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News > Sports > OEs and Thundercats v Frampton Cotterell 6 Apr 2024

OEs and Thundercats v Frampton Cotterell 6 Apr 2024

8 Apr 2024
Written by Malcolm Davies

Old Elizabethans v Frampton Cotterell
6th April 2024

Super Saturday welcomed us to Fortress Hallen for a Doubleheader against Frampton Cotterell RFC. The 1st XV were looking for a single point to hang on to 4th place in the league which could be important in any restructuring that the Glos RFU decides to make for next season, whilst the Thundercats, having their first game in a few weeks, were hoping to do the double on Frampton and to spoil their end of season celebrations on their Club Awards evening.
The two match reports are below and at the foot are the Final Table positions.

1st XV SQUAD: Greg Foord, Fergus Blythe, Jack Houlder, Adam Skyner, Tom Bendall, Henry Oughton, Jake Perry, Jakob Harding, Sam Hygate, Alex Potts, Arthur Mills, Pat Dore, Sam Brewer, Alex CS, Matt Carr, Henry Kirkpatrick, Tobias Burden, Kit Douel.

Es were looking to do a season double on Frampton Cotterell having won at their place earlier in the season. A big day for Frampton with their Annual Awards night to follow they arrived with both teams and plenty of supporters to bolster the high level of Es’ supporters and drink their fair share of the Seasons remaining bar stock!!

An unseasonably warm afternoon greeted both teams but the strong wind would ask questions of both teams and ultimately the winners may be the team that coped best with the conditions. The wind had dried the pitch out nicely and the swollen home crowd were in for an entertaining Super Saturday of Rugby.

Frampton RFC sitting 3rd in the league and couldn’t be caught started the better of the two teams playing with the wind in the first half putting early pressure on the Es’ defence. The same referee as last week pinged Es almost immediately for ‘Holding On’ but was possibly a bit quick with the whistle. It immediately put Frampton into a good field position and it was not long before everything seemed to be going horribly wrong for Es with two Yellow Cards firstly for Sam Brewer and then Henry Kirkpatrick. How would Frampton take advantage of the next ten minutes might decide the outcome of the game and it was not long before their scrum moving forward led to their No. 8 breaking and scoring a converted try (0-7).

So, more importantly, how would Es stem the tide of wave after wave of Frampton attacks, well the answer is - Very Well indeed and some great defensive work meant that Brewer and Kirkpatrick were back on the pitch before Frampton could do any more damage, so was the game won or lost in that important ten minute spell?

Es finally managed to get into the Frampton 22 with a great touchline kick from fullback Matt Carr. The Frampton lineout ball was then stolen by Adam Skyner and Es enjoyed their best spell so far in the game. Another 5m lineout following an Es penalty kick was well taken by Skyner and Es drove forward and crossed the line for a Jake Perry try and good conversion from Sam Hygate to bring the score level at (7-7).

The referee was being very officious and some say whistle happy but maybe this was following his being assessed at last week’s Es win at St.Mary’s!! Fortunately, it was Frampton that were being penalised and then marched 10m for back chat. Es mounted another attack following a good line break by Sam Brewer and Es were awarded a penalty and Sam Hygate cooly slotted the ball between the posts to give Es the lead (10-7).

Es’ defence was once again then being tested but the Blue Wall held firm. A brilliant dummy from Matt Carr, a jinking run and a great clearance kick eased the pressure. A good Es’ rush defence following a Frampton scrum and the ball was stolen but Frampton continued to enjoy most of the possession and territory. A good run out of defence by Alex CS and Fergus Blythe once again relieved the pressure and following a good Es attack a Frampton player was Yellow carded just as Half Time approached. A good first half for both teams but maybe Frampton edged the first half.

Half Time score (10-7).

So the question on Es supporters’ lips was “Would the wind help Es in the 2nd half?” Henry Kirkpatrick on for Jake Perry. Es enjoyed a good start to the second half amongst other things winning a scrum against the head. Es had a central penalty just 2m inside the Frampton half and despite having the distance the Penalty kick from Sam Hygate just drifted wide! Es were using the wind and a great Box Kick from Sam Hygate allowed Arthur Mills to take advantage of a defensive spill and Arthur kicked forward and full back Matt Carr put on the after burners to beat two Frampton players to the ball for an Es try duly converted by Sam Hygate (17-7).

This seemed to spur on Frampton and almost immediately replied with their own well worked try but not converted (17-12).

Soon after the restart Es were awarded another central penalty and scrum half Sam Hygate made no mistake this time with his kick extending Es lead (20-12).

Kit Douel on and HKP off with a head injury. Again, Frampton attacked but again came up against some stern Es’ defence led by Alex Potts with players like Tom Bendall and Jack Houlder putting in big shifts!

Jake Perry off again, skipper Pat Dore went to back row, with Matt Carr stepping up to Fly Half and Alex Potts moving to inside centre. Sam Brewer and Alex Potts broke the line and Es started to enjoy more of the ball, it was however starting to feel very tense despite this. Frampton were pulled up for crossing and Sam Hygate’s penalty kick took Es into the opposition 22. A good take from the lineout by Adam Skyner and moments later Sam Brewer again broke the line popped the ball to Arthur Mills who scored a well worked Es try, converted by Sam Hygate (27-12).

Es continued to stop Frampton in their tracks. Afterwards a senior Frampton former player commented that Frampton normally relied upon breaking the line but that Es’ defence had been outstanding and that Frampton didn’t have a Plan B! Two more great tackles from Tom Bendall seemed to reinforce this point. Es awarded a kickable penalty then chose to chase the fourth bonus point try but the move broke down and in hindsight maybe should’ve taken the kick for the posts. A good kick and chase by Kit Douel just thwarted him by running dead but the 4th try didn’t come but nevertheless what a fantastic win for Es to clinch a finishing 4th spot in the league standings.

So with the league season over attention is switched to the two cup competitions. Having got a bye in the first round of the Combination Cup Es look set to face Old Colstonians (tbc) in the next round, whilst next Saturday both Es teams will travel by Coach to play a doubleheader against Wells RFC with the 1sts in the Papa John Cup (with Nick Heath refereeing and Phil Cheek as linesman). Es will be hoping to progress to the next round to play either Perranporth (Cornwall) or South Molton (Devon) details of coach travel etc. to follow.

FINAL SCORE: Old Elizabethans 27 – 12 Frampton Cotterell

Man of the Match: Tom Bendall - rock solid.

Spectators Men of the Match:: Jakob Harding & Jack Houlder.

Tries: Jake Perry, Matt Carr, Arthur Mills,
Conversions: Sam Hygate (3)
Penalties: Sam Hygate (2)

Full League Table below

THUNDERCATS SQUAD: Charlie Smith, Rob Munro, Andy Adams, Archie Walker, Dan Leach, Angus Clifford, Ben Smith, Kiran ?, Tom Cole, Oli Clapp, Scott Tomlins, Joe Brock, Will Tobin, Ewan Crowley, George Evans, Ben Simmons, Adam Ralls, Gilbert Blocksidge

The TCs were out to emulate the 1st XV with a second win of the day, however as with the 1st XV match Frampton started the stronger with some brilliant Thundercats defence keeping the score level.

Good to see Will Tobin back playing after a long injury lay-off. The TCs were a little fortunate a few times and held the ball up over the line twice. A great break by Joe Brock showed the TCs potential whilst Dan Thomas was getting really stuck in. Frampton though continued to enjoy the majority of possession and territory and it was just before halftime that Frampton took the lead with a 5m lineout drive and converted try.

Half Time score (0-7).

It was, nevertheless, a good first half for the Cats playing against the wind, and the wind would be for the TCs to enjoy in the second half! Early in the second half Frampton broke the line and looked sure to score but a bad pass went astray. A second mistake with a forward pass again let the TCs off the hook. The Thundercats were however now enjoying a bit more of the ball and from a defensive position they fed the ball wide to an ever-threatening George Evans who rounded his opposite man and streaked into the corner for a try. A fantastic touch line conversion kick from Scott Tomlin then levelled the score at (7-7).

The TCs were now enjoying good territory and possession and again out wide the rangy George Evans once again slipped through the Frampton net to score in the corner and once again a precision touchline kick from Scott Tomlin saw TCs take the lead (14-7).

Could they hang on? Skipper Andy Adams called for one last effort. Despite this it was Frampton that were to have the last say with a good well worked try out to the left but as the TCs' players saw the conversion kick drift wide of the left upright the final whistle went and celebrations began. An excellent effort by the 18-man TCs squad for a well-deserved victory (14-12). Well done!

FINAL SCORE: OE Thundercats 14 – 12 Frampton Cotterell

Tries: George Evans (2)
Conversions: Scott Tomlin (2)

Reports by: Paul ‘Blakey’ Barrington

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