Brilliant Blues make merry at Maidstone

Harry Seaman, seen here against Chobham, scored a hat-trick of tries at Maidstone / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Harry Seaman, seen here against Chobham, scored a hat-trick of tries at Maidstone / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chichester notched their second ten-try haul of the season as they eased past relegated Maidstone at The Mote for a 58-5 London one south win.

They made eight changes as Arden-Brown, Grinsted and Davies started in the pack, with Hutchin and Jenkinson in the backs and Belcher, Heber and Maxfield on the bench.

Chichester kicked off on an overcast but dry afternoon and soon, in three quick phases Jack Bentall, Chris Johnson and Aaron Davies moved the ball to within five yards of the try line. While the Maidstone defence were regrouping, Harry Seaman darted over the line by the posts. It was converted for an early 7-0 lead.

A steal from Nick Blount fed Tom Hutchin who made 30m and found Sam Renwick in support to outstrip the Maidstone defence and dot down – the conversion made it 14-0 with less than five minutes gone.

From a Chichester scrum on halfway line, Seaman fed Hutchin who offloaded from the floor to Ben Robson, sprinting through a gap created by Jack Bentall’s dummy run, to score Chichester’s third try.

A darting run from the home fly half was snuffed out by a fine cover tackle from Johnson on the Blues’ 22m line. A clearance kick was charged down 20 metres from the Chichester line for a certain try but the opposition No8 knocked it on.

An overthrow was picked up by Charlie Wallace, who fed the rampaging Johnson. Having beaten seven defenders Johnson returned it to Wallace to touch down under the posts.

Maidstone infringed, allowing Seaman to kick for the corner. The Blues secured the ball at the lineout and the pack headed for the try line. Maidstone were penalised and Chichester opted for a five-metre scrum with Seaman darting down the blindside to score in the corner.

From the restart Blount received the ball on the Chichester 22m line and sprinted down the pitch before being brought down five metres from the try line. A forward pass from the scrum handed the ball to the opposition but the Chichester pack pushed Maidstone back and Johnson battered his way past three defenders to score.

From a scrum Hutchin passed to Robson who offloaded brilliantly, one-handed from the floor, for Renwick to run it from halfway in a big arc to evade the Maidstone defence, making it 36-0 at the break.

An overthrow was picked up by Charlie Wallace, who fed the rampaging Johnson. Having beaten seven defenders Johnson returned it to Wallace to touch down under the posts.

A penalty was conceded and Maidstone kicked for the corner. The packs cancelled each other out and the Maidstone prop crashed over.

Seaman kicked right into the corner after an infringement. Chichester won the lineout but Maidstone stopped Johnson crossing the try line, although conceded a penalty in doing so. From the scrum Johnson, at acting scrum-half, passed to Seaman who completed his hat-trick. By now it was 48-5.

Blues had a scrum on their own ten-metre line. Seaman, Hutchin, Bentall and Jack Hamilton-Fox teed up Ben Heber to scorch 30m down the touchline, evading a cover tackle, to dot down in the corner.

Chichester weren’t finished and from a lineout Davies fed Arden-Brown before Bentall wrongfooted the defence for Chichester’s tenth try.

Maidstone upped the tempo but the Blues’ defence was resolute and they cleared their lines with a 60m move. With less than a minute left Ben Deavall and Hamilton-Fox combined to stop Maidstone’s final attack.

Chichester: Deavall, Arden-Brown, Woods, Grinsted, Blount, Davies, Wallace, Johnson C, Seaman, Hutchin, Robson, Bentall (capt.), Renwick, Jenkinson, Hamilton-Fox, Belcher, Heber, Maxfield.

Chichester play the final home game of season on Saturday when they welcome Old Colfeians to Oaklands Park (3pm).

SIMON TANNER