Chinnor’s long wait to play rugby at Kingsey Road this season was rewarded with a bonus point 38-14 victory against strugglers Barking.
With Mowbray back from injury, Chinnor gave a debut to back rower Evan Sawyer. The match also saw the return of hooker Alan Cawston, starting his 16th consecutive season of first team rugby for Chinnor.
Although Barking made a bright start, first points of the afternoon came from Chinnor’s James Cathcart on 5 minutes who slotted a penalty goal after a scrum infringement by the visitors from Essex. Chinnor were back on the scoreboard some 11 minutes later when a powerful midfield break from Goode allowed Stoop to canter under the posts for the opening try. Cathcart converted to give Chinnor a 10-0 lead.
Barking’s fullback Forrest kicked a penalty goal in the 22nd minute to open Barking’s account. Cathcart and Forrest then exchanged penalty goals to put the home side in at the break 13-6 ahead.
Chinnor attacked right from the restart and Seymour’s industry down the right was rewarded when number 8 Joe Kava powered over for Chinnor’s second try. Cathcart’s conversion now gave Chinnor a 20-6 lead. Minutes later, Cathcart dummied and scythed through the midfield and slipped what looked to be the perfect pass to Colver in acres of space. Unfortunately for Chinnor, a Barking hand managed to intercept to prevent a certain try. A similar thing happened minutes later when Kava, bursting through the visitor’s defence, passed the ball to the intercepting Barking full back Woollard, who was yellow carded for being offside. From the resultant scrum, quick ball was zipped along the back line to fullback Colver to touch down for Chinnor’s third the try of the afternoon. Cathcart converted on the 53rd minute to increase Chinnor’s lead to 27-6.
Barking then had a good period attacking the Chinnor line which resulted in a try for Sinfield on 55 minutes in from a smart inside pass to reduce Chinnor’s lead to 27-11. Chinnor then went vigorously in hunt of the fourth and bonus point try without result – caused by stout Barking resistance and some mishandling. The fourth try eventually came in the 75th minute from Liam Gilbert and, with the conversion from James Cathcart, Chinnor’s lead increased to 34-11. Barking did not give up and were rewarded with a last minute try from full back Woollard and Forrest’s conversion made the final score 34-18 to Chinnor.
Barking struggled at times in the match and looked underpowered in the scrum. However, their resilience made the score line respectable.
Chinnor had a mixed match and eschewed a number of scoring chances but will be happy to gain a bonus point victory for the first home match of the season.