Brentwood 20 Chingford 19 (London & South East Division: North 1) 25th November 2017
Chay Pollinger grabs dramatic late winner against league leaders Chingford
Brentwood hosted top-of-the-table Chingford in an eagerly anticipated fixture on Saturday. Both teams came into the game in fine form and a large crowd witnessed a fast moving, hard hitting spectacle that Brentwood edged with a late try from former Brentwood Colt Chay Pollinger.
Brentwood started the stronger of the two teams but came away pointless from 12 minutes of possession and a couple of half breaks. Chingford then won a penalty and used the slope and wind to get a line-out 6 metres out and scored a converted try from a rolling maul and took the lead 0-7. They followed it up 5 minutes later with try from multiple phases of forward play finished off in the left corner and extended their lead to 0-12. Brentwood weren’t phased by the score line, a good move was halted unfairly and Henry Bird got points on the board with a well struck penalty . Brentwood had made good ground and had broken through the Chingford defence regularly but had not finished off a number of promising opportunities. Chingford’s forwards were playing well but they had no fluency in their back play, Bentwood looked strong across the field with good handling from Tom Simpson, Charlie Wilkinson and Pollinger. The standout performances for Brentwood in the first half were Tijde Visser and Paul Bradley who regularly made good metres with their carries and hit hard in defence. Bradley Burr’s kicking was causing Chingford problems and with the slope and wind advantage this could continue in the second half.
H/T Brentwood 3 – 12 Chingford.
Brentwood started on the front foot in the second half, a strong carry from Bradley was stopped 5 metres out but good defence from Chingford pushed them back to the 22 metre line. Burr broke the line and from the next phase spotted space in the corner and put Josh Stannard in for a try with a perfectly weighted chip. Conversion missed but Brentwood got the start they needed with the score now 8-12. Chingford then used their forwards to move up the field and put Brentwood under immense pressure, they eventually forced their way close to the Brentwood line and spent 10 mins looking for the score and only some desperate and illegal play kept them out. Yellow cards for James White, Tijde Visser and Adam Thomas within 5 minutes saw Brentwood down to 12 men and Chingford exposed the space in the back line and scored under the posts to extend their lead to 8-19. Still 12 v 15 from the kick off and Josh Stannard showed Brentwood’s determination with a big hit on the opposing prop and gave the home side a lineout close to the Chingford line, 2 minutes later Burr spotted an overlap and sent a long pass to Joel Bevans-Royston who stepped inside and offloaded to James Killington and he scored great try, Burr hit the conversion and Brentwood were back in touch, 15-19. Still playing with 14 men, Brentwood continued to push Chingford back, another nice kick from Burr put the fullback back under pressure and he conceded a penalty that White took quickly, he was hit almost immediately by the Chingford No.8 and he was given a yellow card just as Brentwood were back to the full complement. A massive 8 minutes from every Brentwood player saw the game played entirely in the Chingford 22. Big carries from Killington, Stannard, Bradley and Visser put the away defence under pressure. With 2 minutes left in the match one of those Bradley carries saw him stopped a metre out but he managed to offload to Pollinger and he collected it safely and dived over to score the winning try. Amazing scenes around the pitch with both players and supporters celebrating not only the win, but the effort and skill that was showed in the game, particularly when down 3 men and 11 points deep in the second half. Killington took the kick off safely and 2 phases later White kicked the dead to signal the end of a tough, fast paced game played between two very good teams. Ultimately decided by sheer will to win and no little skill, epitomised by the 3 try scorers Stannard, Killington and Pollinger who have come through the youth ranks and until recently were playing Colts rugby.
The Davlav Man of the Match went to James Killington, displayed all the character and skill needed when Brentwood were down in numbers and score. Safe under the high ball and strong in defence, scored a try at a key moment in the match and gave the home side momentum when they needed it.
The win kept them in 2nd place in the league and reduced the points difference to Chingford to 5 points. Brentwood face a tricky away fixture to Ruislip next Saturday 2nd December
Brentwood Team: Visser, Richards, Bevans-Royston, Woodcock, Killington, Killington, Woodcock, Amato, Whaley, Bradley, White, Burr, Wilkinson, Bird, Stannard, Pollinger Subs: Payne, Thomas, Hornby