For Old Es Saturday 15 April saw the 1st XV away to Yatton RFC in the final pool game of the Bristol Combination Butcombe Cup. OEs having lost to Saracens last week it was interesting that North Bristol decided not to play their final pool game against Saracens due to other commitments and thus Saracens finished top in our pool and now Es knew that a good victory against Yatton RFC would see us proceed to 2nd position in the pool. So this set the scene for a good afternoon with welcoming sunshine and warmth to give all players a boost. Finally, one of the all-time great Es benches were ready for match action as can be seen.
1st XV SQUAD: Jack Houlder, Matt Bailey, Tom Brewer, Adam Skyner, Henry Kirkpatrick, Jake Perry, George Burnie, Jakob Harding, Sam Hygate, Monty Nash, Luke Jagger, Sam Brewer, Pat Dore, Will Appleton, Lucas Sadler, Ben Smith, Kit Douel, Sam Collins.
A few points of note, this was Jack Houlder's 50th game for the club, and a new half-back partnership of Sam Hygate and Monty Nash (one for the future for sure!) was being trialled but a fact that I was unaware of was that they had pretty much played together at 9 & 10 all the way since the age of 6 and through their school years at QEH. Finally, another point of note was Skipper George Burnie racked up his 50th and 51st tries for the club during this match, well done George.
MATCH REPORT: Es went into this game knowing that Yatton had just finished an awful season in Somerset 1 just avoiding relegation, so Es flew into this game firing on all cylinders and it was only minutes into the game that a good three quarters break saw Luke Jagger score a try converted by Monty Nash (0-7).
Adam Skyner and Sam Brewer had settled into the game quickly and were testing the defence both in the forwards and the backs and again a good break led to Es' second try from Will Appleton, not converted (0-12).
Following a good scrum break from Jakob Harding a quick lineout from Monty Nash gave Luke Jagger another opportunity to break through a weak defence and score. Monty Nash again added two points (0-19).
A Yatton player was shown Yellow for dissent by Referee 'Barton Hill' Bob! This just gave more space for Es to exploit and this saw skipper George Burnie run from his own 22 to score a solo try in the corner, not converted (0-24).
A good steal by Jake Perry and a good kick by Sam Hygate saw Es straight back into the Yatton half. But Yatton continued to play and their first attack in the Es' half broke down and Sam Hygate capitalised breaking from halfway and with a Hygate step lost the defence for another good solo try, not converted (0-29).
The next Es' attack saw Jack Houlder stopped just short of the try line but a penalty awarded taken quickly saw Henry Kirkpatrick go over for a try, Henry playing at Lock looked the part and was having a solid game in a solid scrum, the conversion from Monty Nash hit the post (0-34).
Adam Skyner was having a great game receiving with confidence each of the Yatton kick-offs. Again, Es attacked and a fumble by Yatton's No.15 saw George Burnie pounce and Tom Brewer then went over for a try, converted by Monty (0-41).
A good lineout from Es saw the ball switched back to Prop Jack Houlder who broke up the wing but again his efforts were stopped short but Adam Skyner was on hand to go over for a well-deserved try, Monty converted to take the score to:
Half Time (0-48).
All 3 replacements came on and it wasn't long before Lucas Sadler, back from injury and looking sharp, broke towards the try line before the ball was spread wide and Adam Skyner was on hand to go over for his second try of the day, not converted (0-53).
Skyner then went on a raging bull run from the restart, popping the ball to Tom Brewer and then onto Jack Houlder who scored a good supporting try converted by Monty (0-60).
There were some solid performances from Matt Bailey, Pat Dore, Kit Douel and Jake Perry to name but a few. Again, Yatton raised a rare move into the Es' 22 but their move broke down with a knock on, but they were having their best spell of the match such that Es didn't score again for about ten minutes! Lucas Sadler put in two good tackles in quick succession before Adam Skyner gratefully received an interception and went over for his third try of the day (not bad for a Lock!!), again Monty added the two points (0-67).
Another great run from Lucas Sadler and then Kit Douel kept Yatton on the back foot, with Sadler's efforts being rewarded by a good try and conversion from Monty Nash (0-74).
Another great move involving Luke Jagger and Pat Dore saw George Burnie sprint 30/40 metres to score his second try, not converted (0-79).
The final score of the game followed a great run from Jakob Harding involving a back flip to Luke Jagger for him to score his third of the game, and wait for it, then converted by none other than Jack Houlder to round off a great 50th match performance. (0-86)
Another point of note occurred when Sam Collins came on into the second row and at the next scrum the Yatton pack were driven back 10m, Sam Collins, one to watch for the future!
So, what can we learn from a game like that, well perhaps nothing when the opposition was poor but it was a good opportunity for Es to have some fun in the sun and put into practice the training ground work, and at least we are still in the cup!
Anyway 14 Tries and 8/14 Conversions
FINAL SCORE: Yatton RFC 0 – 86 Old Elizabethans
Tries: Luke Jagger (3), Will Appleton, George Burnie (2), Sam Hygate, Henry Kirkpatrick, Tom Brewer, Adam Skyner (3), Jack Houlder, Monty Nash,
Conversions: Monty Nash (7), Jack Houlder (1)
Skippers Man of the Match: Jack Houlder
Supporters Man of Match: Adam Skyner
So onwards to the Semi-Final against St.Marys Old Boys next weekend. Come on Es!
Report by: Paul 'Blakey' Barrington
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