Western Counties North: North Bristol 19 Old Bristolians 31
11:11am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Thornbury Sport
NORTH BRISTOL were unable to lift themselves out of their recent poor form against Old Bristolians.
Perhaps the toll of their third game in eight days was a factor for the home side, but even after a sluggish first half they were still able to dominate the second period but had left themselves too much to do to claim the win.
Old Bristolians opened the scoring with a penalty after two minutes but North hit back when Simon Mortimer made a fine break to race in from 20 metres. Dan Snow continued his excellent kicking form of late as he made the conversion look easy to take his side 7-3 ahead after four minutes.
North Bristol often kicked poorly and one was returned by Old B’s as they ran in from 60 metres after some good handling along the right touchline. The conversion put them 10-7 ahead. Two more quick fire tries from Old Bristolians, both converted, left North reeling and after 25 minutes they were trailing 24-7.
North Bristol enjoyed a spell of possession and territory as the first half neared its end and Ross Wilson, in super form of late, was held up. Old Bristolians were able to keep their line intact and despite the pressure North were not able to add to their score.
Old Bristolians were able to claim their try bonus point in the 42nd minute when they touched down in the left corner and increased the lead with another conversion to make it 7-31.
From then on it was all North Bristol. A fine high-ball take from Carl Smith gave Josh Davies space to break and from the recycled ball Matt Bowden picked a great line to score beneath the posts. Snow hit the conversion and North were clinging on at 14-31 after 52 minutes.
Old Bristolians were under the cosh and unable to get out of their own half. However, some strong defence from them denied North Bristol an easy route back into the game. From a catch and drive lineout, Steve Chappell emerged from the pile with the try and it was 19-31 with 20 minutes to go.
Try as they might, with John Wood and Alex Featherstone working tirelessly, North Bristol were unable to turn their territorial dominance into any more points in another disappointing afternoon for the club.
North Bristol scorers: Tries – Matt Bowden, Steve Chappell, Simon Mortimer; Conversions – Dan Snow (2).
Bristol Combination Vase Semi-Final: North Bristol 15 Bristol Harlequins 16
A BRISTOL HARLEQUINS try deep into injury time under the floodlights at Oaklands Park denied North Bristol a place in the inaugural Combination Vase Final.
After the opening exchanges North Bristol opened the scoring when Dan Snow connected with a penalty to give them an early 3-0 lead after nine minutes. Just four minutes later the winger was on target again and North Bristol led 6-0.
Quins were definitely up for the game and drove hard at their hosts. This led to a penalty chance of their own and they were on target to make it 6-3 18 minutes into the game. They were enjoying some territory now and levelled the game up with another kick after 24 minutes.
Despite some good defence from the home side, where flanker Matt Bowden was simply outstanding, Quins were able to break down the left touchline for an unconverted try on the half hour mark to lead 11-6.
From the restart North Bristol pressed and Snow slotted his third penalty to bring the score back to 9-11. Snow kicked North Bristol ahead after 45 minutes with a sweetly struck penalty after Quins digressed and the game was in the balance. From a lineout Chris Jelf was pulled down and Snow made his fifth penalty on the night to take the score to 15-11 after 73 minutes.
In the sixth minute of injury time Quins had an attacking scrum five metres out. The North eight held but a couple of phases later a long pass from the scrum-half found space on the right for Quins to dive over and snatch the win.
North Bristol scorers: Penalties – Dan Snow (5).