2nds defeated in try fest
Warminster 2nd XV travelled up a wet and windy A350 on Saturday to face an experienced Chippenham 3rd outfit.
Despite the poor conditions both teams served up an entertaining game for the hardy supporters on the touchline, one which the amber and blues came out the wrong side of with a 58-33 defeat.
With the elements as they were, the Warminster warm up was very much confined to the changing room. Muscles were being kept warm with the hot air coming from the Bagshaw-Wicket car contingent on how they somehow managed to get themselves lost finding one of the easiest to find grounds in the county! With just 7 minutes to go before kick-off captain Scott Blaszkiw rallied his troops and off they trotted to the pitch to get under way.
Needless to say it was Chippenham who started the encounter the brighter and were a try up within minutes catching Warminster cold. The amber and blues slowly got themselves into the game after barely touching the ball for the first 10 minutes and hit back with two quick tries to take the lead. Bagshaw-Wickett’s sat nav to the try line was at least in full working order as he barrelled over under the posts for the first and debutant second row Nick Addey added the second in carbon copy fashion. Fly half Gavin Pratt slotted over the simple conversions.
The home side a little shell shocked by the amber and blues waking up from their changing room slumber looked to retaliate. With some quick tap penalties by the Chippenham scrum half and some strong counter attacking running from their full back, Chippenham retook the lead with three unanswered tries.
The amber and blues were struggling to retain the ball at the set piece with their lineout not quite functioning as per how the chat went in the changing rooms before-hand. The theory behind it was good, but in practice…..well there was no practice….meant things didn’t quite go to plan. This didn’t stop Warminster pulling a try back through centre Tom Merriman when he creeped over the whitewash from short distance after a spell of pressure on the Chippenham line. Pratt couldn’t add the extras this time around. The score at half time was 24-19.
In the second half a determined Chippenham with the slight slope now in their favour stunned Warminster with a four try blitz leaving the amber and blues shell shocked. A mixture of strong running around the breakdown and some flimsy defence allowing for Chippenham to take their lead out to 48-19. Blaszkiw’s men could easily have thrown the towel in but to their credit they continued to battle away. It was Blaszkiw who lead the way grabbing a try after a quick tap penalty and Pratt added a fifth try when he too scored from a quick tap penalty. Both tries were converted and with the score at 48-33, the amber and blues were now looking to get within losing bonus point range.
Warminster tails were now up and none more so than the effervescent veteran hooker Matty Akers. What followed next was probably the best try of the day but for all the wrong reasons!! Fielding a Chippenham box kick that had gone in to touch, Akers realised waiting for what was likely to be another botched up lineout was not the order of the day. His quick thinking meant he proceeded to take a quick lineout but not only did he forget which way he was playing, it appears he also forgot what colours he was wearing and with not an amber and blue shirt in the vicinity, he launched an inch perfect pass to a grateful and surprised Chippenham player who cantered to the line. A bemused but chuckling Warminster side trudged back under their posts to face the conversion. The final score was 58-33.
Both teams can be proud of the way they kept the ball alive in difficult conditions in a game that was played with great spirit throughout. Warminster will be disappointed with their second half performance but Chippenham thoroughly deserved their victory. The amber and blues will want to bounce back from a two match losing streak when they welcome Swindon III’s to Folly Lane next Saturday.