14 man Manor beaten in local derby
Manor travelled to local rivals Chingford on the back of a disappointing display the previous week against Tring. With Manor still to record a league victory they were keen to put in a good display against the home side. Unfortunately this did not happen and their cause was further hampered with the red card issued to John Robinson for foul play early in the second half. With a man down Manors task was made all the harder and Chingford eventually ran out deserved winners 3-16.
Manor kicked the match off and the opening 10 minutes saw both sides struggle to put together many phases of play, some of this was due to the weather where the fine rain made conditions difficult. Manor were having the better of the territory and when Chingford did threaten Manors 22 fine clearing kicks by Mark Woollard saw play taken back into Chingford’s half.
Chingford for their part were working well around the park, closing Manor down and making life difficult for the visitors to mount any sort of concerted attack. They were also using the kicking game to good effect and it was from one such kick that the first try of the match came. A deep kick into Manors 22 saw the Chingford winger pressurise Tom Bateman who had tracked back and dived on to the loose ball, unfortunately the wet ball slipped from his grasp and the Chingford player was quickest to react, picking up the ball and rounding Manors fullback to score behind the posts. With the simple conversion taken Chingford led 0-7 after 15 minutes of play.
From the restart Manor harried Chingford, who tried to work their way up the middle of the park using driving runs. Manor defended these and when Tryson Goodchild isolated the Chingford ball carrier close to halfway, he secured the ball and won a penalty which Woollard kick to touch just outside Chingford’s 22. Here the home side were penalised for jumping early. Manor took the scrum option allowing Reece Reed to break from the back, beating a couple of defenders before the ball was fed along the line where Manors centres, Ben Lockyer and Andrew Connors drove the ball forwards, here Manor won quick ball and again fed the ball along the line but some sloppy passing saw the ball drift into touch.
Chingford now had the majority of possession and used their kicking game trying to keep Manor pinned inside their 22, but Nick Horton was secure under the ball and put in a number of good clearance kicks.
Chingford began to run the ball more often and their powerful runners were making good ground, eventually winning a kickable penalty for a high tackle. With the penalty successful Chingford had increased their lead to 0-10 after 30 minutes.
Manor now upped their game and retained possession in and around Chingford’s 22. With Goodchild and Barney Newbury making the hard yards a ruck was set up 10 meters from Chingfords’s line. Reed darted blind but then fed the ball backwards to the on rushing John Robinson, he crashed through two tackles but was met close to the line by the Chingford fullback who put in a try saving tackle. With the ball going to ground the ref brought play back for a Manor penalty. Woollard was successful with the attempt and after 35 minutes Manor had reduced the deficit to 3-10.
The half came to a close with neither side looking like scoring again.
With Chingford starting the second half Manor knew that they needed to up their game if they had a chance of winning. But it was Chingford who had the better of the opening minutes, pressurising Manor close to their line, but the visitors defence held firm and after a number drives close the Manors line, the ball was eventually turned over by Manor who were about to clear the danger when the ref spotted some foul play. As a result Manors John Robinson was shown a straight red card. If Manors task was difficult before, it had now been made a whole lot harder by having to play most of the second half a man down in the pack.
Manor continued to defended well, but Chingford were now camped inside Manors 22, eventually winning a kickable penalty which they took 3-13 to Chingford after 15 minutes of the second half.
From the restart Manor had a brief period of attacking play, but poor handling again let them down allowing Chingford to put the pressure back onto Manor.
Chingford were now dictating play with Manor struggling to get into Chingford’s half and although Manor defended well Chingford were making their numerical advantage pay. Eventually Manor gave away another kickable penalty taking the score to 3-16 after 25 minutes of play.
The match was now a one sided affair and Manor did well not to concede again against a dominant Chingford team, Ben Lockyer was superb in defence tackling anything that came at him and by the end of the match he was totally spent.
With the final whistle bringing the game to a close, Manor knew that they had not performed well. Credit must go to Chingford, a side that just avoided relegation last season obviously had recruited well in the close season and now posses a team that will cause most sides in the league more than a few problems, they were the better team on the day and deserved their victory.
Manor defended well but offered little in attack and this needs to be rectified by the time they welcome Ruislip next week. Like Manor they too are yet to record a victory this season so Manor must do everything possible to make sure that they get back to winning was with a home victory.