Brave fight­back by county hopes hit by home loss in thrilling match

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORT -

GLOUCES­TER­SHIRE scored five tries at Clifton, but vis­i­tors Kent claimed seven of their own and de­servedly won 42-33 in an en­ter­tain­ing en­counter in Di­vi­sion One South of the Bill Beau­mont County Cham­pi­onship.

The home side did well to fight back from 37-14 down to 37-33 with 10 min­utes re­main­ing, but Kent scored again with four min­utes left and fin­ished the stronger side.

Kent be­gan the game well and scored wide on the left af­ter 10 min­utes through winger Kwako Asiedu. Skip­per Mark Cooke could not con­vert, but the for­mer Bris­tol player stretched the Kent lead with a 15th minute penalty.

Kent scored their se­cond try when an­other good run from Nathan Thomas re­sulted in cen­tre Alex Pick­ers­gill cross­ing in the left cor­ner. Again Cooke could not add the ex­tras.

Glouces­ter­shire had rarely fea­tured in at­tack, but a se­ries of penal­ties and li­ne­out drives in the vis­i­tors’ 22 even­tu­ally paid div­i­dends in the 36th minute when Cin­der­ford No.8 Harry Hone plunged over the line from a maul.

Flanker Ge­orge An­gell won the li­ne­out, prop John Lloyd made the ini­tial charge, and Hone did the rest from close to the line. An ex­cel­lent touch­line con­ver­sion from Tom Webb nar­rowed the deficit to six points.

More penal­ties and li­ne­out drives en­sued, and with in­jury time al­ready be­ing played, Dings Cru­saders hooker Tom An­der­son was driven over for a try, Webb’s con­ver­sion giv­ing his side the lead for what was to prove to be the only time in the game.

The first half con­tin­ued, and 52 min­utes had elapsed when Kent re­gained the lead. Jack Daly took a quick tap penalty in the home 22, and the ball was moved to the right where full back Ai­den Moss touched down in the cor­ner. A bril­liant con­ver­sion from Cooke gave Kent a 20-14 half time lead.

Daly was again in­flu­en­tial straight

af­ter the break, when his high kick to the left cor­ner pro­vided a bonus point try for re­place­ment Craig Dowsett. Cooke’s con­ver­sion at­tempt looked to be on tar­get, but the ball dipped un­der the bar.

Glouces­ter­shire lost Webb to the sin bin for tack­ling in an off­side po­si­tion and Kent were quick to cap­i­talise as Pick­ers­gill claimed his se­cond try af­ter a flow­ing three-quar­ter move. Cooke again missed the con­ver­sion, but Glouces­ter­shire looked to be in trou­ble at 30-14 down.

Five min­utes later things got worse when winger Ricky Mack­in­tosh burst through sev­eral at­tempted tack­les to score a try to the right of the posts. Cooke con­verted, and Kent had a lead of 23 points.

To their huge credit Glouces­ter­shire mounted a spir­ited re­cov­ery. Spurred on by a stir­ring per­for­mance from Hone, they claimed their third try.

Skip­per Joe Smart made a strong burst, and Hone was there in sup­port to get his se­cond touch­down of the afternoon. Webb struck the con­ver­sion well, but the ball drifted wide to the left.

With 18 min­utes re­main­ing Glouces­ter­shire were handed a life­line and a bonus point try when Newent cen­tre Will Mans­field in­ter­cepted on his own 22 me­tre line and ran the length of the field to score un­der the posts. Webb con­verted with ease and the score was now 37-26 to Kent.

Ten min­utes re­mained when Glouces­ter­shire scored again. Hone was the cat­a­lyst, tak­ing a tap penalty close to the vis­i­tors’ line, and re­place­ment hooker Sam Evans of Thorn­bury dived over to score. Webb’s con­ver­sion cut the deficit to four points, and a thrilling fin­ish looked to be in prospect.

Sadly for the home sup­port­ers, Kent quickly re­gained the up­per hand, and they rarely looked in trou­ble in the clos­ing stages.

A good move saw cen­tre Kieran Mof­fatt score a try on the left, and although Cooke missed the con­ver­sion Kent had done more than enough to win the game.

Glouces­ter­shire can feel proud of their se­cond half fight­back, and will hope for a bet­ter re­sult when they travel to Hert­ford­shire for their last game, but Corn­wall look the likely group win­ners when the fi­nal Di­vi­sion One South matches are played on Satur­day.

James Dean (Newent) on the charge for Glouces­ter­shire

Cin­der­ford’s Harry Hone touches down for his se­cond try

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.