IMAGE: Mitchell Dent tries to avoid tackle (courtesy Lewis Mitchell Photography)
The All Golds continued their preparations for next week’s Challenge Cup tie against Drighlington with a friendly game against the University of Gloucestershire at Oxstalls on Sunday.
Played in three 20-minute periods, the game provided the All Golds squad with an opportunity to shake off the ring rust from the off-season and stake a claim to a place in the team to make the journey to Leeds for the big game.
The All Golds came out on top 26-12 after an entertaining contest between two sides that were well-matched for the most part of the hour’s play.
The West of England champions and Harry Jepson Trophy winners started the better and made the most of some hesitation under the high ball by the students to lead 10-0 at the first interval. Tom Gaffney crossed for the first try after a high kick was allowed to bounce before Ash Lewis powered over to score and add the extras himself. The students upped their game in the second period, putting much more intensity into their play and scored two converted tries in the space of five minutes to take the lead 12-10. However, at the second break, the All Golds had a 14-10 lead thanks to Kirk Lewis’ close-range try. The All Golds, though, had been forced to weather a storm. Their defence close to their line was good as the period provided the sort of workout head coach Marcus Brown was looking for.
The third period saw the All Golds extend their advantage with two converted scores as they dominated play showing some incisive finishing. Gaffney grabbed the first, running back a poor attacking kick some 60 metres to score before Alasdair Anderson finished a flowing move out wide. Sam Hodge converted both.
The game was played in a good spirit throughout with both sides playing hard and fair rugby league and both wanting very much to win.
Now Brown and his team have the enviable task of selecting a side to take on National Conference League Division Three side Drighlington next weekend with just one training session left for players to force their way into the match-day 17.
ALL GOLDS: Sam Hodge; Mason Robbins, Alasdair Anderson, Luke Kell, Tom Gaffney; Jack Uren, Joe Uren; Mike Addis, Kirk Lewis, Mitch Dent; Jordan Smith, Hector Silva; Ash Lewis. INTERCHANGE: Dec Grimstead, Dean Cooper, Paul Bolger.
Tries: Gaffney (2), A. Lewis, K. Lewis, Anderson
Goals: A. Lewis 1 from 2, Hodge 2 from 3