Wellington move to second place in the Tribute Devon/Cornwall league after this top-table clash.. Both sides knew the result of this game would have a big bearing for the rest of the season, writes Allyn Chetland. The Cornish visitors had not lost since the last time they played the Chiefs which had been a higher scoring and entertaining encounter and they were keen to avenge that defeat. Due to the recent bad weather this was the Chiefs first game in nearly one month, Danny Lee, Nev Pitman & Ben Gamlin were welcomed back into the match day squad whilst Harry Ramsay & Micky Norman were still absent due to injury.
In front of a large home support the game was a tense and physical affair but played in the right spirit, which captivated until the very last play of the game. Both sides had their share of possession in the opening quarter and against the run of play, Saltash were awarded a 5 metre scrum in the Chiefs half, a number of phases later saw Saltash take a 0-5 lead via an unconverted try. The Chiefs responded via a penalty from full back Alex Davey on the half hour for a 5-3 scoreline. It was nip & tuck with chances for both sides but Saltash took their chances via a penalty which was closely followed by another well taken try to send Saltash in at the break with a 13-3 lead.
The halftime team talk re-focused the Chiefs which sparked the Chiefs pack into life. A series of strong forwards deep into the Saltash half were rewarded with a push over try for no.8 Chris Kitto which was converted by Davey. Following an extended period of pressure on the visitor’s line, the Chiefs were awarded a penalty try after Saltash had been penalized at a scrum to take the lead with almost a half hour remaining on the clock.
The last half hour was a tense affair with both sides throwing everything they had at each other. Defences were on top for both sides, The Chiefs had a very late penalty hit the upright whilst Saltash had a couple of chances late on, only to be kept out by strong Chiefs defence to ensure the Chiefs took the spoils.
It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but taking everything into consideration, not playing for a month being one, this was another all-round excellent squad effort in what was a nerve jangling win. Cam Venn, making his first appearance for the Chiefs this season, had an excellent game as did Chris Kitto whilst centre, George Hodgson, once again was dangerous with the ball in hand.
Next week the Chiefs make their longest away trip of the season travelling to Pirates Amateurs who based in Penzance. Away games are always difficult and this encounter will be no different, the Chiefs will need to be prepared for a tough match. Pirates are a much changed side from the one that travelled to The Athletic Ground earlier on in the season only narrowing losing to league leaders Penryn 6-0 in recent weeks.
Team: R.Marke, J.Dyke, L.Wadham, R.Walker, C.Venn, L.Phillips, D.Lee, C.Kitto, C.Jenkinson, P.Jarman(C), N.Pitman, G.Hodgson, C.Batts, T.Hart, A.Davey, J.Hancock, B.Gamlin, M.Walker