RUGBY UNION: Betts gives Chinnor the edge in a scrappy clash

Witney Gazette: Chinnor wing Joe Marston heads for the try line against Bournemouth. Picture: Kerry Hastings Chinnor wing Joe Marston heads for the try line against Bournemouth. Picture: Kerry Hastings

NATIONAL 2 SOUTH

A LATE try from replacement lock Harry Betts proved the difference as Chinnor edged to a 22-17 victory at Kingsey Road.

Betts struck from close range to seal the win and keep the hosts tenth in the table after Bournemouth had fought back from 14-3 down to lead 17-14.

This was Bournemouth’s ninth straight defeat, while victory meant Chinnor reach the season’s halfway point with eight wins and seven losses from 15 matches.

It was a scrappy affair in windy conditions, with handling errors and tough tackling, typified by Chinnor flanker Adam Hastings, more in evidence than flair play.

The hosts went close via a rolling maul on eight minutes, but the opening quarter was emininently forgettable.

Chinnor’s injury toll increased with the loss of full back George Blewitt to an ankle problem.

With the wind behind him, Bournemouth fly half George Drake missed a long-range penalty, but landed an easier attempt on 24 minutes.

The first time Chinnor really got the ball moving, they scored a try, with wing Joe Marston racing in from 40 metres for fly half Will Millett to convert.

Player-coach Matt Goode was yellow-carded for what referee Veryan Boscawen termed a shoulder charge on 35 minutes, but Bournemouth could not make their extra man count.

Marston had to cover well after a good break from scrum half Sam Hardcastle before Chinnor struck again.

Wing Leo Fielding chipped ahead and Goode made amends by touching down the try, which Millett converted from out wide.

The tide turned dramatically after Chinnor scrum half Frank Jones was sin-binned for illegally pulling back a Bournemouth player.

Twice in the space of five minutes Bournemouth wing Ben Stewart finished well on the left as the hosts were suddenly on the back foot.

Drake converted both to leave the visitors 17-14 ahead just after the hour mark.

Millett levelled with a penalty, while Drake missed a comparatively straight-forward three-pointer.

He was punished when Betts forced his way over on 72 minutes after some sustained home pressure.

Chinnor might have had a bonus point if Fielding had got the ball away inside Bourne-mouth’s 22, but they closed out the win.

Chinnor: G Blewitt (Hopwood 24), Marston, Goode, Barnes, Fielding, Millett, Jones, Titchard-Jones, Townsend, Whelan (Stock 20-28 & 60), Tibbatts, Smith (Betts 61), Hastings, Harrison, Gilbert (capt).

Referee: V Boscawen (London).

Man-of-the-match: Hastings.

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