11:30am Thursday 14th February 2013
FRAMPTON COTTERELL got their title charge back on track with victory at Dursley, who slipped to the bottom of the table for the first time this season.
They are six points clear at the top of the table with six games left, but Drybrook have three games in hand and head coach Paul Beet felt it was crucial to find the winning formula again after a shock defeat at Bristol Saracens the previous week.
He said: “Other sides have got games in hand but we can only keep playing and keep winning. “We’re confident we can keep going for the rest of the season.”
The hosts started by far the stronger and looked much sharper than in recent weeks. A good kick through by Joe Bilous had just a little too much weight on it for centre AJ Caddick, who chased it down just in time to see it bobble over the dead ball line.
Dursley put the first points on the board after ten minutes following heavy pressure in the opposition 22 to win a penalty in front of the posts that was easily slotted by Matt Billett, making his debut at fly half.
The front five of George Sheldon, Liam Ackhurst, Danny Morgan, Simon Camm and Scott Udal put in some sterling defence with hooker Ackhurst stealing ball at the breakdown.
Following a Dursley infringement at the lineout, Frampton were awarded a free kick which they capitalised on with some good handling for Mike Jordan to score the first try of the match with Matt Lawrence’s conversion added off the upright, bringing the score to 3-7.
Wingers Chris Perrett and Scott Barrett both used their speed and guile to make good breaks only to be held up short by the Frampton defence and the back row of Sean Hughes, Jack Rowe and Tim Wilcox worked tirelessly to secure possession.
Lawrence added two more converted penalties, extending Frampton lead to 3-13. With half time looming Frampton extended their lead from a five metre line out and Jack Gibson drove over for an unconverted try.
The second half began much as the first with some strong work done by the forwards to win a penalty which Billett accurately kicked from 30 metres out, closing the gap to 6-18.
With only eight minutes played in the half Frampton added a try through Rob Kier. Dursley upped the intensity and with it came Frampton ill-discipline, with two props being sent to the bin within minutes of each other for high tackles and slowing the game down.
With uncontested scrums in place and scrum half Tom Head adding variety to the game, Dursley capitalised on the reduced numbers and their pressure paid off at last with a well worked try from Tom Broomfield that was converted from out wide by Billett, closing the gap to 13-23. The home side continued to press but were unable to find the all important bonus point.
Dursley are hoping that their improved performance will continue and stand them in good stead for the away fixture on Saturday against Gordon League, having beaten them 22-5 at home early in the season.
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