Superb Chinnor shock title chasing Old Albanian

Picture by Aaron Bayliss
Picture by Aaron Bayliss

Chinnor produced a fabulous tactical performance as they shocked title-chasing Old Albanian 17-5 away from home to boost their own hopes of avoiding relegation in National League Two South.

Chinnor, playing with gale-force winds in their favour for the first half, gave Old Albanian little choice but to run the ball out of defence as kicking into the strong wind was not an option.

Consequently, most of the initial play was in the Albanian half with lock Daz Oliver leading the charge followed by occasional counter attacks into Chinnor territory.

The Chinnor defence rallied to prevent any score and fly half Sam Angell’s kicking relieved any pressure and pinned Albanian back into their own half.

After 30 minutes, Chinnor opened the score when wing Oscar Heath intercepted an Albanian pass to run 30 metres unopposed for a try that Angell converted.

Chinnor desperately tried to get another score before half-time while they had the wind advantage but the Albanian defence stood firm.

In the second half, Chinnor now had the task of driving against the elements and they certainly rose to the occasion with scrum after scrum being pushed forward by their pack to release the back row of Ben Manning and Messum to lead driving mauls while Waddingham tackled anything that moved.

It didn’t take long for Heath to intercept yet another Albanian pass on the halfway line then hand off the Albanian fly half to complete a 50 metre sprint to the line to score an unconverted try.

Then scrum half Greg Goodfellow stepped up to take centre stage. The frustrated Albanian pack began giving away penalties, one of which Greg took quickly from his own 22 metre area and jinked his way through, allowing lock Vandermolen to join in the driving run.

Goodfellow then took a second quick penalty on the halfway and sprinted through the defence, only to be brought down short of the line.

A quick flick to supporting Angell put him over in the corner for an unconverted try and a surprising 17-0 point lead with 20 minutes remaining.

The home side did produced a late rally, Foster touching down in the corner, but Chinnor stuck to their task and ran out deserving winners.

Chinnor, who remain in the bottom three, host Canterbury this weekend.