Pinner 2nd took a trip to Croxley Green for a long awaited game against Chess Valley. Previous clashes between the two sides in the past have been highly enjoyable if not slightly messy games, especially given last season’s mud bath. This weekend’s fixture was bathed in sunshine and the pitch was firm but fair, giving Pinner the perfect opportunity to play their running style of rugby.
The game started with a bang with Pinner veteran Clyde Gordon showing a remarkable turn of pace to finish off some great hands from the backs to dot down under the posts. Scrum half Freddie Riley added the extras. Chess Valley’s attitude filled front row got them back into the game, with several feisty scrums putting Pinner under pressure. With such fast set piece ball, they were able to gain ground and grab a try of their own despite some great scrambled defence.
Pinner fought back immediately with a surprising line break from effervescent hooker Phil ‘Skelly’ Skelton. The final pass went to the ground despite the best efforts of the Pinner backs attempting to keep up with Skelly’s blinding pace. They regained possession however and rampaging number eight James Webster hauled himself over the line with the last play of the half, Riley again adding the conversion.
The second half saw a change up in the sides with Clyde Gordon pulling on a Chess Valley shirt to sportingly level up the numbers… Immediately turning his back on the team and scoring a try for the extremely grateful opposition. The Pinner backs were determined to put Clyde back in his place and did so time and time again with exceptional hands from fly-half Phil Sutherland, and centres Charlie Robinson and Dave ‘Swimteam’ Hickman, constantly creating space for themselves and the wingers, underpinning it with solid defence.
Pinner were and truly on the front foot and Chess Valley were starting to fear the confidence flowing within their opposition. Unable to stem the panic in their ranks created by the Pinner defence, the ball went loose in the Pinner half and was hacked through and chased by Freddie Riley, only a terrible bounce of the ball preventing the mercurial scrum-half from scoring. Refusing to be denied, he capitalised from the hard graft of the forwards to sneak under the posts moments later, whilst casually adding the conversion.
Chess Valley attempted to claw their way back with seven points of their own but was quickly under the cosh back in their own twenty-two, this time Phil Sutherland grabbing a try which Riley failed to convert. In the closing stages, Chess Valley lost their cool and had a player rightly sin-binned and allowed for an additional three points for Pinner which sadly wasn’t to be. A truly enjoyable game to both watch and to be part of. Pinner rightly delighted with their growing squad and the positivity with which they play.
Man of the Match
Charlie Robinson – Great all-round performance in his first game in many years, and first for the club.
Dick of the Day
Clyde Gordon – Scoring for the opposition!
Final Score: Chess Valley 17 – Pinner 26. Pinner 2nd to host Old Millhillians on 19th November.