ALL GOLDS 44 – 26 SWINDON St GEORGE
Chris Wilson at St Peter’s High School, Gloucester
The All Golds secured their third straight league win and maintained their dominance over Swindon St George with a 44-26 home win. It was a hard fought game that simmered in the Gloucestershire heat without quite boiling over.
The game was marred by the early summer conditions and errors were plentiful on both sides. Because of this, the pace was slow and play disjointed but the home side overcame this to threaten a big win in the opening quarter.
Swindon battled hard and came back from 22-6 down midway through the first half to level matters by the break thanks to three unanswered tries.
However, they were undone by the dismissal of stand-off Connor Tomley for an alleged eye gouging offence just seven minutes into the second period.
The All Golds scored two converted tries in seven minutes after the incident and were in control of the game until its conclusion.
Centre Kaine Dimech scored twice and made plenty of metres forward for the hosts while Henry Beer crossed for two tries in a beaten side that tried right to the end despite running out of fit men in the latter stages.
Dimech it was who opened the scoring after five minutes. Sean Roberts had set up the position with a run from dummy half that split the heart of the Swindon defence and following back to back penalties, swift hands down the line gave the Maltese international a walk in.
Following another Swindon indiscretion five minutes later, the excellent Dale Cooper fought his way over the line for the All Golds’ second score, Ash Lewis converting.
Swindon began to cause the home side problems when they attacked on the edges and from one such move Jordan Roberts had an easy passage to the corner and was able to run unchallenged to the posts to give Rhys Evans an easy shot at the extras.
Sean Roberts then twisted over for the All Golds before dissent earned George Lenton Hall a ten minute breather – the first of seven cards handed out by the busy referee.
Mitch Dent immediately exploited the man advantage for a converted try to ease the hosts to a 22-6 advantage and seemingly the basis for a commanding victory over the side they beat to the West of England title last August.
However, it was not to be that easy. Simon Addis began the fightback, piercing some soft defence to score before Myles Everett sped through the home ranks to score. Evans converted both to leave just four points between the sides.
Right on the half time whistle, Henry Beer smashed his way over to tie the scores but Evans could not give the visitors the lead with the conversion.
Swindon’s chances of a dramatic victory were dealt a blow early in the second period when Tomley was dismissed following an incident in a tackle on Sam Jones right on the Swindon line.
They disappeared further five minutes later when Dimech burst through and exchanged passes with Paul Bolger before scoring for the second time in the match.
Seven minutes later, the All Golds took a tap penalty too quickly for the Swindon defence to react and Mike Addis had nobody to beat as he went over under the posts.
Though Beer crossed for his second try a few minutes later, Swindon were running into injury problems and also lost Jordan Roberts to the sin-bin. The All Golds also had Luke Stephens and Ash Lewis temporarily dismissed for their roles in a bout of handbags after Joe Uren was accidentally injured in a tackle.
The All Golds had the ability to keep the scoreboard moving and Luke Kell raced through from a scrum to score, Sean Roberts hitting the post with the conversion attempt.
After Jack Daynes had been shown the final card of the day for a high tackle, Dean Cooper added a penalty to extend the All Golds’ lead to three scores.
In the last few minutes, Uren capped his good recent form with the All Golds’ final try, this a fine individual effort from halfway.
In the final action of the game, Bolger was denied a popular score as the referee saw a forward pass from fellow prop Dent as the big men burst through the middle.
ALL GOLDS: Tom Gaffney; Mason Robbins, Luke Kell, Kaine Dimech, James Royle; Luke Stephens, Joe Uren; Paul Bolger, Sean Roberts, Mike Addis; Jack Wear, Ash Lewis (Capt.); Dale Cooper; INTERCHANGE: Mitch Dent, Dean Cooper, Marcus Brown, Sam Jones.
Tries: Dimech (5, 52), Dale Cooper (10), Roberts (22), Dent (25), Addis (59), Kell (71), Uren (78)
Goals: Lewis 4 from 5, Dean Cooper 2 from 3, Roberts 0 from 1
St GEORGE: Simon Addis; Myles Everett, Jack Daynes, Nacini Nacaglievu, Jordan Roberts; Rhys Evans, Connor Tomley; Harry Daynes, Andrea Bonicelli, Matt Young; Henry Beer, George Lenton Hall; Simon Price; INTERCHANGE: Mark Sharp, Stu Doughty, Matthew Huggins, Liam Rowe.
Tries: Roberts (16), Addis (28), Everett (30), Beer (38, 61)
Goals: Evans 3 from 5
All Golds Man of the Match: Dale Cooper
Scoring sequence: 4-0, 10-0, 10-6, 16-6, 22-6, 22-12, 22-18, 22-22, (HT), 28-22, 34-22, 34-26, 38-26, 40-26, 44-26, (FT)
Penalty Count: 17-15
Referee: Malcolm Holmes
IMAGE: Joe Uren looks to make ground for the All Golds (image courtesy Lewis Mitchell Photography)