Chingford U14's win against Eton Manor
By Andrew Metcalfe
A deserved win to make this annual encounter more balanced.
On an unseasonably warm Sunday morning, Chingford welcomed their friends and local rivals Eton Manor to participate in what has become an annual local derby. Eton Manor had been getting the better of these neighbourly encounters albeit Chingford had been slowly trying to bridge the gap. Would the game be a repeat of previous matches or could Chingford make them even more interesting - by making them competitive games - we were about to find out..............
Right from the whistle Chingford went into full offensive mode (and I don't mean the Seniors' behaviour on a Saturday evening).....a clean take from Ollie produced a classic Fullback run right through the Manor. An opening score was improved upon with Seb's conversion. 7-0.
With Chingford receiving, the pack settled the game down allowing Chingford to eventually press to Manor's 22. From Mason, Kayden received on the right hand side to run through to Manor's tryline. A great kick from Seb meant Chingford were now 14-0 up!
Again receiving, Chingford continued to dominate the game - which as a spectator was a pleasant change from several previous matches - when Manor did get the ball, Chingfords pressing was relentless and this dominance paid off again - Ethan smashing through off a strong build-up from Ryan and Arthur. A missed conversion but Chingford were up 19-0.
Chingford's pack were now controlling the game. Daragh, Devin, Roy, Oskar, Matt, Josh, Ryan and Harry were winning it for the team. On the back of a maul, Arthur spun out to take the ball right to the line. Josh took the last pass to provide another try. Seb sealed it with the conversion. Half time 26-0.......unchartered territory!
With both teams making changes, the second half settled into a more even encounter. Both teams were guilty of knock-ons but equally both teams were tackling well. A breakthough from Manor was stopped along the touchline by a great tackle from Will. Adam was in support to help cover for Manor's recycling. Joe was able to get a run started only to be pegged back and Matt steadied things with putting in enough yardage to turn the attack into our favour.
Jack was now providing scrum half services giving clean ball to the backs. This brought Chingford to Manor's 22. A couple of position swap-rounds allowed Will to take the ball to Manor's line, Ethan taking the ball over. After Seb had (again) scored Chingford were 33-0 up. What was happening?
As happens in so many games, something switches off as something switches on. All Manor's potential suddenly kicked in! With 20 minutes remaining Chingford needed to consolidate the situation......but........Manor went into overdrive. A score lifted their spirits (33-5) and another immediately after flipped the game into Manor's favour (33-10). Chingford were trying to slow the game down - get possession - but Manor continued. Another try (33-15) and another straight after (33-20) was bringing this game level. Manor's lacking on the boot was all of a sudden important. Time got the better of the rejuvenated Manor and Full Time was blown with a final score of 33-20. Chingford had hung on to a well deserved win.
Parents and Coaches agreed that this had been a great game. Chingford needed to provide better performances against our rivals to give the encounter more balance - and so we did. We look forward to the next game!