After a very encouraging start to the current season, the Blues didn’t have too much to celebrate in November and December, and both the Blues and visitors Chichester started the day struggling in the bottom four of the table. The Blues did force a narrow victory over Chichester when they met back in September, so there were reasons to be hopeful.
In front of a big Monks Lane crowd, Chichester set off at pace and stormed over the try line after just two minutes and then again after eleven minutes, with the impressively accurate boot of Fly Half Elliot Haydon extracting maximum points with the conversation. The Blues at least got on the scoreboard, with Captain Dan Thorne taking 3 points from a penalty in between. Both teams battled diligently for another twenty minutes before the visitors pushed through with another display of pace and power to deliver another two tries after 30 and 34 minutes of play, with one converted, and securing a bonus point for the total of four tries.
The second half was a completely different matter. The Blues looked and played altogether different, looking purposeful and confident, with Jacob Checksfield, Jonny Lees and Duncan Craigen each scoring a try, with two conversations by Dan Thorne, over a full-on 20 minutes. On they pushed and so very nearly pinched it – just one less knock-on might have made all the difference – but the final score settled at 22:26 to the visitors.
The Blues travel away to Guildford on Saturday, 13th January. Their next home game is Saturday 27th January, when they host Salisbury. Come on you Blues!
Photo by kind permission of Peter Branch