Tier 4 Regional League round-up
GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARRIORS produced easily their best performance of the season to outclass COVENTRY BEARS A, 50-18 in the West Midlands and move above them in the table. Warriors scored nine tries including a hat-trick for centre Chris Hall as they controlled possession and field position superbly, forcing errors and taking their chances with clinical efficiency.
With the game counting double points following the postponement of the fixture between the sides back in May it was a particularly important win for the side and they began the game showing real intent. Forcing an error on the Bears’ first possession, the Warriors won a penalty and Ash Lewis went over with just two minutes on the clock. Sam Goatley kicked the first of his seven goals for the day. From the restart another penalty had the Warriors in prime position and Jerome Moore crashed over between the posts from Levi Smith’s offload.
On 11 minutes it was 18-0 as Matt Williams produced a trademark dummy close to the line to go over. Further pressure yielded no further scoring and as the initial enthusiasm waned a little, the Bears came back into the match. Harry Marks went over from close range to get the hosts on the board before Jose Meintero broke off the back of a scrum just inside his own half and ran away from the cover to score. Marks added the goal but an error from the restart handed the initiative back to the Warriors who took full advantage with Goatley going over by the posts to score and convert his own try. Neil Cully was held up over the line on the last tackle as the Warriors looked to increase their lead but it was the Bears who scored next, Rhys Clarke being rewarded for a good chase of a high kick to receive a favourable bounce and score.
The ten point interval margin became six eight minutes into the second period as Clarke finished a good move to score his second try of the match but that was as good as it got for the Bears. Again a mistake from the home side from the kick-off gave the Warriors field position and Hall cut a great line to score his first touchdown. He was in again six minutes later showing good strength to force his way over and the Warriors were well on top leading 34-18. Joe Toft was sin-binned for dissent but the short-handed Warriors survived intense home pressure on their line and even increased their lead with two further tries. An excellent kick chase from George Boughton forced a goal-line drop out and Jack Petelo drove over from close range to score. Hall then completed his hat-trick snapping up a wayward Bears pass and racing away to the posts.
The Warriors then fashioned a number of other chances without turning them into points before emphasising their dominance in the last set of the day. After conceding a penalty on their own line, the Warriors defence stopped the Coventry attacker from grounding the ball. The set continued with the Bears being forced backwards until James Greene stole the ball in the tackle on halfway and raced away to the line chased all the way by Bears defenders. Goatley missed the tricky conversion with the last kick of the game but it didn’t matter as the Warriors had long since secured an important win for their season.
LONDON & SE
LONDON SKOLARS A wrapped up the minor premiership in the Southern Premier with a hard-fought 36-26 win at EASTERN RHINOS. They led 12-6 at half time and pushed on to victory scoring six tries to their opponents five. In the division’s other game SOUTH LONDON STORM had a 44-34 home win over ELMBRIDGE EAGLES.
MEDWAY DRAGONS moved off the bottom of the South East Division table with an impressive 68-22 victory at GREENWICH ADMIRALS. SOUTHAMPTON SPITFIRES secured their play off place with a 30-8 win at GUILDFORD GIANTS.
NORTH HERTS CRUSADERS grabbed the headlines by pulling level at the top of the table with ST IVES ROOSTERS with just one game to go. The Crusaders had a comfortable 56-18 win at BURY TITANS while the Roosters were beaten 44-10 at BEDFORD TIGERS. KINGS LYNN BLACK KNIGHTS turned the tables on MILTON KEYNES WOLVES, winning 24-18 thanks to a try seven minutes from time in a Norfolk thriller.
MUDCHUTE UNCLES had a 34-22 victory at BARKING & DAGENHAM in the Entry League while HAMMERSMITH A beat WEALD WARRIORS 34 – 14.
WEST OF ENGLAND
OXFORD CAVALIERS and BRISTOL SONICS A now occupy the top two spots after big wins over SWINDON ST GEORGE and GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARRIORS A respectively. The Sonics ran in 14 tries in a comprehensive 74-14 win over an understrength Warriors at Aretians. After a tight opening, Jack Gibson went over from close range to open the scoring with Max Gallagher converting. This opened the floodgates as four more tries followed in the next 10 minutes from Dean Brooker, Gallagher, Alex Potts and James Bennett. The Warriors stemmed the tide for a short while but the rampant Sonics scored three more tries before the break through Ed Tofts, Sandy MacLauchlan and Wijnnad Wormhoudt. The Warriors had the last word of the half with Chris Benjamin stretching out to ground the ball, making the score 38-4 at the interval. The second half saw early tries for Romario Archer and Wayne Cochran take the Sonics past the half century but the Warriors replied with a Kieran Cox try converted by Joel James. With injuries taking their toll on the visitors, it was no surprise that the Sonics began to score at will again. James Bennett, Gallagher, Potts and Brooker all crossing to keep the score mounting but Gloucestershire showed great spirit to stem the tide in the final minutes and did get the final try of the game from an impressive attack.
The Cavaliers meanwhile held off a committed Swindon St George side to record a 50-32 win that takes them back to the top of the table. Swindon were in touch with their hosts for much of the game but a try just before the break and two immediately after it just gave Oxford enough breathing space. Carl Baker got St George off to a perfect start with a try converted by James Slatter but two quick tries from the home side edged them in front. It was nip and tuck coming up to the break with Swindon just ahead thanks to converted tries from Jo Lauvanua and TomtomTuragabeci with an unconverted try from Oxford in reply. Then came the telling burst. The Cavaliers crossed from the last play of the half and then scored straight after the resumption. A third try immediately afterwards saw them 34-18 ahead. However, Swindon bravely closed the gap again through Charlie Cox and Kim Vuadreu, Slatter adding a goal and a try in response to the Cavaliers’ seventh score of the game. The home side sealed the points with two late tries to leave them needing to win their final game to secure a place in the play-offs.
FLINTSHIRE FALCONS moved off the bottom of the table in the North – and above their opponents at the same time – with an 11-try, 62-24 victory over WREXHAM BRADLEY RAIDERS. The hosts just edged the first period, but took control after the interval. Kieron McComb was at the centre of their best work with two tries and nine conversions while John Gormley impressed for the Raiders.
ASHTON BEARS moved into fourth place in the Premier Division table with a hard-fought 27-18 win over CLOCK FACE. The Bears surged ahead after a fine opening quarter as Daniel Peet and Mark Bohannon both crossed, with Matthew Melling improving the second effort. A Stuart Millet drop goal nudged them 11-0 in front, however, the visitors hit back with a 32nd minute touchdown from Chris Kinsey which was goaled by Martin Hutton to make it 11-6 at the break. Peter Edwards raced in two minutes after the re-start and Hutton was again on target to give his side the lead for the first time. However, Ashton responded and when Bohannon – with his second – and Millet both touched down in the space of 10 minutes the home side were back in control. Melling’s second conversion gave them a nine-point advantage, and despite Clock Face adding a Pete Bekker try and a second Hutton goal to momentarily cut the gap to three points, Chris Rothwell’s 78th minute try and Melling’s third goal sealed the win.
In Division One SHEVINGTON SHARKS turned on the style in a superb second half performance as they ran out 32-6 winners at FOLLY LANE. A touchdown from centre Alan McNally which was improved by Keiron Lockett was all the home side had to cheer as they were outplayed by their Wigan-based visitors in the second period, despite leading 6-4 at the interval. Prop Paul Hallaron gave the Sharks an early lead and despite leaking their sole try which meant they were behind at the mid-way point it was then all one-way traffic. Alex Graham, Danny Evans with a brace, Neil Melling and Chris Dunn all added their names to the scorers list as the Sharks cut loose, four goals from impressive stand-off Evans completed the scoring to send Shevington third.
A hat-trick from Jimmy Muir was the highlight of LEIGH MINERS RANGERS 42-20 win over WIGAN SPRING VIEW in Division Two. Sean Grundy also had a great afternoon, two tries and four goals giving him a 16-point haul, while Leigh’s other touchdowns came from Steve Kinny, Tom Appleby and Lewis Sporston, who also tagged on a conversion for good measure. Spring View showed some great touches in a high-scoring contest and were rewarded with tries to Mike Gibbson, Matt Kearsley, Paul Gallagher and Garth Melling, Ant Valentine landing two conversions.
There were also plenty of points at Rabbits Hills as LITTLE HULTON REDS swept past BOLTON METS 42-22 in the Division 5 clash. Andrew Hargreaves led from the front with a hat-trick and Mike Parsons, Wes Winder, Lee Parsons at the double and Mark Bolton also touched down. The boot of Winder added five conversions. The Mets tries came from scrum-half Dorning with two and props Lee Critchow and Chris Brown, Dorning with two and James Yates adding conversions.
STANNINGLEY took control in the second quarter, beating EAST LEEDS 46-10 in the derby. The hosts were 30-4 up at the break but it was Easts who started the brighter and could have been 12 points up inside ten minutes but for some great defence from home winger James Socket on his own line. Hooker Ross Peel opened the scoring for Stanningley in the tenth minute, Lee Cooper goaling but Easts hit back immediately through a Matthew Savage try. The hosts then took control running in four touchdowns in 20 minutes from Joe Ugarte, Peel again and two from outstanding prop Tom Scholey, all goaled to make it 30-4 at the break. Joe Gilligan’s unconverted score extended the lead in the 45th minute, Stuart Haliday going over for Stanningley soon after. Chris Dorsell’s hard work set up centre Richard Halls for Easts, Jordan Holmes goaling but Haliday bagged his brace in the 70th minute.
A stunning display from Leigh Rientoul helped YORK ACORN crush HEWORTH 46-0. The full-back crossed for five tries in a man-of-the-match performance as his side eased past their city rivals. Paul Cross, Antony Chilton, Lee Hitchenor, Jimmy Mountford, Ben Fairbourn and Joel Johnson also helped themselves to touchdowns, whilst the final score would have been higher if their goal-kicking had been better as James Bromwich kicked their only goal.
NORMANTON KNIGHTS came out on top 26-18 in a cracking Wakefield derby with WALTON WARRIORS. Centre Andrew Ellis got the games first points in the 15th minute when he went over and with Joe Crossland improving that effort and then adding a couple of penalties the Knights were in charge. The visitors got back into the contest when Aaron Henry muscled his way over and with Ian Mattinson converting it was game on at 10-6 at half-time. The Warriors comeback continued when Billy Griffiths grabbed the opening score in the second period which Mattinson again improved, and when Richard Foster raced in and his try was goaled by Martin Tilford, Walton must have thought the points were safe. However, the Knights came back strongly in the final quarter with three touchdowns. Winger Crossland started the comeback with an effort that Jacob Crossland improved, before the outstanding Ellis grabbed his second to nudge his side 20-18 ahead. With time running out stand-off Jacob Crossland showed his class as he stepped his way over and improved his own try to complete the scoring and take the spoils.
OULTON RAIDERS A, with centre Mark Taylor outstanding, held on to win 36-24 at CUTSYKE RAIDERS. Four tries in 20 minutes saw Oulton break clear in what had been until then a very tight, tense battle before a late revival prompted by the Cutsyke pack ensured an exciting finish. Taylor opened the scoring in the eighth minute, James Cruickshank doubling the visitor’s lead. Scrum half Danny Dickinson got Cutsyke on the board, Danny Huby goaling, Tom Lunn’s 35th minute effort and a Danny Mackintosh goal making it 14-6 to the visitors at the break. Three touchdowns in ten minutes after it put Oulton on control, through Danny Elston, Chris Gourlay and Taylor again, Mackintosh goaling two. Rob Wright hit back for the hosts in the 65th minute but scrum half Rob Charlton’s try and Mackintosh’s goal made the game safe for the visitors. They had to survive a late scare though, hooker Brett Hawkin and Dickinson crossing in the 72nd and 78th minutes, both goaled by Huby.
There were thrills a-plenty at Clayton where WEST BRADFORD BARBARIANS held on to record a 42-38 win over SHEFFIELD HILLSBOROUGH HAWKS. Stevie Richardson and Ryan Wilkinson with tries and two Wilkinson goals gave the Barbarians a 12point lead approaching the half hour, the only other score of the first period coming from Hawks winger Daniel Ryan to make it 12-4 at the break. The second half was a much more open affair. Scott Smith crossed for the home side a minute into it, Wilkinson adding his second try soon after. Craig Magson and a fourth Wilkinson goal made it 28-4 in the 46th minute, Adam Brooks responding for the visitors, Dan Gray adding the extras. James Dewhurst was next in for the Barbarians but two Liam O’Leary tries in ten minutes, the latter goaled by Gray brought the gap back to 14 points. Prop Richardson posted a second but again Hawks responded, wingers Ben Jackson and Ryan with a double going over to make it 40-32. A Wilkinson penalty four minutes from time meant a 20-point man of the match contribution and secured the spoils but there was still chance for Was Sovatabua to cross for the Hawks, Gray adding his fifth goal.