London Cornish loss brings down curtain for Chichester RFC

Chichester RFC's first XV ended a mixed season with defeat on the road.

London Cornish 43 Chichester 19

London one south

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Tom Polhill, Luke Kemish and James Smith came into the forwards, Jack Knight, Ben Robson and Pat Bray joined the backs with Joe Watts, Josh Cameron and Dan Heriot on the bench.

Alex Margarson with the ball for Chichester in their loss to London Cornish / Picture: Alison Tanner

Having lost their previous nine, London Cornish were looking to avenge the 50 - 15 defeat inflicted by Blues on the opening day.

With a stiff wind blowing across the pitch Chichester found themselves behind after only two minutes when they spilt the ball in midfield and the Cornish centre dotted down out wide. Converted, 7-0.

Blues responded almost immediately with Seamus McCormack driving forward and making 10 m before being brought down. Jack Knight spun the ball out to Ben Heber who got to the 5m line and offloaded to Ben Robson who crossed the whitewash for a try on his 100th 1st XV appearance. Conversion missed, 7-5.

On 14 minutes the first scrum saw Cornish drive the Blues’ pack off the ball and pass the ball out wide to the full-back, who beat a last-ditch tackle to score in the corner, 12-5.

For the next 20 minutes play ebbed and flowed with the hosts unable to capitalise on possession and Chichester failing to take advantage of Cornish penalties.

On 36 minutes, Blues intercepted the ball in their own half and another great drive from McCormack advanced the ball over halfway.

From the breakdown the ball was spun out to Alex Margason, who jinked through the Cornish defence before giving a sublime inside pass to Ross Miller for a try under the posts. Converted by Heber, 12-12.

In the final minute of the half, Chichester were penalised for not rolling away, just inside their own half, and a long range kick sailed through the posts to put Cornish 15-12 up at half-time.

For the first 10 minutes Chichester looked the team most likely to score, but a crooked throw at the lineout gave Cornish a scrum on the 22m line and the ball wentto the winger, who beat the last man to dot down in the corner. Converted, 25-12.

Blues’ response was immediate with Heber’s long restart taken into touch by Cornish.

From the lineout, Blues knocked on but turned over the subsequent scrum and drove over the line. The referee was unsighted and awarded a scrum instead.

The next 15 minutes were error strewn and Blues found themselves two men short when the referee produced his yellow card twice for attempted interceptions deemed deliberate knock-ons. Having been awarded a penalty try for the second yellow Cornish added two more, both converted, in the space of six minutes putting the game beyond Chichester’s reach, 43-12 with four minutes left.

Chichester won a penalty 5m from the try line. After a tap and go, from McCormack, the ball went to Heber on the wing who was stopped just short but the forwards arrived in numbers and McCormack went over. It was converted by Robson for a 43-19 full-time score.