Coney Hill at their best in win over High Wycombe
Coney Hill 39
High Wycombe 5
Coney Hill came out of their weather-enforced break determined to make short work of lowly High Wycombe at Metz Way, writes Mike Wallace.
They spent the first ten minutes launching a series of attacks – led by rampaging flanker Andy MacRae – into the Buckinghamshire side's 22, winning penalties which were scorned in favour of taps or lineouts.
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However, over-eager finishing and a technical yellow card for prop Simon Ellacott meant they came away empty-handed.
Finally the forward drives paid off as flanker Charlie Hitchman went over following a penetrating run by number eight Jordan Fowke.
The first of Wycombe's three yellow cards awarded against their back row soon led to a well-taken try for Coney Hill scrum-half Sean Penn, exploiting a gap and darting over from a lineout drive.
Another Wycombe yellow for killing ball at the breakdown gifted possession to the Hillmen and the ball was spun out for winger Joe Hamlin to take it at pace and race through near the posts.
Lacking an established kicker, conversions were going begging and this, the easiest one, was charged down.
As half-time approached a 30-metre charge by MacRae set up the best move of the game, carried on at full speed by winger Max Whelan and a perfectly timed pass sent Hamlin over to give Coney a 20-0 interval lead.
The yellow fever epidemic struck again on the restart with Penn's over-robust rucking, which necessitated some realignments but another MacRae charge drove Wycombe back, full-back Charles Hubert carried it on and Hamlin's pace and running angle did the rest.
At 25-0 down Wycombe forsook their abortive forward game and got a consolation try when fly-half Rory Mallaburn wrong-footed the defence. Coney Hill responded immediately with centre Mike Spencer-Tonks and Hamlin combining for Hamlin's hat-trick.
This time replacement Craig Holder added the extras for a 32-5 lead before Coney Hill finished with a flourish as a forward drive, carried swiftly on by the backs, gave winger Max Whelan the final try and Holder slotted the conversion.
Towards the end yellow cards were dished out for each back row, but six cards did not reflect the temper of a clean, open game with Coney back to their best form.
Coney Hill: C Hubert, J Hamlin, M Spencer-Tonks, C Overthrow (C Holder 48), M Whelan, P Knight, S Lynn, J Dix, R Nicholls, S Ellacott, S King, C Cooper, A MacRae, C Hitchman, J Fowke (J Griffin, 25).
High Wycombe: C Prowse, K McFarlane, P Downing, L Harding, C Smith, R Mallaburn, M Childerhouse, A Foyle, J Barker, S Slater, D Price (M Fradsley 50), P Partis, S Hawken, I Burnham, I Isham. No other replacements.
Referee: Zerren Bell (Devon Society)
Star players: For Coney Hill, flanker Andy MacRae whose charging runs smashed holes in the defence and set up scoring chances. For High Wycombe, centre and scrum-half Luke Harding, who was adept at mounting counter-attacks from broken play.