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News > Sports > OEs v Berry Hill & TCs v Ashley Down OB16th Dec 2023

OEs v Berry Hill & TCs v Ashley Down OB16th Dec 2023

19 Dec 2023
Written by Malcolm Davies

Old Elizabethans 1st XV v Berry Hill 1st XV
16th December 2023

Another year has flown by and here we are about to move into 2024, but before that there is the Old Es 7s Touch Tournament at Hallen on New Years Eve (Sunday 31 December) - full details will follow
…and of course before all that, the two star studded Es’ squads faced up to the following fixtures, 1st XV home vs Berry Hill in the League, and Es’ Thundercats away vs Ashley Down Old Boys 1st XV - match reports below.

1st XV SQUAD: Tom Brewer, Henry Oughton, Jack Houlder, Tom Bendall, Adam Skyner, George Burnie, Jakob Harding, Will Tobin, Sam Hygate, Matt Carr, Pat Dore, Alex Lee, Sam Brewer, Luke Jagger, Arthur Mills, Dougal Broom, Matt Bailey, Tom Cole

The 1st XV were delighted to welcome back from injury Vice-Skipper Pat Dore and Luke Jagger in this return fixture vs Berry Hill RFC, where way back in September Es scraped a win away in the Forest of Dean thanks to a last gasp try from Tom Cole (24-28).

Es were hoping that home advantage would see a more convincing performance and indeed Es started the game with a high level of intensity and a couple of early cross field kicks frustratingly eluded Luke Jagger and were not converted into points. Good early involvement from Will Tobin and Adam Skyner helped set the scene and the line out was working well but elsewhere across the park a few looked a bit ring rusty which led to a few frustrating mistakes early on.

Eventually however the Es pressure paid off when Luke Jagger’s weaving run saw him hauled down just inches from the try line but great support from Tom Brewer saw him scoop the ball up and fall over the line for a good Es’ try with Sam Hygate adding the 2 extras (7-0).

Some good handling from Es across the whole of the pitch eventually saw Es with an 8m line out within Berry’s 22 area. A good catch and drive saw another impressive try from Jack Houlder, which Sam Hygate converted (14-0).

Arthur Mills was starting to show some excellent footwork with a couple of dinky runs and a kick through just went dead! At the 20-minute point Berry Hill started to grow in confidence, however Es were having none of it and after a great scrum taking one against the head on the half way line the Es’ backs advanced and an impressive Sam Brewer stole through the defensive line beating several players to score with Sam Hygate again adding the conversion (21-0).

A final first half effort involving both forwards and backs, saw Luke Jagger fighting off several Berry Hill players to almost score but that’s the way it ended for half time.

Half Time Score (21 – 0)

Tom Cole and Dougal Broom on. The Es’ defence had to be on guard early on in the second half as Berry Hill came out of the blocks rather smartish looking to get back into the game and indeed they were rewarded soon after with a penalty and drive which saw their heavier forwards drive over the line to score a converted try (21-7).

Unfortunately, Luke Jagger limped from the pitch with hopefully just a precautionary action to avoid further damage to his strapped-up leg. Es responded well to this and again looked like scoring through another Sam Brewer run. Es then went down to 14 men as Adam Skyner picked up a Yellow Card for a slightly late tackle (a bit like British Rail). Sam Brewer’s presence and strong running in midfield then gave Es the Bonus Point try they were looking for with Sam driving over out on the left wing. Sam Hygate's conversion kick unfortunately hitting the bar (26-7).

Shouts from former skipper Alex Potts aloft in the Dave Perkins Stand called for Es to look after the ball better as we entered into a scrappy part of the match. A great Tobin run beating at least three defenders should have led to a try with support either side of him. He chose to hold onto the ball and was well tackled before he could release a pass, if indeed he, in such a try scoring position, would ever consider it!!

The messy period of play continued and play moved to and from with neither team capitalising. A second Yellow Card from a very impressive young Referee this time went to Berry Hill. Arthur Mills and Tom Cole combined well to move Es into a threatening position. A 5m penalty quickly taken by Tobin saw him stopped short of the line. A second 5m penalty was kicked to touch and from the resulting line out Es’ forwards drove over the line, this time with Henry Oughton claiming the glory by scoring another good forwards try, not converted (31-7)

And that’s the way the match ended; a good but not impressive performance that saw Es move back up to 6th in the league (half way) with two games in hand. The next fixture is in 2024 on 6th January when Es travel to take on Bream RFC - see you there!

FINAL SCORE: Old Elizabethans 31 – 7 Berry Hill

Tries: Tom Brewer, Jack Houlder, Sam Brewer (2), Henry Oughton
Conversions: Sam Hygate (3)

Full Table and Fixture List below

Thundecats Squad: Greg Foord, James Brooke, Fergus Blyth, Archie Walker, Dan Wegrzyn, Kallan Martin, Fred Thefaut, Rob Lee, Monty Nash, Archie Joslin, Sam Hudson, Joe Mallander, Lewis Coates John, Rob Munro, Sam Tarth, Elliot Smith

This was a very tough fixture, at least on paper, with Ashley Down OB 1st XV sitting 4th in the League below. The match turned out to be a fantastic fixture for the Thundercats emphasising the progress that the TCs are making. Skipper Andy Adams welcomed back the irreplaceable figure of Dan Werz into the Es playing members and at 40+ years what a fine figure of a man he still is!!

Not great reading but this is a summary of the match. TCs are down (7-0), now (12-0) down. Then(19-0) to ADOB.
Great TCs try and conversion brings the score at half Time back to (19-7).
The second half produced a really spirited performance from the Thundercats, (19-12), (19-14), (19-19), Up the Cats, (19-21) - TCs take the lead. And then (19-26), (19-28) to TCs. ADOB then start a fight back, (26-28), but not before TCs score again, (26-35) but then unfortunately ADOB score two late tries to win the game (40-35).

A great performance by the Thundercats remembering it was only a few years ago that Ashley Down Old Boys 1st XV beat our 1st XV. Well done everyone involved.

Report by: Paul ‘Blakey’ Barrington

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