National U20 Championship Semi-Final
Gloucestershire 7 Northumberland 44
GLOUCESTERSHIRE were well-beaten by a powerful Northumberland side that were tactically superior and dominated the forward exchanges and will now play Yorkshire in an all-Northern Division final at Twickenham on May 4.
After three dominant scrums close to the Gloucestershire line the referee awarded a penalty try which Northumberland scrum half Rhodri Adamson converted.
Things went from bad to worse when wing Ollie Foster scored after Gloucestershire were turned over and forwards and backs attacked at pace. Adamson converted for a 14-0 lead.
Ed Sheldon gave Gloucestershire some hope with a fine run from a missed clearing kick. The Thornbury full back threaded his way through the Northumberland defence on a 60-metre run that ended five metres short of the line. However, the visitors won the ensuing scrum and cleared their lines.
Instead, Northumberland extended their lead after flanker Rob Lenderyou broke through some weak tackles and put Foster in for a third try. Adamson’s conversion eased Northumberland into a 21-0 lead.
Gloucestershire started the second half the better and after a quickly-taken penalty the forwards drove for the line. After several surges a maul crashed over and scrum half Sam Watkins was awarded the try. Ollie Locke converted.
When giant lock Josh Hedley was sent to the sin bin hopes were high of a comeback but Northumberland made little of their player shortage and Adamson kicked two penalties to extend the lead to 27-7.
As the game approached the end of normal time Foster completed his hat-trick, gathering a kick behind the Gloucestershire defence and scoring.
Adamson’s conversion put the result beyond doubt, and in injury time Lenderyou scored a fifth try. Adamson converted then added salt to Gloucestershire’s wounds with a penalty.
Gloucestershire scorers: Try – Sam Watkins; Conversion – Ollie Locke.