Supermarine Sports Ground Swindon
SWINDON ST GEORGE 20 – 44 ALL GOLDS
From A Special Correspondent
Three late tries ensured the All Golds completed their unbeaten league campaign with a hard-fought win over defending champions Swindon St George in Wiltshire.
Under dark and brooding clouds the weather threatened to break and likewise Swindon threatened to end the All Golds’ 100% record in a game full of ferocious defence and dazzling handling and running, with the pace never letting up for the full 80 minutes.
Aedan Coleman was the All Golds’ scoring hero with four superbly taken tries but, in his first start for the side, prop Pat Crummay turned in an awesome performance, leading his young forward pack superbly as well as helping himself to two tries.
Swindon controlled the early exchanges with the visitors being guilty of a number of unforced errors. To their credit the All Golds held the home side out despite being camped on their line for the opening few minutes.
When finally the All Golds gained a foothold in St George territory, Coleman spotted a gap and darted over from dummy half. Michael Holden added the extras from wide out despite a swirling wind.
The lead was short lived as Henry Beer soon replied and after Rhys Evans had added the extras, it was six apiece. Five minutes later, the home side were in front, Liam Rowe finishing strongly in the corner for an unconverted try.
St George continued in the ascendancy but could not add to their tally. As the half drew to a close, the All Golds drew on their reserves and Luke Stephens sent Crummay plunging over the line for his first try for the Golden Fern. Holden goaled and despite being clearly the better side in the opening stanza, the reigning champions went to the dressing room 12-10 in arrears.
Playing with the wind behind them in the second half, Swindon sought to use it as much as possible and it soon earned them the reward of a try. Several defenders made a hash of Jamie Deal’s high bomb and Sam Collins gathered to score. Evans added the goal to put the visitors in front.
Coleman then struck for the All Golds skirting the defenders to score out wide. He completed his hat-trick a few minutes later as the defence simply went too high on him as he swatted off tacklers. Holden tacked on the extras.
As the game entered its final quarter it still hung in the balance. The medical teams on both sides were fully employed and the All Golds lost Charles Lichtenstein and Aseri Lewasaru through injury.
It fell to All Golds man of the match Crummay to put daylight between the sides when he slammed the ball down over the Swindon line. Holden converted.
If the visitors thought they could breathe more easily then St George made it clear they could not as they responded with a superb score from Paul Sidge who collected a good pass from Jack Daynes to storm over with 14 minutes remaining.
However, they couldn’t get any closer and the All Golds hit the champions with a three-try barrage in the last ten minutes of the game.
First Josh Llewelyn stepped inside his man and cantered over for his first try of the season, Holden adding the goal into the teeth of the wind. Then Coleman displayed great athleticism for his fourth of the day before a Jack Uren offload to Jordan Smith sent the big forward in under the sticks.
Holden’s conversion ended the scoring but the final score of 44-20 does scant justice to the evenly balanced nature of the game.
The sides could yet meet again in the West of England Grand Final in a fortnight and on the evidence of Saturday’s game, that would be something to savour.
SWINDON: Josh Williams; Liam Rowe, Jack Daynes, Rhys Evans, Matty Huggins; Connor Tomley, Jamie Deal; K Sekope Sokowasa, Stewart Hannah, Sam Collins; Greig O’Brien, Henry Beer; Todd Johnson; INTERCHANGE: Paul Bolger, Paul Sidge, Stu Doughty, Scott Douglas, Richard White
Tries; Beer (19), Rowe (24), Collins (43), Sidge (66)
Goals; Evans 2 from 4
ALL GOLDS: Josh Llewelyn; Ben Roche, Aedan Coleman, Josh Stafford-Smith, Michael Holden; Jack Uren, Luke Stephens (Capt); Patrick Crummay, Jacob Morris, Aseri Lewasaru.; Ryan Tanner, Dean Cooper; Brandon Lamb; INTERCHANGE: Joe Uren, Kieran Webb, Hector Silva, Charles Lichtenstein, Jordan Smith, Josh Foster, Alasdair Anderson
Tries; Coleman (15, 49, 54, 72), Crummay (39, 63), Llewelyn (70), Smith (78)
Goals: Holden 6 from 8
Scoring sequence: 0-6, 6-6, 10-6, 10-12, (HT), 16-12, 16-16, 16-22, 16-28, 20-28, 20-34, 20-38, 20-44, (FT)
Referee: Darren Hayes
All Golds remaining Fixtures
4 August: Semi Finals – Somerset Vikings (H)
11 August: Grand Final (@ Dings Crusaders RFC)