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Home > News > Winslow 19 - Chesham 17
Your News Winslow 19 - Chesham 17

Chesham Rugby Club traveled to bottom placed Winslow on Saturday afternoon on the back of two big victories in the previous weeks. The Stags were looking to push on in the Berks, Bucks, and Oxon Championship and force their way into the top four with a big performance. Winslow have been Chesham's bogey team in recent years with the Stags maintaining narrow wins, but with confidence high and a strong side named the men from Chesham were looking forward to a high scoring game. However, they were to come undone as they faced a determined Winslow side who were able to hold out for a 19-17 win.

The game began with Winslow immediately taking the initiative and pushing into Chesham's half. They secured the ball well and looked to break through the Stag's defence. While Winslow's work at the ruck was tying in Chesham defenders the backs found themselves with an overlap, but strong tackling and good organisation was able to hold the home side out. Chesham began to be penalised by the referee for not releasing the player and were struggling to get out of their 22. Eventually the pressure told as Winslow spotted an overlap and with a strong run from their full-back, were able to break through the line and score.

Winger Chris Cheeld had been injured during the scoring process, and Winslow cleverly spotted this to exploit another overlap minutes later. With the Winslow fullback again cutting a good angle the home side took advantage of some poor defensive alignment to burst through and ground the ball in the corner. Chesham were now 12-0 down and struggling to impose themselves on the game. The Winslow defence was coming up quickly and the Stags were not adapting to being on the back foot. Offloads which would have resulted in breaks during the previous weeks were going to ground and allowing Winslow to defend beyond the gain line. Chesham were not able to string any phases together and could not find their way into Winslow territory.

The visitors were lucky not to concede any more points as Winslow wasted a couple of penalty opportunities, and this enabled the Stags to begin forcing their way in to the game. The back's hands were slick and released winger Alex Hanney clear on the left wing. Hanney showed his pace to clear the defence and pass back inside to Phil Cornhill who went over for a converted try. Chesham seemed to be back in the game but once more Winslow hit back with another try from their fly half to extend the lead once again. Chesham were then able to score their second try from another Hanney break just before half time to bring the scores closer.

After some harsh words at half time the Stags were determined to make amends in the second half, and came out firing. With the forwards now working hard to secure possession Chesham began to dominate possession, becoming camped in the Winslow half for much of the remaining forty minutes. Winslow began to give away numerous penalties at the breakdown, denying the Stags possession but not being punished by any yellow cards, despite two obvious transgressors. For their part, Chesham continued to waste try-scoring opportunities with poor passing and some questionable decision-making in the 22. Despite dominating possession and territory, Chesham were unable to string enough phases together to build an attack, and it fell to a fine individual run by replacement Gary Szulc to put Jack Davies into space for a consolation converted try with the last action of the game.

"We started far too slowly and didn't get into the game until late in the first half" said captain Gareth Wehrle. "Our performance was disappointing in a game that should have been an easy win for us, while it's a shame that the referee did not allow us to play the remaining minutes and did not use his cards on persistent offenders. Winslow stopped us playing our game in all areas and it's given us a lot to think about in our two weeks off to ensure that it doesn't happen again."

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