ALL GOLDS 14 – 28 VALLEY COUGARS
Chris Wilson at St Peter’s High School, Gloucester
Individual errors and a lop-sided first half penalty count ended the All Golds’ season-long unbeaten home record in rainy conditions at St Peter’s.
The Cougars raced into a 20-0 lead in almost as many minutes but were made to cling on by a strong second half performance from the All Golds. However, the home side could only register two unconverted tries as their bid to snatch a win fell short.
The All Golds showed good signs in general play, their movement upfield was more structured showing that work on the training field is bearing fruit on match day.
However all the work on the training field can’t account for errors in judgment that were punished ruthlessly by the Cougars as they built a winning lead in the first quarter of the game.
After eight minutes the Cougars’ third penalty gave them ideal field position and swift hands between Shane Lee and Ben Jones sent Shaun Webber in at the corner.
The second score came from Lee’s kick at the end of the Cougars’ next set which was fatally allowed to bounce by the All Golds and smart play allowed Adam Watton to race away to score.
The Cougars’ third try was gifted them by Luke Stephens whose wide pass on halfway was snapped up by Ben Pinnock. Mike Hurley converted – the first of his four goals for the day.
Ten minutes later, the Cougars forced a goal-line dropout and Lewys Willacott exposed some brittle defence to go over for his first try of the game. With Hurley’s goal making it 20-0 it seemed the All Golds were looking at a heavy defeat.
However they soon forced an error and Stephens made up for his earlier mistake by forcing his way over from close range. Michael Holden added the extras to give the home side a glimpse of an opportunity to stage a fightback.
The Cougars, though, extended their advantage as Hurley added a penalty as the half drew to a close for a 22-6 interval lead.
The All Golds made a much better fist of the second half without really threatening to claw back the Cougars’ 16-point lead.It took them 13 minutes to get on the board as the game went from end to end, neither side being able to breach the other’s defence.
Kaine Dimech’s angled run looked to be well covered by the Cougars defence but he produced a superb one-handed pass to send Mason Robbins away for a fine try.
However, they were unable to capitalise on the score and a bad error from Jack Uren gave the visitors the chance that Willacott took thanks to some excellent footwork that left defenders flailing.
There were ten minutes left when the All Golds managed to cross again. After the Cougars had infringed, handing their hosts an opportunity near their line, Rhys Evans found finally space to dive over from close range for a debut try.
However, it was not enough but the game ended on an exciting note. Holden went close after a length of the field run having fielded a kick from Lee, but lost his footing with nobody in front of him and the chance went begging.
ALL GOLDS: Jack Uren; Mason Robbins, Brandon Lamb, Luke Kell, Michael Holden; Luke Stephens, Joe Uren; Mitch Dent (Capt), Sean Roberts, Mike Addis; Dean Cooper, Kaine Dimech; Dale Cooper; INTERCHANGE: Rhys Evans, Hector Silva, Marcus Brown, Campbell Hills.
Tries: Stephens (29), Robbins (53), Evans (69)
Goals: Holden 1 from 3
COUGARS: Lewys Willacott; Shaun Webber, Ben Jones, Liam Watton, Adam Watton; Ben Pinnock, Shane Lee; Lloyd Selby, Dean Higgs, Gethin King; Mike Hurley (Capt), Zak Williams; Scott Britton; INTERCHANGE: Tom Warner, Anton Ramsey Anthony Noonan, Charley Bodman.
Tries: Webber (8), A Watton (12), Pinnock (16), Willacott (26, 58)
Goals: Hurley 4 from 6
All Golds Man of the Match:
Scoring sequence: 0-4, 0-8, 0-14, 0-20, 6-20, 6-22, (HT), 10-22, 10-28, 14-28, (FT)
Penalty Count: 9-12
Referee: Malcolm Holmes
IMAGE: Courtesy Lewis Mitchell Photography