Amersham & Chiltern got 2018 off to the perfect start with a 33-5 win over Letchworth.

Chiltern were soon on the attack and strong tackling gave Chiltern turnover ball which was worked out to fly half Ollie Choules whose neat grubber kick found space behind the Letchworth defence and provided returning prop Charlie Perkins with a welcome first try. After missing two matches through injury scrum half Stuart Pearham was back and he duly converted the try.

Given the strength of the wind, Chiltern dropped back into their own half but what followed was probably one of the tries of the season. The ball was kicked long but was plucked out of the air at full stretch by Luke Antos who enjoyed a fine game all round. Making 10m with a strong run he neatly slipped the ball to Alex Harland. He in turn gave a delightful pop pass to centre Josh Davis coming up at speed. Josh hammered through two tackles before racing away 40m to score near the posts; the try was converted and Chiltern were 14–0 ahead.

Early in the second half and now playing much more like the team we know, the ball was moved backwards and forwards across the three-quarter line at pace and a lovely missed pass saw James McLoughlin race away before in turn passing outside to Jack Kenyon who dived over for Chiltern’s third try in the corner.

Although the kick was missed Chiltern were comfortable and regularly pressurising the home side’s defence. After 15 minutes Letchworth were awarded a scrum under their own posts but Chiltern’s strong drive put the Letchworth scrum-half under pressure and whilst his pass found his 10, scrumhalf Pearham brilliantly charged down the clearance kick and the bouncing ball was snapped up by skipper Ryan Cole who scored the bonus point try under the posts. The try was converted and Chiltern were away and clear.

To their credit Letchworth never gave up and their efforts were rewarded when a sharp break by their nine gave them try in the corner They seem to galvanise Chiltern and a lovely break around the halfway line found Pearham in space to score the fifth and final try.