We knew that Dings were beatable, especially as we had drawn with them at home, and Chinnor had beaten them two weeks ago at Locklease, Dings' home ground.
However, it is a notoriously difficult place to go and win. Not only with the distance, but the small sloping pitch and partisan, but knowledgeable, home support.
As in previous weeks, we started poorly and were punished with a penalty which was duly converted. Then we gifted them a try from an interception, from just inside their own half.
This is always frustrating but, in such a crucial fixture, it made things difficult, not only on the scoreline, but psychologically, which is often the hardest thing to overcome.
However, we were able to score a try within several minutes with some excellent counter-attacking, which meant we were able to maintain contact with Dings and it also gave us the confidence we needed to continue attacking. We duly did that and scored again, but, sadly, Ben Coulson was unable to add the extra points.
After what can only be described as a shaky start, to bring the scores level with two well-worked tries was very pleasing.
Having worked so hard to get ourselves into the game, to then concede two tries in quick succession is unforgivable and is something that we can ill afford to do, especially with the league situation being so tight for the relegation spots.
After what had been a relatively pleasing first half in parts, to go in at half-time 25-16 down was very frustrating.
The second half started far more brightly for us. We were able to pressure Dings into making numerous mistakes and to concede several penalties.
The resulting pressures lead to another try and penalty to bring the score back to 25-23 down. Once again the front five were outstanding at scrum time. Both the starting players and those who came on as replacements were able to put the Dings scrum under immense pressure.
This eventually led to the scrums having to go uncontested as Dings had no more front row trained players available and their final replacement went down injured. Safety is, of course, paramount but it was a huge moral and psychological victory. It was from the resulting scrum that Dings conceded a penalty and their captain received a yellow card.
The penalty was kicked to take the score to 26-25. This lead to a very tense last 10 minutes, but with some intelligent play we were able to secure the away win and four points. It was unfortunate we were unable to grab a fourth try and a bonus point but a four-point win in Bristol made the long bus journey home more enjoyable.
We will go into Saturday's match with Ealing confident and look forward to the challenge of competing against one of the top sides in the league.
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