AMERSHAM & Chiltern’s injury jinx continued this week, as the team’s star full-back, Chris Jack, discovered he had broken a bone in his foot in the closing stages of last week’s game at Avonmouth.
In all, there were half a dozen first-choice backs unavailable against West Country high-flyers, Barnstaple, and they paid the price in a one-sided 52-8 loss at Weedon Lane on Saturday.
Chiltern started well, putting pressure on the visitors from the off and took the lead with a David Hughes penalty. But the home side were soon under pressure in the scrums and only brave defending kept the visitors from scoring for around 25 minutes.
Then, however, turn-over ball and strong running by the Barnstaple backs led to a converted try, and the score seemed to galvanise the visitors.
Running everything, they forced and converted two penalties and scored a converted try from a missed tackle in the centre, for an 18-3 half time score.
Soon after the restart, Barnstaple increased their lead with a drop goal and another converted try to make it 26-3 and a loose pass during Chiltern's next attack was punished with a hacked clearance and breakaway touchdown.
Then, from the restart, a Chiltern clearance kick was gathered at pace by the visitors' backs and slick hands along the line led to another try.
There was a repsonse of sorts, with a rare period of sustained home pressure. The forwards made good ground, and, following a number of phases, the ball finally popped up for centre Pete Johnston to dot down.
But 40-8 was as good as it got, as the visitors ran in two more tries to underline their superiority.
It does not get any easier on Saturday, as Chiltern travel to second-placed Brixham.