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News > Sports > Dings Crusaders v Old Elizabethans 23 Mar 2024

Dings Crusaders v Old Elizabethans 23 Mar 2024

25 Mar 2024
Written by Malcolm Davies

Dings Crusaders RFC II XV v Old Elizabethans 1st XV
23rd March 2024

After a good home win last Saturday against Avonmouth RFC, OEs faced a much tougher end of season test away to top of the table Dings Crusaders RFC II XV but spirits were high and games like this shouldn’t be feared, so let’s see how they got on?

1st XV SQUAD: Greg Foord, Fergus Blyth, Tom Brewer, Tom Bendall, Adam Skyner, Henry Oughton, Henry Kirkpatrick, Jakob Harding, Sam Hygate, Alex Potts, Kit Douel, Pat Dore, Sam Brewer, Arthur Mills, Matt Carr, Angus Clifford, Tom Dunbavin, Tom Cole

A cold blustery Spring wind but sunny afternoon greeted OEs facing up to the league leaders and facing into the wind first half but despite this Es were the team that settled into the game the quickest scoring an early try, with quick slick passing from Sam Brewer to Pat Dore and onto Matt Carr for a good try with the ever reliable Sam Hygate adding the conversion kick (0-7).

Dings could have replied almost immediately after a missed Es’ tackle but a good tackle from Adam Skyner saved the day! Es continued in the same vain, a good break from Jakob Harding should have had a better outcome but Jakob chose to step back inside rather than pass to a free Sam Brewer and was tackled as a result. Es’ defence was standing firm in the main but a missed tackle after 20 minutes was all that was needed for Dings to level the scores with a try and conversion out on their right wing (7-7).

Es’ defence was being made to work hard and with the Es’ scrum under pressure it started to look like Dings would take control of the game. However, Es weathered the storm and a series of good moves down the right flank eventually saw Tom Bendall storm over the try line with the conversion from Sam Hygate (7-14).

Once again Dings almost levelled the score immediately but the referee adjudged the ball to have been held up and a good goal line clearance from Es relieved the pressure temporarily but it was not long before Dings did score out wide with an unconverted try (12-14).

Despite a good tackle from Kit Douel, Dings then ran 3/4 the length of the pitch to score again with a converted try (19-14).

It seemed as if the Es’ defence was now rocking with too many gaps being left for Dings to exploit but thankfully their next foray ended with a forward pass.

Half Time Score (19-14)

With the wind at Es back and fresh legs coming off the bench with second half rotations could Es spring a surprise. A good clearance kick from Matt Carr and an Es’ throw saw a good lineout and drive and Tom Bendall went over for his second try of the afternoon and an excellent touch line conversion kick from Sam Hygate saw Es take the lead again at (19-21).

An immediate response from Dings saw this lead short lived as they scored another unconverted try (24-21).

The scores were then levelled with an Es' penalty kick (24-24).

Heading into the last quarter of the game who would come out on top? The restart kick from Dings caught by Sam Brewer saw the comical but effective moment of the game with an overhead kick from Sam! Unfortunately, another missed tackle from Es saw Dings run in a try under the posts duly converted (31-24).

Dings then extended their lead with a penalty kick (34-24).

The game then ebbed and flowed for a while with Dings missing out on a further try with a knock on and some good Es’ tackling from Pat Dore and Co with Pat finally putting in a cruncher on their No. 12 who had caused problems all afternoon.

Es attacked from a quick penalty Greg Foord making some good ground but an Es' kick through went dead. Es continued to enjoy good possession and territory with Es’ 2nd Row linking up well and Angus Clifford making a good impact off the bench. An Es’ move out to the left wing saw Greg Foord probing the Dings defence before passing back inside to Matt Carr and onto Sam Brewer for a well worked Es try, not converted. (34-29).

Es then attacked again with minutes to go and Dings were marched back 10m for not retreating as Es took a quick penalty. Es kicked into touch for a lineout 24m out and excitement in the stands for a last minute push for victory was thwarted as the lineout was lost

The Full Time whistle went and Es had earned two points (within 7 points of the winner's score and 4 tries) invaluable in the end of season push for fourth place.

Next Saturday sees Es away to St. Mary’s Old Boys RFC before a final home match against 3rd placed Frampton Cotterell with 6 points potentially securing 4th spot in the league.

This was a really good game to watch and perhaps Dings can count themselves lucky and Es unlucky on the day. But spirits still high and everyone looking forward to Wednesday evening’s flood lit cup match away to North Bristol.

FINAL SCORE: Dings Crusaders RFC II XV 34 – 29 Old Elizabethans 1st XV

Tries: Matt Carr, Tom Bendall (2), Sam Brewer,
Conversions: Sam Hygate (3),
Penalty: Sam Hygate

Full Table and Fixture List below

Report by: Paul ‘Blakey’ Barrington

CLICK for the Old Elizabethans RFC website

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