Call to arms as table-topping Chinnor prepare for crunch clash

Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow marshals a Chinnor scrum at Cinderford. Picture by Aaron Bayliss
Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow marshals a Chinnor scrum at Cinderford. Picture by Aaron Bayliss

Chinnor director of rugby Matthew Williams is urging the people of Thame and surrounding areas to get down to the club on Saturday and cheer on his side as they take on Old Elthamians in a tantalising top-of-the-table clash at Kingsey Road.

Chinnor have blown away all before them this season to sit top of National League Division Two South, but Old Elthamians are also unbeaten in their nine games and have been in equally destructive form, sitting just a single point behind in second.

It promises to be a thrilling affair which could well go a long way to deciding who wins the title.

Williams, who has been director of rugby at Chinnor for two years, said: “I often talk about culture, accountability and identity. We are a grounded team, striving for perfection and it’s that identity, culture and hunger to better ourselves every Saturday that keeps the ‘Chinnor Crazy Gang’ well oiled and motivated.

“We are well aware of the challenges ahead. Rugby is a sport where anyone on any given Saturday can beat what lays in front of them.

“We are a squad full of strong characters, but with equally strong team belief.

“Yes there will be road bumps within a season,there always is . It’s how you can deal with them and move forward that makes a ‘great’ team.

“ This was epitomized on Saturday when we made the daunting trip to the Forest without Danny Barnes and we lost Gus Jones and Tom price on the morning of the game.

“To any other team a catastrophic loss and yet it had limited knock on effect to the final result. We dealt with it, re jigged the back line , front row and back row and executed as we trained.

“And so to this weekend’s game - first versus second - a mouthwatering prospect for a neutral .Will this result dictate league positions come April 30? With 20 games to go, definitely not. There is way too much rugby left to play.

“However, this is about more than that. We are unbeaten at home since January 30 and someone’s current unbeaten league record will end at Kingsey Road come 4.30pm - barring a draw of course.

“So to all sports loving people of Thame and surrounding Villages - this is a club You have something to be proud of, something to be vocal about. Let’s get a huge crowd. Let’s make the Black and White army the 16th man. It’s time to stand up!”

Chinnor ensured they go into Saturday’s game top of the table thanks to victory last weekend when they continued their relentless form with a 26-9 away win at 10th placed Cinderford.

A visit to the Forest of Dean is never easy and Chinnor soon found themselves on the back foot and under pressure, however after riding out the storm, a break from Tom Burns led to a driving maul which saw Burns himself go over and score.

Sam Angell converted before Jamie Townsend also went over for the visitors, although James Moffat’s penalty reduced the lead to 14-3 at half-time.

A poor start to the second-half allowed Cinderford to claw back further points and offered renewed hope, but Bertie Hopkin gave Chinnor breathing space before a trademark dummy from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow saw him put Hopkin away for the bonus-point and game-clinching fourth try.