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Chosen Hill looking to make history in North Gloucestershire Combination Senior Cup

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 6th May 2022, 09:00

Chosen Hill take on Matson at Kingsholm on Sunday Chosen Hill take on Matson at Kingsholm on Sunday

Chosen Hill look to make it third time lucky when they take on Matson in the North Gloucestershire Combination’s Senior Cup final at Kingsholm on Sunday (5pm).

Twice before in their 52-year history they’ve reached the final but they’ve never lifted the cup, something that Rich Planchant, who heads up the club’s coaching set-up, is desperate to put right this weekend.

Not that it will be easy, far from it, because Chosen Hill, despite their third-placed finish in Western Counties North, go into the game as the underdogs in the eyes of many people.

Matson have dominated Western Counties North this season – they ended the campaign with a perfect record of played 24, won 24 – and that record includes two victories over Sunday’s opponents.

But Planchant, who returned to Chosen Hill from Cinderford three years ago, was in an upbeat mood when he spoke to The Local Answer.

“We’re looking forward to it, 100 per cent,” he said. “Somebody has to be the underdog and if that’s us, so be it.

“This is something we’ve been working towards for the last couple of seasons. We haven’t won the cup before and it’s something we’re looking to do on Sunday.

“We’re up against a good Matson side and they deserve to be favourites but we’re confident in what we can produce.

“We’re confident in our defence, we’re confident in our attack and where we are as a team.”

As in all cup finals, the forward battle will be key, especially in those vital early stages.

“It’s going to be a good battle up front,” continued Planchant. “You'll see two aggressive back rows and two good scrummaging sides. It will be an arm wrestle to start with.”

But once the ball does get out to the backs, Planchant is hoping that his team can make an impression.

“We’ve got a good balance between forwards and backs, we’ve got a few ideas, I fancy our backs,” he said. “We’ve got an exciting back line, we need to be creative.”

Planchant has certainly made an impression since returning to the club in 2019.

“My ambition was that I didn’t want us just to be comfortable,” he said. “I want to push the club forwards. We’ve got a good average age in the playing group and we’ll be playing in a new division next season against some good clubs.

“I don’t believe in being comfortable and the thing about a Senior Cup final is it’s not comfortable, it’s tribal.”

The Senior Cup is one of three Combination Cup finals at the home of Gloucester Rugby on Sunday. The Glanville Cup between Old Centralians 3rds and Matson 3rds will start proceedings at 11am with the Martin Slatter Junior Cup final between Matson 2nds and Longlevens 2nds kicking off at 2pm before the showpiece final at 5pm.

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