County Junior Vase first round

North Bristol 21 Old Colstonians 29

AFTER months of pre-season everyone welcomed the sound of the referees whistle, signifying the start of the new season.

Bright, warm sunshine was a pleasant addition to the afternoon as both sides looked to start their year with a bang.

It was Old Colstonians that started the brightest and they opened the scoring after just four minutes with a converted try to take at early 0-7 lead.

North Bristol then started to dominate territory and possession keeping Old Cs pinned back in their 22.

However some strong defence from the visitors and some early season wrong options kept North scoreless.

A missed penalty from Billy Cantin could have started the scoreboard ticking over but after twenty minutes a speculative kick ahead from Old Cs saw them take the chance to lead 0-12 with their second try.

With the half coming to an end it seemed like it would be a scoreless half from North Bristol however centre Josh Davies capitalised on an Old Colstonians mistake to score under the posts. Cantin converted on the stroke of half time and it was 7-12.

Old Colstonians increased their lead six minutes after the break to lead 7-17 with their third try of the afternoon before North scored their second.

Winger Phil Cresswell, enjoying a typically strong game, bounced off tacklers to score and with Cantin adding the extras it was game on at 14-17.

Old Colstonians hit back but two great tackles from replacement fullback Carl Smith kept them at bay and North Bristol were able to hold their line.

Following a yellow card for Old Cs North Bristol piled on the pressure and after a good pass from debutant No. 8 Mike Westlake, Antony Jelf sprinted in to score under the posts. Cantin made it 21-17 with the conversion.

North Bristol put themselves under pressure with some poor game management in the dying moments of the game and Old Cs re-took the lead one minute into injury time with a try to lead 21-22.

With both teams throwing everything into the game the visitors scored their fifth and final try of the afternoon at the final whistle to win the game 21-29 and progress into the next round.