Chinnor 19, Oxford Harlequins 9

CHINNOR’S forward power eventually told as they retained the Oxfordshire Cup in a gripping final at Iffley Road yesterday.

It took until the 75th minute for flanker-turned-No 8 Adam Hastings to score Chinnor’s opening try from another forceful scrum, but even after that Quins could have forced extra-time.

Hastings’s effort made it 14-9 to break more than 30 minutes of deadlock. A stoppage-time try from fly half James Cathcart rubbed salt in Quins’ wounds.

Chinnor had had the edge in the scrums and line-outs for most of a final that kept supporters gripped even it served up so few tries.

Hooker Alan Cawston had a fine game as did lock Andy Smith and Quins No 8 Jason Welburn, but Hastings was adjudged man-of-the-match and winner of the Ron Grimshaw Memorial Trophy.

Quins got off to a flying start, winning a turnover from the kick off and fly half Joey Todd slotting a drop goal.

Quins centre Xavier Andre almost broke through from the next play.

The game was never going to continue at this pace, but the intensity was certainly there.

Chinnor centre Matt Goode found space to roar through on 20 minutes, but wing Ben Farr was stopped short.

However, Quins were caught off-side in defence and Cathcart levelled with a simple penalty.

Chinnor had great chance to score the opening try on 29 minutes, but flanker Nick Harrison could not find his man.

Soon afterwards Farr was forced out, but they added a second Cathcart penalty.

Todd replied on 36 minutes, with Cathcart missing a trickier chance in the breeze.

It was 9-6 to Quins at the break as Todd landed a last-gasp penalty after Chinnor were marched back ten metres for dissent.

Their lead was short-lived as Cathcart landed his third penalty on 43 minutes.

It was Todd’s turn to miss eight minutes later – this time from the ten-metre line.

Quins wing Huw Jones moved to full back after an injury to Graeme Crapper and threatened to unlock the Chinnor defence on 61 minutes, but his pass to Andre was poor.

Farr countered at pace, but his speculative pass eluded centre Huw Morgan.

Good work from centre Martin Nutt and replacement prop James Eckert set up a penalty for Todd, but he hooked his effort wide.

On 68 minutes, Cathcart was well short with a penalty from his own half.

A moment of panic in the Chinnor defence yielded a loose ball, but Quins replacement Andy Noyce could not take advantage.

On 75 minutes, Chinnor wing Pip Seymour was stopped just short as the drama continued.

Quins never cleared and Chinnor struck after opting for a scrum from a penalty. Their pack surged on and Hastings got the touch down.

Trailing 14-9, Quins had to go for broke and went close with some pick and drives, but Andre knocked on at pace deep in stoppage time.

Cathcart hoofed down field and Jones tried to run the ball back, but was turned over.

The ball was worked to Cathcart, who had an easy run.

Chinnor: R Williams (Chase 54), Farr, Goode, Morgan, Seymour, Cathcart, Prescott (Hopwood 67), Winpenny (capt), Cawston, Pickett (Stock 54), Jackman, Smith, Hastings, Harrison, Mowbray (Vickers 54). Rep not used: Stennings.

Oxford Harlequins: Crapper (Noyce 56), Jones, Andre, Nutt, Burn, Todd, Cope, Chadbone (capt) (Eckert 65), Clark, Barlow (Edney 51), Boyle, Purchase (Smart 56), Newman, Young, Welburn.

Rep not used: Maspero.

Referee: S Lane (Devon).

Man-of-the-match: Hastings.