All Golds Outclassed

University of Gloucestershire All Golds under 19s 6 Midlands Regional Academy 44

On the back of a fantastic but difficult victory away at London Skolars last Sunday, the All Golds U19s Academy were looking to build on that performance when they faced the Midlands Regional Academy at St. Peter’s High School in Gloucester.

Despite being under the watchful eye of the senior side’s Head Coach Steve McCormack, it was an afternoon to forget for the young academy team. They were simply and comprehensive outplayed by a well organised and drilled away side, who romped home 6-44 winners after the 80 minutes.

The game started in terrible conditions with rain continuing to fall which impacted on  the early stages of the fixture, as the slippery ball contributed to a number of loose carries and penalties. Countless errors were the defining feature of the first encounters and these mistakes led to a scrappy and slow opening 10 minutes.

Neither team really looked like scoring in the early stages. Someone needed to take an advantage, and it was the away side who took the lead through winger Hayden Freeman. The Midlands outfit had begun to put some pressure on the All Golds defence, but it was a decisive inside flick into Freeman who couldn’t be stopped on his way over the try line. Harry Chapman’s conversion made the score 0 – 6.

The opening try seemed to ignite the visitors, who had now set a powerful stance in the game, comfortably dealing with the All Golds attack and looking dangerous in possession. Again it was Freeman who extended their advantage, as the number five grabbed his second, this time running down the line to slide in the corner.

With just under 20 minutes played and a 10 point advantage, the away side looked ominous and unfortunately the All Golds were struggling to even make the slightest of impressions in attack.

Similar to their first two tries coming in a pair, the Midlands  managed to finish the first period in emphatic style, by scoring twice in just three minutes. First Elliot Holton’s try, again down the left wing before Joe James showed real pace to score on the opposite side, and extending their teams lead to 0-18, going into half time.

Only 30 seconds into the second half, and it seemed like the home team might stage a comeback or at least look competitive, as they forced first the knock on and then the goal-line dropout; but still the Midlands  couldn’t be breached and the All Golds remained pointless.

Despite already being more threatening in the opening moments of the second period, than the entire first half, it was clear the All Golds were losing the physical battles. Each set the away team seemed a step above in forcing the opposition back and gaining valuable metres. This retaliation to the home side’s lively restart, led to Charlie O’Mara running a good line through the All Golds defence and opening his side’s account for the second half.

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It seemed a pattern of one try after another was emerging, as shortly after O’Mara scampered over the try line Dylan Bale followed suit, when scooting from close range to give the Midlands side a 28 point advantage.

Heads had seemed to drop slightly for the All Golds, who had been resilient against a classy outfit, but it was hard to see them scoring one never mind turning the tie around. And then it seemed to be an onslaught of tries for the away side, who notched up a further two scores with 20 minutes still left to play. Will Heath got his name on the score-sheet with a try in the corner, before O’Mara added to his tally when kindly setup by Elliot Norman who broke the line well, before his easy offload left nothing but air for his teammate to run into.

From the sidelines it seemed the Midlands outfit would continue to add to the score and quickly, but credit goes to the All Golds who kept battling away and stopped their opponents making any more immediate headway. In fact there were still minutes remaining for the Gloucestershire boys to score and with some good hands on the left wing via Dean Cooper, Freddie Veimosoi found himself through and the winger finished very smartly. Carlo Colucci adding the extras.

But in what had been a disappointing day for the home side, it finished on a negative note, as in the game’s final touches the Midlands  offloaded continuously, before Cameron Birnie scored under the posts, meaning his team would take home an impressive 6-44 victory.

Academy Head Coach Michael Stewart reflected on his team’s performance after the game:

“It’s little technical things that we can work on; it’s not lack of effort or lack of heart. Just those little technical things we need to improve on when taking on teams at this higher level and those that have experience at this higher level.

“When we’re in this league again next year, then we would have had a years experience at it, and hopefully we can be competing with these sides more.”

All Golds:

1.Joe Williams

2.Josh Williams

3. Carlo Colucci

4. Connor Jones

5. Freddie Veimosoi

6. Archie Gibbs

7. Callum Smith

8. Dan Moody

9. Luke Stephens

10. Conrad Jones

11. Kane Dimetch

12. Dale Cooper

13. James Mason

15. Dan Saunders

16. Terence Babarinsa

17. Anthony Cootes

18. Jamie James

Midlands :

1. Lewis Pryce

2. Joe James

3. Jason Bass

4. Elliot Holton

5. Hayden Freeman

14. Charlie O’Mara

7. Will Heath

18. Ben Gray

9. Oliver Wakeling

17. Jay Neath

11. Matt Davis

13. Elliot Norman

12. Jordan Sturgess

16. Cameron Birnie

6. Harry Chapman

15. Dylan Bale

8. Trae O’Sullivan