Rugby: North Bristol make it back-to-back wins

Western Counties North

North Bristol 26 Bristol Harlequins 8

NORTH Bristol picked up their second win in a row against Bristol Harlequins at Oaklands.

Quins started the brighter and found themselves camped inside the North 22.

After several scrums, finally the pressure told when Quins scored an unconverted try in the corner.

This sprung North into life and a great box kick from Alex Cue allowed winger Mike Ogbeta to put in a massive hit on his opposite number.

This set up great field position for North and, after an infringement at the break down, their first points of the day came via a Dan Snow penalty.

From the resulting kick-off, a great run from Chris Jelf sparked North’s pack to drive upfield.

The backs then found the overlap with Carl Smith and Josh Davies linking up well.

The ball was recycled and found its way to prop Alex Flannigan, who ran onto the ball like a runaway train to score North's first try of the afternoon.

However, Quins scored next with the referee awarding a penalty for a high tackle and they duly took the three points on offer to make it 8-8.

The next restart saw an excellent turnover from North hooker Richard Mortimer and this set up an attacking platform.

From here juggernaut centre Davies barrelled his way to the line and North closed the half out 13-8 up.

After the break the game started at a frenetic pace and, after a high tackle on big No8 Max Sheppard, Snow stepped up to slot a 40-metre penalty.

North were steadily building their lead and, after an excellent lineout, the backs found they had too much pace for Quins.

Centre Jim Hitchman broke up the middle of the pitch before the ball was recycled and the overlap was worked well for birthday boy Carl Smith to score in the corner.

Quins then began to come back into the game knowing that being 21-8 down they were drinking in the last chance saloon.

However, the North defence stood firm no matter what Quins threw at them.

Whether it was excellent fringe tackling from back row dynamos Kit Sheppard and skipper Chris Underwood or midfield tackling from Joel Phillips, North wouldn't allow Quins to break them down.

Man of the match Rich Mortimer did an excellent job of turning over Quins ball at will and being his usual abrasive self in the loose, much to the away fans' frustration.

One of these turnovers led to a excellent kick from Phillips, who spotted the space behind the Quins defence. Ogbeta chased down the ball and rose like Michael Jordan in his prime to out-jump the Quins full back and fed substitute Simon Mortimer to score with his first touch and secure the bonus point win.

With this victory North opened up a nine point gap between them and the four teams below.

On Saturday they travel to Berry Hill, where they have never won in the league, before the Christmas and New Year break.

North Bristol scorers: Tries – Josh Davies, Alex Flannigan, Simon Mortimer, Carl Smith; Penalties – Dan Snow (2).

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