Chichester RFC held on for a 22-22 draw after visitors Medway hit the upright from a match-winning conversion attempt in London One South.
Chi picked up three points and are now unbeaten at home in almost five months.
The hosts made eight changes to the team that lost at Cobham last time out. Martin O’Callaghan, Zac Conoly and Chris Johnson came into the pack, Josh Goodwin, Cam Hopkins and Toby Golds returned in the backs with Sam Drayson and Ryan Spriggs on the bench.
Chichester kicked off up the slope with the wind behind them and led after two minutes.
Great work from Chris Johnson secured the ball and a drive from O’Callaghan moved it deep into Medway territory. From the ruck Goodwin fed Rhys Thompson, running a diagonal line, and his pass to Tyrese Makasi beat the last defender which allowed the young hooker to dive over in Vulture’s Corner for an unconverted try.
Medway’s large and experienced pack dominated the breakdown and scrum and they scored two converted tries within 15 minutes.
Chichester fought back and, after Medway were reduced to 14 men by a yellow card, a great drive from the pack shoved Chris Wallace over the line to dot down for an unconverted try after 27 minutes (10-14).
The hosts edged ahead three minutes later when Thompson’s long kick and chase down by Hopkins forced a pressured clearance straight to Tom Blewitt, who went on a run before offloading to O’Callaghan to charge over the line for a try on his 100th appearance for the 1st XV. Blewitt converted to put Chi 17–14 up.
Nick Blount crossed the line before half-time again but the try was chalked off for an infringement.
Medway drew level within two minutes of the restart with a wind-assisted penalty.
Chi penned Medway back for the opening 20 minutes of the half but were kept out by a well drilled defence.
Medway lost a man to the sin bin after 57 minutes but Chi could not exploit the advantage.
With ten minutes left, Golds collected his own kick down field before the ball was moved through the hands of Harry Seaman, Thompson and Liam Rowland to Drayson, who made 20 metres before being brought down by two defenders.
Golds received the offload and dived over for Chichester’s fourth try and a bonus point.
The conversion was missed to open a 22-17 lead.
Blues spent the remainder of the match defending their try line and on 85 minutes, and with three Chichester players in the sin bin, Medway breached the Blues’ defence for a try.
The conversion struck the post and the match ended in a draw – on balance a fair result!
Man of the match was Ben Deavall.
Chichester: Deavall, Makasi, Woods, O’Callaghan, Blount, Conoly, Wallace (capt.), Johnson, Goodwin, Thompson, Hopkins, Seaman, Blewitt, Rowland, Golds, Drayson, Magda, Spriggs.
Chichester travel to Kent side Dartfordians tomorrow (2.20pm KO).