At last! Chichester find success on road - and complete double over KCS Old Boys

Tom Blewitt - scorer of the first Chi try v KCS / Picture: Alison Tanner
Tom Blewitt - scorer of the first Chi try v KCS / Picture: Alison Tanner

Chichester finally won their first away game of the season - and the victory over KCS Old Boys was their third success in the past four matches.

They dominated the first half and were 10-3 ahead at the interval but it should have been more. KCS countered well and levelled at 15-15 before Chi clinched it with a penalty in the last few minutes.

Ben Polhill looks on as Joe Woods is challenged / Picture: Alison Tanner

Ben Polhill looks on as Joe Woods is challenged / Picture: Alison Tanner

The narrow margin was two tries, a conversion and two penalties to two tries, a conversion and one penalty. It completed a double for Chi as they had beaten KCS 38-20 at Oaklands Park.

There was optimism among the Chichester faithful who made the trip up the A3 to Motspur Park. Buoyed by the victory against Havant in the final match of 2019, there was a real belief the team could secure their first away win of the season.

Joe Knight came into the pack, Gareth Thomas and Liam Rowland returned in the backs with Sam Drayson and Ryan Spriggs on the bench.

The pitch was in fantastic condition after the wet weather of recent weeks.

Chris Johnson on the charge as Tyrese Makasi leaps out of an opponent's way / Picture: Alison Tanner

Chris Johnson on the charge as Tyrese Makasi leaps out of an opponent's way / Picture: Alison Tanner

Blues took the lead inside four minutes. Gareth Davies executed a perfect chip and collect over the KCS defence, passed to Harry Seaman for the offload to Tom Blewitt. The speedy full-back outpaced the opposition centres to dot down under the posts and it was converted by Blewitt.

Blues looked in total control, perhaps flattered slightly by KCS who were struggling with their ball-handling and retention. The Chichester forwards were dominating the scrums and controlling the ball at the breakdown, with the backs probing the opposition defence at every opportunity.

However, KCS scored next with a penalty kick after a Blues’ infringement 30m out, 3-7.

Despite containing the opposition in their own half for extended periods Chichester couldn’t find a second try, but did increase the score just before the interval with a penalty from the boot of Blewitt. Half-time, 3-10.

KCS came out for the second half a different team and it was immediately obvious Chichester had a fight on their hands. With KCS on the offensive it was Blues’ turn to put in a defensive shift, soaking up the pressure and containing the opposition centre partnership.

A break from Eddie Jenkinson on halfway with support from Toby Golds moved the ball to the 5m line. From the breakdown Rhys Thompson dived forward to touchdown on the whitewash but the referee indicated the ball had been held up. From the resulting scrum the Blues’ pack drove for the line and Seaman was on hand to touch down. Conversion missed, 3-15.

Twenty minutes later KCS had run in two tries and kicked a conversion to level the score at 15-15, setting up a nail-biting final 12 minutes during which the referee sent a player from both sides to the sin bin.

Both teams dug deep and put in excellent defensive performances, but a KCS infringement five minutes from time provided Blewit with a kicking opportunity in front of the posts which he took to make it 15-18.

Chichester retained possession of the ball to run the clock down, recording their first away win of the season. Once again Chichester had dug deep when required to close out the game. They sit seventh in London one south with 40 points.

MoM contenders were Martin O’Callaghan, Joe Woods, Ben Deavall and Blewitt but Tyrese Makasi got the nod for another excellent performance at hooker.

Chichester: Deavall, Makasi, Woods, O’Callaghan, Knight, Polhill, Wallace, Johnson, Seaman, Davies, Golds, Thompson, Jenkinson, Rowland, Blewitt, Drayson, Spriggs, C Norton.

Chichester’s next match is on Saturday when they entertain London Cornish at Oaklands Park (2pm).