Chichester colts see plate-final dream dashed
Chichester Colts dream of reaching the National Plate final was dashed at the semi-final stage when they lost on their long journey to Devon to face Ivybridge.
The blues were under no illusions that playing the Devon lads on their home turf would be a huge challenge.
Chichester started very well. Playing up a slope they powered into their bigger opponents.
The first 25 minutes were all Chichester and they were cheered on by the blue faithful as they surged left, getting to within inches of the line, then right.
Ivybridge were very streetwise and killed any gilt-edges chances. Ned Renwick kicked from hand beautifully but just missed a penalty by inches in a strong cross-wind.
Alex Margarson used textbook tackles to snuff out the big home No12. Renwick got in on the act with a great tackle on the Ivybridge playmaker.
The Blues were contemplating a frustrating 0-0 half-time scoreline but, as with all good teams, Ivybridge needed only one chance – a brea down in communication out wide, one missed tackle and the Greens’ left winger hurtled through to score – 5-0.
Chichester knew they had the slight advantage of the slope after the break. But the Greens again showed why they have played at this level for some time.
Their huge front jumper started to win some ball and from their first attacking lineout they developed great front-foot ball and moved the ball into the blindside. Although Joe Stirrup made a great tackle, their centre just reached the line to make it 10-0.
As the game entered the last 20 minutes, Chi started to make changes and try a last throw of the dice. They lifted the tempo with big Ed Grinsted carrying hard backed up by Will Prior.
Margarson made a couple of half-breaks but the heavens opened and conditions became very difficult.
The Greens, under intense pressure, ran the clock down very professionally and were even prepared to sacrifice the odd penalty.
So two errors ultimately cost Chichester dear, but they can be proud of reaching the semi-final and everyone gave their all in this game – no-one more so than skipper Stirrup.
Chi director of rugby Paul Colley said: “It wasn’t our day and I’m sure whoever Ivybridge play in the final, it will be a cracking encounter.”
Chi’s colts still have plenty to play for with two league games and a Sussex Cup semi-final to come, that on April 24 at Crowborough.
Support would be welcome at Chi’s last league game of the season at home to East Grinstead this Sunday.
CHI COLTS: Prior, Munroe, Rugman, Grinsted, Fitmaurice, Constable, Adlington, Quinten, Stirrup, Renwick, Gallimore, Margarson, Patterson, Truman, Hutchin, Delacy, Brereton, Watmore, Scott, Ellis, Seehawong , Grace.
* Chi Colts’ convincing win over Kingsbridge in a previous round has had a silver lining for the club.
A superb team try scored by Tom Hutchin has been named try of the month on the England RFU Facebook page in a regular competition sponsored by Samsung. The accolade means the club have won £1,000 of Samsung equipment.
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