Chichester lose again, but it's a close call

Chichester in possession at Medway / Picture by Alison Tanner
Chichester in possession at Medway / Picture by Alison Tanner

Chichester lost their third game on the trot, going down 25-20 at Medway, but came very closing to notching an away victory.

They made nine changes to the team that had lost to Tottonians a week earlier.

Dane Gingell, Jon Lindsay and Hamish Minton came into the pack, Gareth Davies started at scrum-half, and Rhys Thompson and Charlie Norton joined the backs with Alex Margarson and Sam Drayson on the bench.

Medway had opened their clubhouse extension earlier in the day and there was a large and lively crowd on the terrace. The Priestfields pitch was in fine fettle and conditions were excellent.

As they had the previous week Chichester came out of the traps at pace. Medway were under pressure when a clearance kick was charged down and conceded a penalty in kicking range, and it was 3-0 to Chi with only two minutes gone.

The Blues were growing in confidence and a clearance kick from the 22 was charged down and kicked on for Rhys Thompson to gather and touch down. The conversion made it 10-0 with seven minutes gone.

An opportunity for another Blues try was missed when the ball was knocked on. Medway picked up the tempo and started to probe the Blues’ defence.

A combination of resolute defending, handling errors and infringements prevented the opposition touching down when a try seemed inevitable.

However, the Blues infringed a number of times in the scrum and at the breakdown, and anything in kicking range was slotted by Redman, the Medway fly half.

Medway were back in the game at 10-9 and Chichester down to 14 men after a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. Medway were unable to capitalise with their man advantage in the half.

Medway started the second half with purpose and had another penalty attempt after a Blues’ infringement – 12-10.

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Chichester responded almost immediately with their own penalty kick to regain the lead.

From the restart Chichester were again reduced to 14 men with a yellow card, this time for backchat. Medway only managed three points before Blues returned to a full complement, making it 15-13.

The home team breached the Chichester defence with a powerful run that evaded Blues tackles to score their first try out wide. The conversion meant it was 22-13.

This was followed by a penalty for a Chichester infringement – 25-13 with ten to go.

Medway supporters sensed a comfortable win but Chichester hadn’t read the script. As the clock ran down, Blues had Medway pinned back in their own half defending for all they were worth.

After extended pressure, the breakthrough came as Medway were pushed back and Phil Veltom touched down for Chichester’s second try, converted for 25-20.

Sadly there wasn’t time for Chichester to increase their score but the Blues did secure a losing bonus point.

Chichester: Prior, Gingell, Veltom, Lindsay, Lock, Minton, Wallace, Johnson, Davies, McLagan, Seaman, Renwick, Thompson, Golds, Norton, Maxfield, Margarson and Drayson.

On Saturday Chichester entertain Camberley at Oaklands Park (3pm) – get along and support the team and check out the newly-finished Oaklands Pavilion if you have not already.