Seven-try Chinnor set the early pace

Bertie Hopkin. Picture: Aaron Bayliss
Bertie Hopkin. Picture: Aaron Bayliss

Chinnor are the very early pace-setters in National League Two South after a seven-try win against London Irish Wild Geese in Saturday’s season curtain-raiser.

In the first match of the new campaign, the persistent rain did not dampen Chinnor’s desire to start on a winning note as they easily swept past their recently promoted visitors.

Things didn’t go all Chinnor’s way in the opening exchanges as Seb Rodwell’s converted try cancelled out Henry Lamont’s opener and had the visitors 7-5 in front, but once Bertie Hopkin kicked over a penalty moments later, the hosts seized control.

The Chinnor pack then exerted repeated scrum pressure leading to a penalty try, which Hopkin converted, before Kieran Goss’ score put his side 20-10 ahead at half-time.

Wild Geese had more of the ball in the third quarter but foundered on a stiff Chinnor defence before Hopkin slotted over a second penalty to extend the lead.

The Chinnor scrum pressure notched up a level with the introduction of Nathan Hannay and Richard Thorpe, resulting in Hopkin darting through for the bonus point.

Chinnor kept attacking in the red zone and George Messum barrelled over for their fifth, followed by Greg Goodfellow as the hosts ran riot.

The scoring sequence ended just before the final whistle when Mark Darlington was ushered over the line by the now rampant Chinnor pack to finish the match with a 47-10 victory to Chinnor.