Chew Valley miss out on place in South West Counties Senior Vase final
Chew Valley 1st XV 9 Drybrook 1st XV 26
Drybrook scrum-half Carl Moore and a dominant lineout were the deciding factors as Chew Valley went out of the South West Counties Senior Vase at the semi-final stage on Saturday.
Moore scored two tries and set up the other two for winger Sam Peaper and skipper Simon Rugman with breaks off the back of scrums. He also made a nuisance of himself on the Chew Valley put-in, giving opposite number Alex Cameron a torrid time as he tried to get the ball away.
Both sides tried to move the ball in testing underfoot conditions and the tackle area was fiercely contested. Referee Natalie Perry quickly asserted her authority to keep a lid on what could have become a fractious encounter.
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Chew Valley were not their usual slick selves and were guilty of taking the ball into contact and going to ground without close enough support, conceding penalties and territory as a result.
The Chew front row was dominant, forcing penalties which were converted by Cameron to give his side an early lead. Elsewhere the midfield defences cancelled each other out and, with the exception of Moore, both sides had trouble crossing the gain line.
With Drybrook ruling the lineout, their kicking game prospered and they were 18-6 up at half-time.
At the start of the second half, when the home side pressed for an early score and some momentum, their lack of confidence at the lineout meant that pushing penalty kicks for the corner and using the driving maul was ruled out and their close quarter work was not precise enough to convert pressure into tries.
The second half was edged by Drybrook with a penalty and a try to one Cameron penalty. Had full-back Mitch Baldwin not left his kicking boots at home in the Forest of Dean, the scoreline would have had an even bleaker look for Somerset Premier leaders Chew.