Hill down Ross in opener
Counties Two Gloucestershire North, Coney Hill 38 Ross-on-Wye RFC 19
With the previous week’s fixture against Cirencester postponed due to the pitch being too hard, Ross RFC travelled to Coney Hill to play their first league game of the season on Saturday (September 10), reports IAN PHILLIPS.
With the Gloucester club marking their 75th anniversary, and England World Cup winner Phil Vickery in attendance at their pre-match meal and celebrations, there was a lot of support for the home side.
But it looked like Ross would spoil the party when they were awarded a penalty and the ball was kicked to the corner.
From the lineout, Connor Challenger secured the ball and the Ross pack mauled for the line before being stopped just short.
But the following ruck saw No 8 Thai Hayward pick the ball and dive over to score the first points, also converting the extras to put Ross 7-0 ahead.
However, Coney Hill hit back and were all fired up, scoring through a mis-tackle in midfield, and adding a second try moments later.
Ross were dominating the scrummaging, though, and pulled things level through a try from prop Louis Morgan, crashing over the line from a series of pick and goes, fly-half Jack Donovan converting to make it all square at 14-14.
But with the scoring going backwards and forwards, the Coney Hill side stayed one step ahead, scoring two more tries before half-time to make it 26-14 at the break. The second half followed the first, with Ross scoring in the corner through second row Josh Walker, finishing off a sustained 10 minutes of pressure.
Donovan narrowly missed the conversion to leave the score 26-19.
And the game remained in the balance up to the 65th minute, when injuries to Donovan and Challenger and the substitution of veteran Dave Mince gave the upper hand to the hosts in the final stages, who eventually ran out winners 38-19.
It was a reasonable start for Ross in what looks like a fairly competitive Counties Two Tribute Gloucestershire North League.
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