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RUGBY UNION: Chinnor upset title hopefuls
Chinnor 36, Worthing 21
CHINNOR upset National 2 South title hopefuls Worthing Raiders with a highly committed team performance at Kingsey Road.
Outscoring the visitors by five tries to three, Chinnor were well worth a victory that took them up to sixth.
All this came with their usually reliable fly half James Cathcart missing five penalties and a conversion.
Worthing, who had won all four of their previous matches, were never allowed to click.
Chinnor got off to a flier after Worthing centre Kiba Richards knocked on Cathcart’s kick-off.
The hosts moved the ball quickly and centre Sam Stoop powered through to score on 18 seconds, Cathcart converting.
Chinnor’s pack, in which hooker Matt Holyland made his league debut, were strong throughout, even when they lost No 8 Joe Kava to the sin bin on 13 minutes.
Kava was harshly penalised for a deliberate knock on, despite being on halfway.
In fact, 14-man Chinnor had two chances to extend their lead, but Cathcart’s highly-flighted penalty efforts were ruled out, despite him feeling they were on target.
Worthing managed a close-range try from No 8 Rob Smith on 27 minutes after some sustained forward pressure, full back Matt McLean converting.
But Chinnor hit back to lead 21-7 at the break.
First, full back Henry Colver capitalised on a ricochet to play in wing Tom Gray, whose pace and sidestep proved too much for the defence.
Then, a precise kick from scrum half Frank Jones penned Raiders back and they could only clear as far as Gray.
Before Worthing could react, the ball was zipping across Chinnor’s backs, with centre Matt Goode giving wing Leo Fielding the scoring pass.
Cathcart, whose tactical kicking and distribution made up for his misses off the tee, converted both.
Worthing struck back on 42 minutes when an overlap saw McLean score and convert.
You wondered if Chinnor might wobble, but they were always dangerous with ball in hand and Stoop’s looped pass allowed Goode to motor in, Cathcart converting.
Chinnor’s tackling in the loose phases was suspect at times and they had a let-off when Worthing lock Will Stutchbury broke through, but gave a forward pass.
On 55 minutes, Worthing centre Harry Sloan ran a great line to go over by the posts and McLean converted.
Before they could press for parity, Cathcart’s excellent long pass sent lock Tom Mowbray on a surpisingly quick gallop to the line for 33-21.
Chinnor defended wel in the final quarter, winning crucial turnovers and penalties.
Stoop looked like he might cut through late on, but the icing on the cake came when Cathcart landed his first penalty of the day.
Chinnor: Colver, Gray, Goode, Stoop, Fielding, Cathcart, Jones, Winpenny (capt) (Stock 52), Holyland (Whelan 52), Pickett, Mowbray, Smith, Gilbert, Hastings (Wood 52, Seymour 74), Kava. Rep not used: Hopwood.
Referee: P Kimber (Hampshire).