SWINDON St GEORGE 24 – 18 BRISTOL ALL GOLDS

Christopher Wilson at NALGO Sports Club, Swindon

 

The All Golds fell to a disappointing 24-18 defeat at Swindon in their first game of the season on Saturday.

They had come from behind after an early home score to lead 8-4 heading towards the interval thanks to tries from Brandon Lamb and Jack Uren.

However, Swindon scored in the last minute of the half to take the lead 10-8.

They extended that to 20-8 before a late fightback from the All Golds got them to within a score of their hosts before time ran out.

On a warm sunny day with little breeze to ease the heat, the All Golds started tentatively and their first attack ended in an interception. The ball was shifted out to the wing and Robbie Dalgleish raced over from halfway to open the scoring with just over a minute on the clock.

The match was played in a crackling atmosphere which almost erupted on the field but the referee did well to keep the players in check and a good contest soon emerged.

The All Golds’ play was strewn with errors both forced and unforced but their defence held as twice Swindon attacks were stopped within inches of extending the lead.

Their attack improved as the half wore on and midway through the period, a good kick chase forced a goal-line dropout and from the repeat set, All Golds’ captain, Lamb, forced his way over.

Immediately afterwards, another good kick from Greg Hamilton forced an error and Jack Uren went over in the corner to give the All Golds an 8-4 lead. Hamilton’s attacking kicking game had won the opportunities for both scores, but he was less successful from the tee, missing both conversions from wide positions.

James Royle then had a try disallowed for a foot in touch following a blind side break after a scrum, and the All Golds were looking to head into some welcome shade with a lead at the interval.

Swindon had been making ground through the middle for the whole game and, with the final play of the half, Florin Palcau smashed his way through three or four defenders to cross near enough to the posts for Connor Tomley to chip over the conversion for a 10-8 lead.

If the All Golds were invigorated after the interval, it didn’t show as an error early in the tackle count gifted Swindon attacking field position and Tomley weaved over for a score to make it 14-8.

Surprisingly, he pushed the inviting conversion across the face of the posts to leave just one score between the sides.

The All Golds squandered an opportunity to get that score thanks to a panicky play down the short side early in the tackle count and were immediately punished from the resulting scrum.

Tomley hoofed the ball downfield for Dagleish to chase and the centre won the race to collect and score under the posts. Tomley made it 20-8 with just over a quarter of the game to go.

On the hour mark, the All Golds finally put their training into practice and neatly worked space for Mason Ball to touch down in the corner.

Mike Harrison split the defence several times during the game with hard running and good footwork and almost conjured a try for Darren Forde but his kick to the in-goal after a powerful 50-metre charge bounced favourably for the home side into touch.

Jonny Green went close as the Swindon defence was put under pressure for almost the first time in the game, but the hosts broke out and spread the ball wide, exposing the All Golds’ lack of cover. Matthew Huggins was left with a simple score in the corner giving his side breathing space at 24-12.

The All Golds huffed and puffed but couldn’t break a desperate home rearguard until Green stole a close range try from dummy half, converted by Lamb.

To sum up the All Golds’ day, Tomley thumped the restart long and it bounced dead, winning back possession for his side.

While the All Golds played well in spurts, Swindon looked to be a team and, in Tomley, they had the player who could control play when required and do the unexpected things that directly earned his side two vital scores.

For all the All Golds’ effort, they still have some work to do before they are the finished article.

 

MatchStats

Teams:

St George: Liam Rowe; Andre Samura, Robbie Dagleish, Joshua Fox, Matthew Huggins; Florin Palcau, Garry Dunn; Simon Pilkington, George Lenton Hall, Jermaine Edwards; Sean Marsden, Jack Daynes; Sam Danford (Capt); INTERCHANGE: Connor Tomley, Jamie Dowison, Harry Brookes, Nathan Hayes.

Scorers:

Tries: Dagleish (1, 51), Palcau (39), Tomley (43), Huggins (68)

Goals: Palcau 0 from 1, Tomley 2 from 4

ALL GOLDS: Darren Forde; James Royle, Mason Ball, Brandon Lamb (Capt), Ellis Homer; Luis Smith, Greg Hamilton; Luke Panting, Jack Uren, Kieran Harvey; Tom Austin, Kieran Webb; Mike Harrison; INTERCHANGE: Joe Uren, Morgan Lewis, Jonny Green, Dylan Thomas.

Scorers:

Tries: Lamb (17), Jack Uren (22), Ball (60), Green (78)

Goals: Hamilton 0 from 2, Ball 0 from 1, Lamb 1 from 1.

 

All Golds player of the Match: Mike Harrison tried hard to drag his team with him to get the win making a number of dangerous breaks, which sadly came to nothing.

Scoring sequence: 4-0, 4-4, 4-8, 10-8, (HT), 14-8, 20-8, 20-12, 24-12, 24-18, (FT)

Penalty Count: 7-6

Referee: Darren Hayes

 

Image: All Golds’ Luke Panting fends off a St George defender (Image courtesy of Lewis Mitchell Photography)

 

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