Western Counties North: North Bristol 30 Berry Hill 0
12:47pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Thornbury Sport
NORTH BRISTOL ended their Berry Hill hoodoo in style.
Berry Hill have been North Bristol’s bogey side of the past few seasons as the Forest of Dean side have won nine out of ten league encounters, but the home side never looked like losing this match as hard work in defence and converting pressure in to points enabled them to clinch a bonus point victory.
Early signs at the set piece gave North Bristol encouragement as they sent the big Berry Hill pack backwards in the scrum and with hooker Richard Mortimer hitting his lineout targets North had plenty of front-foot possession. Territorial advantage was turned into points when a neat blindside break by Chris Jelf saw winger Mike Ogbeta score his first try for North Bristol after 11 minutes. Dan Snow made up for his missed conversion as he slotted a 40-metre penalty.
Great home defence, where the midfield of Ashley Milburn, Dec Carroll and Josh Davies showed up well, kept Berry Hill scoreless and North Bristol then increased their lead after 29 minutes when a powerful catch and drive from a lineout saw Mortimer emerge at the bottom of the pile for the try. Snow narrowly missed the conversion and it was 13-0.
Davies sent the heart-rate of the home supporters skyward when he raced through from inside his own half and looked like he could have finished the run with a try, but he was snagged by the Berry Hill cover defence and the chance went begging. Further North Bristol pressure saw Mortimer bag his brace after neat work at the front of the lineout with John Wood, who enjoyed a strong game, and the hooker ran in untouched from 20 metres. Snow slotted the extras and North led 20-0 at half-time.
An early Snow penalty in the second period kept the score board ticking over at 23-0 but North Bristol kept the pressure on.
Another well controlled catch and drive saw Wood touch down for the bonus point try after 60 minutes. Snow’s successful conversion was the final score on a good day at Oaklands as the outstanding Chris Underwood saw his team win 30-0.
North Bristol scorers: Tries - Richard Mortimer (2), Mike Ogbeta, John Wood; Conversions - Dan Snow (2); Penalties - Dan Snow (2).
GRFU Reserve Leagues Premier: Matson 2nds 69 North Bristol 2nds 12
SOME awesome rugby from hosts Matson left North grasping at straws.
North were seriously depleted and only five regular second team players were available against classy opposition. That said everyone gave it their best shot, led by never say die captain Matt Bowden, who was pugnacious to the last. He was well supported by the calmly efficient Dan Harris at fly-half and industrious flanker-cum-centre Harry Collins.
Bowden, Collins, Simon Nelmes and Tom Drury all made some brave drives but North’s biggest failing was a lack of effective support play and too many turnovers were turned into Matson tries.
The home side’s backs had serious pace too and left North’s defenders chasing shadows. North however dominated scrummage where Martin Green and Alex Vittle flourished along with James Reed off the bench later.
An unusually shaky lineout from North denied a second platform while Matson overwhelmed the visitors at the breakdown.
Five converted tries to one gave Matson a comfortable half-time lead with North’s busy, converted scrum-half Bowden snatching his side’s only try of that half for a 35-5 deficit.
A virtual carbon copy scoreline after the break brought six more Matson tries to North’s one - again scored by Bowden, but this time converted by Harris.
North Bristol scorers: Tries - Matt Bowden (2); Conversions - Dan Harris.
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