Quins be­lie strug­gles to give Avon a fright

Bath Chronicle - - SPORT -

Avon were made to work hard by a Bris­tol Har­lequins team whose first-half per­for­mance be­lied their lowly league po­si­tion. Things started well for Avon as they took an early lead when manof-the-match Chaz Med­dick crashed over wide out to open the scor­ing. Quins then hit back to take the lead with a con­verted try shortly af­ter and dom­i­nated the rest of the half as their ef­fi­cient pack con­trolled pro­ceed­ings down the slope. They ex­tended their lead with a penalty and only some ex­cel­lent Avon de­fence and a few mo­ments of good for­tune pre­vented any fur­ther Quins scores. Even­tu­ally Avon weath­ered the storm and started to ex­ert some con­trol, go­ing into half-time two points up against the run of play af­ter Ben Hurd went straight though the mid­dle of a break­down to score a vi­tal try. Hav­ing spent most of the first half in an arm-wres­tle with the Quins pack, Coach Kai Har­wood changed the tac­tics and told his play­ers to open the game up. This worked in­stantly as Avon started to spread the ball wide, al­low­ing Hurd to pick up his sec­ond try be­fore winger James Leem­ing out-paced the de­fence to open up a two-score lead. Then, with ten min­utes re­main­ing, Avon’s tac­tics paid div­i­dends as they ex­posed a tir­ing Quins de­fence with three more con­verted tries to put an added gloss on their win. Firstly Leem­ing added his sec­ond with an­other scorch­ing run, then Alex Gap­per touched down be­fore Ol­lie Flight cel­e­brated his birth­day with the fi­nal try. Jonny Batch­e­lor added four con­ver­sions be­fore leav­ing the field through in­jury with sec­ond row for­ward Xan­der Davis non­cha­lantly slot­ting the fi­nal con­ver­sion. This late surge re­sulted in a 45-10 fi­nal score­line which seemed harsh on the bat­tling per­for­mance of the Quins side and keeps Avon in the mix in the top four of Som­er­set Premier. ■ Avon­vale Calne were beaten de­spite a slow start as, for the first 20 min­utes, Vale strug­gled to con­tain the op­po­si­tion’s big for­wards. Re­peat­edly go­ing back­wards at the scrum and with Calne us­ing their for­wards to great ef­fect, Vale failed to get any foothold in the game. They re­alised their strength for this game lay with their backs and started to run the big Calne for­wards around. Vale scored their first try when cen­tre Ciaran O’con­nor shot through a huge gap and found full­back Char­lie Holton on his shoul­der to score un­der the posts. Fly­half Steve Grant con­verted. Vale con­tin­ued to move the ball around and cen­tre Tom Hendy broke free to score with Grant adding the ex­tras. Grant him­self scored out wide and wing Josh Mae­gor scored near the posts to give Vale a 26-0 half­time lead. Calne scored a catch and drive try at the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond half but Vale’s front row of Archie Dow­man, John Keepen and cap­tain Hay­den Rogers were dom­i­nant in the scrum, the for­wards started to off­load much bet­ter. From a quick li­ne­out Holton threw the ball to Keepen who gave a quick pass for Mae­gor to show his pace and score. Mae­gor con­verted as Grant was off the field. With Vale run­ning from their 22, a move in­volv­ing for­wards and backs with some deft han­dling by Keepen re­leased Rogers to go in un­der the posts. And straight from the kick sec­ond row Joe Vowles gal­loped away be­fore be­ing tack­led on the Calne 22. Quick ball was se­cured and 18-year-old No8 Kieran Cunningham romped over to give Vale a 45-5 vic­tory. Spokesman Rich Rogers said: “With all our in­juries at the mo­ment the young play­ers are hav­ing to step up to the plate and they are do­ing a good job of it.” Vale colts had an im­pres­sive vic­tory by 25 points to seven away at Yeovil

PIC­TURE: Ar­tur Les­niak

Leigh Wheat­ley slides in for a try as Col­erne cruised to a 43-7 win at home to Royal Woot­ton Bas­sett’s 3rd XV in Dorset & Wilts 2 North. He also added four con­ver­sions.

Dan Thomas storms through en route to the try-line

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.