Western Counties North

Oldfield 14 North Bristol 17

NORTH Bristol started 2014 with a trip to Shaft Road, home of Oldfield Old Boys, for the first time in league rugby since October 1999.

On that day North lost 14-10 but at the end of this disappointing game they were grateful of securing the league points, especially after the pulse raising finale.

Oldfield had the chance to open the scoring but they missed an early penalty chance after three minutes and it was North who crossed the line first.

A quickly taken penalty just inside their own half was taken on by skipper Chris Underwood before Max Sheppard drove on. Quick ball then found Dan Snow and the number 10’s fine break splintered the home defence. His well-timed pass found the supporting Jim Hitchman and the centre dived in under the posts to finish a scintillating move. Snow converted.

North Bristol pushed on with Oldfield rarely entering their half but it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that they had another chance, but Snow missed with his penalty chance.

One minute later though some great handling down the right saw North pile on the pressure and after some powerful thrusts from Ross Wilson and Alex Flannigan it was Alex Featherstone who crunched over the line to make it 0-12.

North Bristol were seemingly denied another try as they steamrolled an Oldfield scrum ten metres out from the line, only for the referee to penalise North for not being bound.

Oldfield went into half-time with a score on the board with a try down the left. A fine touchline conversion brought them to 7-12 at the interval.

Both sides missed early second half penalties as they went in search of the next score but it wasn’t until the 70th minute that the next points came.

A strong carry from Simon Mortimer took North deep into Oldfield’s 22 and when Alex Cue was held short, Sheppard crashed over from his customary couple of inches to score a key unconverted try.

Following a couple of missed tackles, Oldfield scored their second converted try after 77 minutes to bring them back with a sniff of the win.

North Bristol looked set to close the game out though as they secured possession and began to run down the clock.

Stepping back into the pocket to clear the ball into touch on the last play of the game, Snow’s kick was sliced straight into the hands of Oldfield’s pacey left winger, who looked likely to run in from 60 metres, but Snow sprinted back and just managed to stop him short and seal the win.

North Bristol scorers: Tries - Alex Featherstone, Jim Hitchman, Max Sheppard; Conversion - Dan Snow.