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News > Sports > Dursley v OEs 21st Oct 2023

Dursley v OEs 21st Oct 2023

24 Oct 2023
Written by Malcolm Davies

Dursley v Old Elizabethans 21st October 2023

Es' games against Dursley have historically been close, and today was to be no exception.

1st XV SQUAD: Tom Brewer, Henry Oughton, Jack Houlder, Adam Skyner, Kallan Martin, Ben Charlton, George Burnie, Will Tobin, Sam Hygate, Matt Carr, Tom Cole, Alex Lee, Sam Brewer, Luke Jagger, Stephen Terera, Henry Kirkpatrick, Matt Bailey, Alex Potts

Es kicked off with slope and wind advantage, cheered on by a sizeable contingent of Es’ supporters, including former first team captain Andy Brook, Dave Langdon, and Simon Lomax. They didn’t have to wait long, from the first line out on half way, centre Sam Brewer unhinged the Dursley defence on a weaving run, was tackled short of the line, popping the ball up for No 8 Will Tobin to crash over the whitewash, a 7 pointer, converted by the ever reliable Sam Hygate, (0-7) on 2 minutes.

Fullback Steve Terrera was taken off with an ankle injury so a reshuffle of Matt Carr to fullback, Alex Lee to fly half and Alex Potts coming on in the centre.

Es seemed to be playing with much more purpose, bossing the territory, Hygate putting up accurate box kicks that Steve Borthwick would have been proud of. The pack was rampant in the loose, lock Adam Skyner making some aggressive charges, setting up quick ball. It was no surprise when skipper George Burnie broke clear to touch down for another 7 pointer, (0-14) on 8 minutes.

Dursley responded with a penalty on 15 minutes, (3-14).

Next, a penalty on the Dursley 22 following a terrific 25 metre drive, a relatively simple 3 pointer, was spurned for a kick to the corner, however possession was lost. A reversed penalty to Es in similar position was converted, (3-17) on 20 minutes.

Play swept back upfield, with Es defending a 5m lineout on their own line. A characteristic tackle busting run out of defence by Tobin, support from lock Kallan Martin and prop Tom Brewer took play deep into Dursley territory, the ball was fumbled then regathered by winger Luke Jagger who coasted in for a superb length of the field score, (3-24) on 27 minutes.

The Es’ lineout was consistently good, delivering quality ball. From a catch and drive the ball was spun out, centre Brewer showing great determination to barge over in the corner for another 7 pointer, (3-31) on 38 minutes, with the hosts on the ropes.

Dursley were back on the attack, with a succession of scrums and penalties on the Es 5 metre line, eventually breaking through for a converted try.

Half time score (10-31).

Dursley kicked off the second half with the wind and slope in their favour, which suited their heavier forwards who started to impose themselves in the scrum, leading to a well worked try in the corner, (17-31).

Hit of the game came from centre Potts, a training ground Dursley crash ball move was brought to a juddering halt as their hefty flanker was stopped in his tracks, to the delight of the Es’ supporters. Es were suffering in the tight, props Jack Houlder, then Martin were carded within minutes of each other, resulting in uncontested scrums.

The referee took a lesson from the Dursley coach, agreeing that if scrums go uncontested, Es had to forfeit a player. So, with Es down to 12 men it was no surprise that Dursley scored two tries (29-31).

So, with Es restored to 15 men, and with only 6 minutes to play, Dursley continued to turn the screw, forcing a goal line dropout, gathered and returned with interest by Dursley, forcing a penalty which was converted (32-31) in the 78th minute.

From the restart, a Dursley knock on gave Es a scrum on half way. It was the Dursley supporters turn to hold their breath as Es gamely moved the ball, looking dangerous. however, good defence forced Es into touch, and the final whistle, Dursley celebrating enthusiastically, after coming from 3-31 behind.

Like England that evening, Es led for 78 minutes, however, a scoreless second half and a couple of lapses in concentration and decision making, and the game slipped away. Nonetheless a terrific game and massive improvement on the last couple of results, two bonus points for 4 tries and finishing within 7 points.

This was probably Es best performance this season. However, the last three games have all been lost by a total of 5 points. Small margins. It is worth considering that Dursley is a town of 8,000 people with a wide catchment area. Apart from the link with QEH, Es have no catchment area or source of players, yet consistently punch above their weight, well played Es.

Supporters Man of the Match: This week many players put up their hands, Adam Skyner was a real force in the loose, George Burnie taking lineout ball, lively in the loose and a try, Will Tobin, a try and his usual belligerent force going forward, however one player stood out for a hand in three of the tries, and his own, Sam Brewer, a real handful for the Dursley midfield, all game.

A Saturday off next week, then for what looks a tasty challenge AT HOME to Old Colstonians on 4th November, kick-off 2:30pm 

FINAL SCORE: Dursley 32 – 31 Old Elizabethans

Tries: Will Tobin, George Burnie, Luke Jagger, Sam Brewer
Conversions: Sam Hygate (4)
Penalties: Sam Hygate

Full Table and Fixture List below

Report by: Paul “Blakey” Barrington

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website

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