GLOUCESTERSHIRE ALL GOLDS 18 – 28 HEMEL STAGS
Hemel Stags ground out a 28-18 win over Gloucestershire All Golds in the first game of rugby league played at Lydney RFC’s Regentsholme ground.
The Stags twice came from behind before two tries in four minutes in the final quarter settled an entertaining contest in their favour.
The match was a success for the All Golds off the field with a crowd of over 300 while on the field, the team earned a precious bonus point in their quest to catch Gateshead Thunder in the table.
Hemel took a little while to get into a rhythm in the first half and were behind after just two minutes. Steve Parry made an excellent break and earned a penalty. On the second tackle, Jordan Rice powered over, Phil Cowburn adding the goal for the perfect start.
However, the All Golds were unable to build on their advantage as both sides went blow for blow though the Stags slowly gained control, their big forwards slowly forcing the All Golds back with the kick being the only way they could make ground forward.
The Stags earned their reward on 25 minutes, Chad Sharp’s short pass sent Mike Forgham over from 20 metres out, Barry John Swindells levelled the scores with the goal.
The All Golds hit back and finally made an impression in the Hemel red zone with Nev Morrison prominent but careless hands spoiled some clever approach play.
The All Golds looked the stronger in the early exchanges of the second period but handling errors crept in however. The Stags were just as guilty and from the scrum from one such mistake, Rice offloaded to Morrison who squeezed over.
However the All Golds dropped the restart and Harry Mostyn went over direct from the scrum to tie the scores again. Four minutes later, the Stags were ahead for the first time, Sharp delayed his pass long enough to put Shane Grady into a hole and the second row had no difficulty in touching down. Swindells added the goal.
The All Golds responded well and Maxime Claustres burrowed over for a try from close in but Cowburn’s goal attempt went wide.
The Stags were not panicked and with 13 minutes to go Grady ran half the length of the field before finding IanKeevill for a try. Four minutes later, they sealed the game as Aiden Pritchard forced his way over for a soft try.
Swindells improved both scores to give the visitors a three score lead.
With four minutes left, Callum Mulkeen broke a tackle to score and though Cowburn missed the shot at goal, the All Golds had secured their second successive bonus point and maintained the pressure on the sides above them.
1 Phil Cowburn
16 Maxime Claustres
5 Nev Morrison
3 Callum Mulkeen
4 Curtis Cunningham
6 Mark Barlow
19 Danny Nicklas
10 Chris Vitalini
9 Steve Parry
11 Lee Kelley
12 Richard Jones
13 Jordan Rice
20 Brendan Smith
18 James Walter
17 Dale Cooper
24 Mike Venn
14 Pat Smith.
Tries; Jordan Rice (2), Nev Morrison (48), Maxime Claustres (60), Callum Mulkeen (76)
Goals; Phil Cowburn 1 from 4.
1 Mike Forgham
29 Mason Caton-Brown
3 Aaron Small
4 Barry-Jon Swindells
5 Harry Mostyn
36 Chad Sharp (Capt)
7 Ben Young
10 Ian Keevil
13 Jack Molloy
12 Aidan Pritchard
31 Alex Ingerfield
33 Shane Grady
30 Austin Aggrey
8 James Howitt
27 Lewis Reed
15 Dan Ljazouli
26 Sean Johnson.
Tries; Mike Forgham (25), Harry Mostyn (51), Shane Grady (55), Ian Keevil (67), Aiden Pritchard (71)
Goals; Barry John Swindells 4 from 5.
Scoring Sequence: 6-0, 6-6, (HT), 10-6, 10-10, 10-16, 14-16, 14-22, 14-28, 18-28, (FT).
GAMEBREAKER: Aiden Pritchard’s rather soft try coming just four minutes after Shane Grady had ran half the length of the field to give Ian Keevil a score gave the All Golds too much to do with less than ten minutes to go.
Man of the Match:
All Golds – Nev Morrison was a constant danger out wide confirming the good impression he made in the previous game against the Skolars.
Stags – Shane Grady scored a try and set up a crucial score with a barnstorming run for the Stags
All Golds – 7, Stags – 5
All Golds – None, Stags – None
Sent Off: None
All Golds – 0, Stags – 3
Half Time Score: 6-6
Referee: C Kendall (RFL Appointment)
Touch Judges: G Corvo & I Curzon