Manor second best against local rivals
Manor welcomed local rivals Chingford to the New Wilderness for the first home game of the season. Despite having a number of enforced changes to the team that won comfortably the previous week, Manor were still confident that they could get a result against their near neighbours. As it turned out it was not to be and although the score line did slightly flatter Chingford, there was no doubt that they were worthy winners.
Manor kicked off the game and it was soon apparent that the visitors were a very well drilled team who were aggressive in the tackle and at the breakdown but when given the opportunity had the ability to launch free flowing attacks. Manor though did have the better of the opening salvos, winning the first scrum of the game then a penalty when Chingford were penalised for going over the top at a ruck. Nick Sheppard had a shot at goal from 30 meters out but the ball just drifted wide of the posts.
Manor continued to attack and after winning another penalty Nick Horton kicked for touch for a lineout outside Chingford’s 22. With the ball secured by debutant lock Stew Whitehead, the forwards drove the ball on through Misiona Evagelia and John Robinson before the ball was shipped out to the backs, but a promising attack was halted when Chingford intercepted a pass and kicked the ball deep into Manors 22 for a defending lineout. Manors usually solid lineout failed to fire, something that would blight them all game, giving Chingford an attacking scrum. With possession secured Chingford moved the ball swiftly along the line allowing their winger to squeeze in and score in the corner. The touchline conversion was well taken and after 9 minutes Chingford had registered the first points of the game 0 – 7.
Chingford were now in the ascendency and were dictating play and after a series of backs moves they found themselves close to Manors line, with the ball quickly available it was fed back to their No 8 who powered over the line for a second score and although the conversion was missed after 12 minutes the visitors led 0 -12.
Manor now had a period of possession and after a good break from deep inside his own half by Horton he fed Sheppard who broke a couple of tackles before winning another penalty which Manor again kicked into Chingford’s 22. Again Manor were unable to secure the lineout which allowed Chingford to clear the danger.
The game settled in the middle of the park with Manors attack being met be solid tackling from Chingford and their pressure eventually brought a kickable penalty which was taken to take the score to 0 – 15 after 20 minutes.
Chingford again attacked from the re-start and only good Manor defence kept them at bay, but at the cost of a kickable penalty which this time was missed. From the 22 kick off Chingford again launched a series of attacks combining good powerful runs with some intelligent kicking from hand by their fly half. Manor again defended well eventually winning another penalty to relieve the pressure allowing them to kick for a lineout inside Chingford’s half. Here the lineout was secured allowing Sheppard to drive the ball forward before Michael Eghan came in off his wing and broke a couple of tackles taking the ball into Chingford’s 22, but the visitors defended well eventually turning the ball over and clearing the danger.
Manor again had a period of attacking play and their efforts were aided by Chingford giving away a number of penalties at the breakdown, the ref finally lost patience and gave a yellow card to the Chingford hooking for repeated team infringements. Manor though couldn’t capitalise on their numerical advantage and it was Chingford who finished the stronger of the two teams, winning a kickable penalty just before halftime to go into the break 0 – 18 ahead.
Chingford kicked off the second half where Manor soon won a penalty allowing them to kick deep into Chingford’s 22 but their lineout woes continued as they lost the ball allowing Chingford to clear their lines and enjoy a period of possession inside Manors 22. With the home side defending well, Manor won possession when Harry Reid stripped the ball from a Chingford player and launched a counter attack linking up with flyhalf Max Edmonton who moved the ball along the line to Eghan who outpaced his opposite number before handing off the next would be tackler and taking the ball into Chingford’s 22 where he fed the supporting Horton who moved the ball along the line, but just when it looked like Manor had worked an overlap a sloppy pass was intercepted by a defender stopping a try scoring opportunity.
Manor continued to attack through their forwards with Barney Newbury, Garth Tucker and Evagelia all making ground before a forward pass gave possession back to Chingford. From the scrum Chingford cleared their lines and sent the ball upfield where they harried Manor into making a mistake allowing them to have a period of possession testing Manors defence. Whilst this held, a poor clearance kick saw the ball go to Chingford’s fullback, he evaded a couple of tackles before linking up with his forwards who drove the ball on. Manor pulled down the driving maul and with advantage being played Chingford moved the ball to their powerful blindside flanker who broke a couple of tackles before crashing over the line to score the visitors third try. The conversion was successful and after 15 minutes of the second half Manor fell further behind 0 – 22.
Manor again attacked from the restart taking play into Chingford’s, but yet again anther intercepted pass saw Chingford clear the danger. With Manor again losing the lineout Chingford retained possession well, taking play into Manors 22 where they remained pounding away at Manors line. Manor were hampered by the loss of Reid to injury, but continued to repel the Chingford attacks. The pressure eventually told when from a scrum close to Manors line Chingford tried a couple of driving runs, which were defended by Manor but with quick recycled ball Chingford eventually crossed the line for another score. With the conversion successful after 23 minutes of the half Chingford led 0 -32.
Manor were still trying to attack, but were still being met by a solid well organised defence, Manor were soon down to 14 men when, after chasing a box kick, winger Ollie Phillips caught the catcher high around the shoulders injuring himself in the process. After receiving medical attention he was able to walk off the pitch only after being shown the yellow card by the ref.
Chingford continued to attack but it was Manors turn to show resilience in defence and their efforts were rewarded with a penalty close to their line. Manor though did not take advantage of the situation, taking a quick tapped penalty close to their line they tried to run the ball out then a wayward kick ahead saw the ball fall to a Chingford player who returned play into Manors 22 where they created an opening to score their final try of the match. The conversion was successful as the scored moved on to 0 - 39.
Chingford continued have the better of things but Manor did not give up and from a counter attack by Reece Reed Manor won a scrum inside Chingford’s 22. Tucker drove off the back before Newbury broke through a couple of tackles before linking up with Evagelia who drove over the line taking three Chingford players with him to score a try for Manor. The hastily taken conversion was missed, but with the match drawing to a close Manor had at least gained some reward for their efforts 5 -39.
Manor had the better of the final minutes of the match but good defence from Chingford made sure that Manor did not score again.
Manor had been beaten by the better side on the day and no doubt come the end of the season Chingford will be up their fighting for promotion. Manor had a bad day at the office, this was partly due to the strength of the opposition, but they also contributed to their own downfall, they did not execute their game plan and were heavily hampered by the lineout misfiring, something that very rarely happens. With a difficult away game next week at Ruislip Manor know that they will have to improve and with glowing reports coming from a very strong second team performance this week, and more players becoming available for selection, no doubt things will improve for next weeks fixture.