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Blues strike late to snatch victory

Chichester RFC ended their season on a high after striking late to grab victory in their final league match of the campaign.


After starting the season with just one win in eight Blues have found their feet in the second half of the season, producing some excellent performances to seal their London One South season for another year.


Victory over Westcombe Park in their final league match of the season sealed a ninth placed finish in the 14-team division.


But the 18-16 victory at Oaklands Park against a good Combe side under the direction of former Chi coach Rob Lawrence did not come easy.


Blues had to wait until the final play of the match to take the win, as Ed Bowden jinked through the visitors’ defence to touch down and give the home side the win.


It was an exhilarating end to the season for Blues. With 11 wins from 26 matches and a number of young players given a taste of first team action, there were many positives to take.


But some Chi fans could be forgiven for thinking with a more positive start to the year, a top half finish was well within their grasp.


Blues started the match against Combe slowly, as the visitors jumped out to a 3-8 lead at the break – a sole Henry Anscombe penalty being Chi’s only score.


Westcombe Park scored a second try after 10 minutes of the second period to extend this to 3-13.


With momentum on their side, Chi had to work hard to stop the visitors from adding any further scores.


With 12 minutes left though, Blues were handed a lifeline when Combe were reduced to 14 after a yellow card.


This seemed to galvanise the Chichester team and from the penalty Phil Veltom shrugged off the attention of three Park players to touch down in Vultures Corner.


Five minutes later a Rhys Thompson run created space for the pass to Sam Renwick who outstripped the Combe defence to level the scores at 13-13.


With only three minutes left Chichester infringed within kicking range and Combe regained the lead. 13-16. But then Bowden produced a piece of magic to give Chi the win.


It was also a fitting send off for Veltom who signed off from the first XV on a winning note.

Posted in Sport.