Article written by James Gray, All Golds Media
Photographs supplied by Lewis Mitchell, All Golds Photographer
The All Golds returned to winning ways after a well fought 16-28 victory, away over the South Wales Scorpions.
The All Golds travelled to the Old Parish ground for the second time this season to take on the South Wales Scorpions. After four straight defeats and a growing injury list it was great to see the return of some key individuals to the visiting squad, as native Welshmen Izaak Duffy and Steve Parry were gladly welcomed back. Especially Parry who began his comeback to the first team after nearly 12 months away with a ruptured ACL. Also appearing as 18th man was Mark Barlow, returning after breaking his leg earlier in the season.
Undoubtedly there would have been a sigh of relief from Steve McCormack, watching his side get off to such a fantastic start. After the Scorpions conceded back to back penalties the pressure mounted, and once Danny Thomas took the ball left the gaps appeared for Phil Cowburn to run through and open the scoring.
Only four minutes after Cowburn ran over the line, the home fans watched the returning Izaak Duffy power through the line and play in his teammate Ben White, to go under the posts and send the All Golds 12 points clear.
It had been a great start for the visitors, but they wouldn’t have been pleased with the way the Scorpions replied so easily. Shaun Owens looked to be running into no man’s land, but it soon turned into a marvellous individual effort ending in a try and bringing the home side right back into the fixture.
Despite their latest lapse in concentration, the All Golds had been much the better side and deservedly they extended their lead. Firstly, former Welsh student international Duffy switched from provider into scorer as he collected a brilliantly executed flat pass from Casey Canterbury.
The next score brought a great cheer from a small section of the Welsh crowd, as after nearly a year away Steve Parry scored. The hooker committed to the scoot from quite a way out and his determination got him over the line, and took the All Golds into a 6-22 half time lead. Bradley converted three of the tries.
Scorpions came out after the break almost a new side, as they looked re-energised and soon reduced their opponents lead. A quick break down the left wing saw Chris Leyshon able to stretch his legs and run over the line.
There were some ropey moments during the early periods for the away side, as they gave away a number of penalties and their completion rate dropped. But they battled hard in defence to see off countless dangerous attacks from their Welsh rivals whose pressure couldn’t get them over the line.
The All Golds’ patience and grit was well rewarded. Canterbury took the ball right up to the Scorpions line and perfectly slid Miles Fairbank through the gap to score. Bradley goaled.It could’ve been easily assumed that the away side would then see out the game, but after Scott Claridge failed to deal with the high ball, Ian Newbury was on hand to touchdown setting up a thrilling finale.
The home side continued to pressurise and come forward, but they couldn’t pull back the deficit even with a late yellow card for All Gold Brendan Smith. With the Gloucestershire side claiming a 16-28 victory and those all important three points, it puts the play-offs well and truly back in the picture and firmly closes the chapter ‘losing streak’. They next welcome the London Skolars to Cheltenham, as now every game becomes a cup final in search of a top 5 finish.
Head Coach Steve McCormack was thrilled with his side’s victory:
“First half we were excellent. We were patient, played some good football and defended well. In the second half South Wales did what they’ve done every game I’ve watched them, they came at us and we lost our composure a little bit and lost a few bodies through injury. But we saw the game out and it’s a massive win.
“With the injuries we’ve had it’s hit us hard recently, but we’ve got nearly a full pack that’s been out. But the enthusiasm they showed and the fact that they’re willing to run through brick walls for each other makes all the difference.”
Man of the Match: Casey Canterbury
|South Wales Scorpions||The University of Gloucestershire All Golds|
|1. Jordan Sheridan2. Ian Newbury4. Kyle Scrivens
3. Jack Pring
5. Chris Leyshon
6. Paul Emanuelli
7. Shaun Owens
25. Neil Dallimore
8. Lloyd O’Connor
10. Chris Vitalini
11. Barrie Phillips
14. Mike Connor
13. Ashley Bateman
9. Connor Farrer
18. Harrison Elliot
23. Richard East
16. Osian Phillips
|7. Danny Thomas2. Jarrod Ward18. Sam Te’o
4. Phil Cowburn
5. Scott Claridge
1. Ben White
3. Matt Bradley
8. Michael Stewart
14. Casey Canterbury
10. Izaak Duffy
11. Miles Fairbank
12. Connor Nolan
13. Brendan Smith
16. Joe McClean
15. Harry Chapman-Walker
9. Steve Parry
17. Frankie Foster
Referee: D. Sharpe
Touch Judges: T. Owen & J. Jones
Match Commissioner: A. Smith