Chelmsford’s first home game ends in defeat
LONDON 2 NORTH: Chelmsford 5 North Walsham 20
CHELMSFORD began their home fixtures against North Walsham, who not so long ago were playing regular National League Rugby.
As hard as Chelmsford tried, they were unable to defeat a very well-organised and well-drilled North Walsham side, who on this form look favourites to make an early return.
Unfortunately for Chelmsford, influential scrum half, Luke Venn, who had just returned to the side this season after a lengthy lay off with knee ligament damage, suffered a similar injury to his other knee and was carried off the field.
North Walsham found themselves six points up in the space of ten minutes when Chelmsford were penalised for holding on in the tackle and hands in the scrum.
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Shortly afterwards, Chelmsford failed with a touchline penalty kick, when in hindsight the ball should have been kicked deep into the left hand corner.
Chelmsford conceded a converted try just before half time when North Walsham seized on a loose ball and spun the ball out wide to the left winger who touched down near the corner to make it 13-0 in their favour.
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Unfortunately for the home side, disaster struck once again, when centre Paul Welch was injured in his attempt to save the try and was carried off the field with a broken leg and dislocated ankle.
Paul Redford came on as a substitute and flanker Josh Clarke moved out into the backs.
Unfortunately for the home side, their tactical kicking let them down and, as a result, they were unable to control the game. Also a flat North Walsham defence was always up on Chelmsford straight away.
Chelmsford had a chance of two early second half penalties from fly half Paul Smedley, but the ball fell just short of the crossbar on both occasions.
Chelmsford did manage to get themselves on the score sheet, when from a forward drive, the ball was recycled and centre Rhys Mason drew his man, before feeding the ball to left wing Seb Hill, who beat three men to score an excellent unconverted try in the corner to reduce the arrears to 5 – 13.
That was to be the only breach of North Walsham who, after some sloppy Chelmsford play, scored their second converted try to increase their lead to 20-5.