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Home > News > Reading Abbey 27 - Chippenham 17
Your News Reading Abbey 27 - Chippenham 17

Chippenhams first team slipped to their second successive defeat at the hands of their old adversaries, Reading Abbey on Saturday.

For watching coach, Rob Alford, it was not all doom and gloom. He said; Our injury list is growing week by week and because of injuries, we had to put out a patched-up team for this match. But this is ot an excuse, we were lucky the score was not higher. Having said that, we are still top and the others are playing catch-up.

Making four changes to last weeks line-up through injury was always going to upset the balance of the team. Jon Whiteman who normally plays at hooker switched to prop and John Angel was recalled to the first team. Angell has not played for two months but on Saturday he took over the hooking duties.

Chippenham were the first to score but their first attempt to cross the line was disallowed by the referee. But the visitors kept up the pressure on the Reading try-line and eventually their persistence paid off when winger, Ryan Surry scored in the corner. Chippenham took an early 0-5 lead.

Maintaining the pressure on the Reading took its toll and Chippenham gifted Readings opening try. They intercepted a soft pass by Chippenham and the player ran fifty metres to cross the line and level the scores at 5-5.

Chippenham then squandered a couple of possible scoring chances and as the half-time whistle approached, and against the run of play, Reading scored a converted try to give them the lead 12-5 at the break.

Chippenham started the second half well, playing against the wind. But a sloppy clearance kick was gathered by the Reading full-back who ran fifty metres unopposed to scored his teams second try to further extend their lead to 17-5.

A penalty kick stretched the Reading lead to 20-5 and at this point in the game, Chippenham could have crumbled under the pressure.

But the visitors didnt crumble and dig in enjoying a twenty minute spell of relentless pressure on Reading. The pressure told and lead to Chippenham scoring two further tries. Josh ovens, making his debut and coming on as a replacement, scored the first of the two tries with Lee Audis adding the conversion. Surry grabbed his second try of the match and these two scores brought Chippenham to within three points of the lead at 20-17.

Reading, however, were not to be outdone and sealed the match with a converted try with very little time left for Chippenham to come back and make any difference.

Afterwards Alford was pragmatic. He said; The end result was not unexpected, playing as we did with a very much changed line-up. This was the first start in a first team shirt for John Santer in the second row and our two centres, Karl Brant and Grant Trewartha had never played together in these positions.

He went on;I was proud of the way we played for twenty minutes in the second half the boys could have folded but they didnt and dominated the play. Obviously I am disappointed that we have lost but the boys were asked to step up their game and they did. They certainly showed more guts and determination than last week.

Although having lost two games on the bounce, Chippenham remain top of the table with just five games left. Alford said; These last two games were a bit of a blip but we are not panicking.

Next weekend, Chippenham at last play their semi-final match in this years Dorset & Wilts Cup against Bournemouth at home with a 2.15pm kickoff. Alford said; The Dorset & Wilts Cup is not our priority right now. Selection on will be interesting as we shall have to decide who we rest and who we play.

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