impressive openside flanker to slip through a gap and score an unconverted try. Chesham looked to hit back, using the wind to secure territory, but were thwarted by a determined Wheatley side. Wheatley soon scored another try, before Hirst reduced the deficit with another well-struck penalty.

The Stags were only a few points down at half time, but knew that they had their work cut out to reduce the deficit with the wind at their faces. With Ross Leek introduced at fly-half and Hirst moving to centre, the Stags looked to improve their field position to come in with a chance of scoring tries. Chesham began to play their own brand of exciting rugby in the second half, with some free-flowing backs play and good offloading from the forwards taking them deep into the Wheatley half. With the Stags on the front foot, Hirst spotted a gap and darted through to open the scoring, converting his own try.

Wheatley were using the wind to their advantage and continued to push Chesham back, but when the Stags upped the intensity they were unable to cope. Another length of the field break saw the ball passed through several pairs of hands, before wing Matt Reynolds powered over the line for Chesham's second try. Wheatley then reduced the arrears with a penalty, and scored a fine try from first phase to put them back in the lead.

With only five minutes remaining Chesham knew they had to put everything in to come away with a much needed victory. The ball was worked up-field with some strong carries, and the Stags found themselves in the opposition 22. Davies produced a fine carry that took him to within inches of the line, before Hirst picked the ball up from the base and wriggled over the line for his second try of the day. Hirst's conversion was narrowly wide, but Wheatley had attempted to charge the kick down despite having players on the pitch. By the law book the kick should have been re-taken, but the referee waved the game on, meaning that Wheatley could re-take the lead with a converted try.

The Stags secured possession from the kick-off and were awarded a penalty, which was kicked to touch. However, the lineout was stolen by the visitors and they set up a strong rolling maul which took them over the line, the conversion giving Wheatley the win. Despite the charging decision, Chesham were beaten by their own slow start and their inability to finish the game off when it was needed most. The Stags showed great hard to claw back the points difference with the wind in their faces, but will need to work on hard on their tactical game during the week for their next game against Abingdon on Saturday.

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