Rugby: Returning trio inspire North Bristol to victory at Old Bristolians

Western Counties North

Old Bristolians 15 North Bristol 22

NORTH BRISTOL ended a run of four straight defeats with victory at Old Bristolians.

Returning players Ross Wilson, Mike Ogbeta and Carl Smith all had good games and enabled those around them to flourish too.

Playing with the slight slope, North Bristol had an early chance to open the scoring but Dan Snow’s lengthy penalty, although on target, did not quite have the legs after one minute.

North looked threatening in the opening exchanges. After five minutes Ogbeta raced down the right touchline and his inside offload to Wilson almost brought a try but the ball went to ground.

Minutes later a catch and drive went close again but Max Sheppard was adjudged to have put a foot in touch.

The home side then went looking for their first score and set up camp inside North’s 22. A Jim Hitchman yellow card saw North reduced to 14 men and Old Bs sensed this was their time, turning down an easy three-pointer to opt for the scrum.

Following the put-in Alex Cue, enjoying his best game of the season, disrupted the home No 8 and won a crucial turnover. North were able to clear their lines and crucially no points were conceded.

Snow put North on the board with a sweetly struck penalty after 27 minutes.

As North went hunting their first try, Ogbeta took a quick lineout and from the resulting attack, North were able to string quality phases together. After some powerful drives towards the line it was hooker Richard Mortimer who claimed the unconverted score. North led 8-0 after 32 minutes.

From the restart second row Chris Jelf, outstanding on his 150th game for North Bristol, galloped deep inside the Old Bs 22 once more.

With the pressure now turned up a notch, Alex Featherstone was able to claim a loose lineout and then Wilson crashed over to score a try. Snow slotted the extras.

Wilson went from hero to zero soon after when the referee yellow-carded the lock for a high tackle.

After the restart Old Bs missed a simple penalty attempt on 45 minutes but were now looking sharp, and scored to bring them back into the game at 5-15 after 65 minutes.

North Bristol looked to have secured the win when prop Featherstone took a short pass from Cue to scorch 40 metres to the line for an impressive try. Snow added the conversion.

Old Bs scored down the left to keep the game alive at 10-22 after 77 minutes.

Looking to get within a bonus point, Old Bs brought the game back to 15-22 with a try in the first minute of injury time.

As the game entered the eighth minute of injury time, Old Bs twice threw the ball not straight at the lineout and North Bristol were happy to kick it out for a valuable away win.

North Bristol scorers: Tries – Alex Featherstone, Richard Mortimer, Ross Wilson; Conversions – Dan Snow (2); Penalties – Dan Snow.

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