Holmes Chapel Struggle to maintain consistency
A hugely disappointing performance from Holmes Chapel 1st XV saw them lose for only the second time this season at Capenhurst last Saturday in South Lancashire / Cheshire 3. Although there were only a few changes, Chapel were unrecognisable from the team that demolished Knutsford the previous week, with laziness in the forwards, poor control and decision making in key areas, and a lack of concentration in the backline contributing to a dreadful all-round display. In addition, they were up against a Capenhurst side that played to their strengths, with 100% commitment and took advantage of Chapel’s complacency for a fully deserved victory.
The first quarter of the game saw Chapel put in a steady performance, winning their share of possession and mounting several promising attacks. Good defence from the Capenhurst centres was keeping them at bay, but the majority of play was in the home side’s half and Chapel were confident of putting points on the board. The best chance of the half came when Lee Cagna broke through the defence but the ball slipped out of his grasp as he approached the line.
More chances could have been created, but on too many occasions the ball carrier would run into contact rather than look for support and Capenhurst began to grow in confidence as their defence continued to frustrate the visitors. After conceding a needless penalty (which would become a recurring theme throughout the match), Chapel were forced back into their own territory and Capenhurst were able to rumble over for a try (conversion missed).
Chapel managed to take the lead just before the break when they stole the ball at a scrum in midfield and Ed O’Hare chased his own kick to score out wide. Doug Canavan’s conversion edged them ahead as the referee blew for half time.
The second period remained a tight contest, but Chapel’s error and penalty count got worse and worse as the game wore on, and the home side were punishing them for their mistakes. The visitors managed to break the line on a number of occasions but time after time the supporting runners were ignored or the ball would be spilled forwards.
In the final quarter of the game, Capenhurst took control at the scrum, allowing them to dictate the rest of the match. Two well struck penalties were enough to give them a 4 point lead that Chapel rarely looked like threatening as the game drew to a close. The result could easily have been worse for the visitors as a couple more Capenhurst penalty attempts were unsuccessful before the final whistle signalled the end of a dismal afternoon for Chapel.
Director of Rugby Matt Bowden was honest and upfront after the game, saying “No excuses. We didn’t want it as much as Capenhurst and it was a terrible performance on our part”. Bowden, along with Captain Ed Meyrick, will be expecting a high numbers at training on Tuesday with every player looking to make amends and prove that the result was just a blip as Chapel prepare to take on local rivals Congleton at Station Road, Holmes Chapel on Saturday (kick off 2.15pm). All spectators are welcome.
Capenhurst 11 – 7 Holmes Chapel