Disappointing loss to Ilford scuppers promotion chances for Blue Boys
By Annie Coulson
Ilford 19 10 Chemsford
This was a game which did not get going until the second half, as no points were scored during the first 40 minutes. The wind was a strong gale across the pitch, which made passing difficult but the game was strewn with handling errors and penalties, so the match was largely played in the middle of the pitch. Chelmsford were playing with a much changed side and lost the recently returned Jamie Ash
after ten minutes to a pulled hamstring. The lineouts were even but, certainly in the first half, Ilford had the upper hand in the set scrum.
At the beginning of the second half, the Ilford forwards started to pressure the Chelmsford team into their 22 metre area. Chelmsford managed to win a good ball but the pass was slow coming out, the kick was charged down, and then it was dropped in the dead ball area to provide Ilford a gift of a try.
Ilford’s second try came about when a kick ahead was caught by the Ilford winger; with sixty metres to go and the whole of the Chelmsford team in front of him there seemed no danger, however he took off at pace gliding through several gaps to score a very good opportunistic try. Certainly the Chelmsford defence was poor but much credit is due to the Ilford player.
For the first time in the game, the Chelmsford team galvanised themselves and made good ground. From a five metre lineout, flanker Henry Payne
barged over for an unconverted try. Five minutes later they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and chose to take a scrum, only for a penalty to be awarded against them in the ensuing scrum.
Chelmsford started giving penalties away and Ilford scored with their pack from close in. In the last minutes Paul Redford
scored following a five metre lineout for the last score of the day, giving Chelmsford the final word but not doing enough to recover the score.
This was not a good performance by Chelmsford; llford had more aggression and made better use of the wind to deserve their win. This loss virtually rules out promotion for Chelmsford this year. Chelmsford will be hoping for a much better performance next week when they travel to Portsmouth in the National Intermediate Vase final.