Clevedon see off Saracens to take Combination Vase crown
PUBLISHED: 15:32 08 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:32 08 April 2015
Clevedon Rugby Club picked up their first piece of silverware for some time when they won the Bristol Combination Vase.
CLEVEDON 32 pts
BRISTOL SARACENS 15 pts
CLEVEDON were crowned Bristol Combination Vase champions following a 32-15 victory over a gritty and resilient Bristol Saracens side.
Tries from Josh Mortimore, Dave Rawle, Dean Ashfield and Oscar James, along with 12 points from the boot of Will Carpenter, fired Clevedon to their first silverware in 13 years.
In an action-packed encounter at Cleve RFC, Clevedon raced into a 10-0 lead courtesy of a Carpenter penalty and a converted Josh Mortimore try, as the scrum-half caught the Saracens’ defence napping with a quickly taken penalty to run in from 20 metres.
Oscar James thought he had scored Clevedon’s second when he touched down a smart kick through from Mike Lowis, but after a long conversation with the touch judge, the referee ruled that a Saracens hand had got the first touch.
Saracens hit back with a well-worked score of their own, but Rawle added Clevedon’s second on 25 minutes when he was driven over at the back of a maul. Carpenter knocked over the extras for a 15-5 lead.
On the stroke of half-time, Saracens reduced the arrears once again with a try from a 12-man maul and the sides headed into the break with only five points separating them.
The second-half kicked off in damp and drizzly conditions, but Clevedon didn’t take long to get into their stride.
After a barnstorming break from Alex Giltrow, the ball was moved wide to Dean Ashfield, via Rory Biggins, who powered his way over from 10 yards.
Minutes later, Carpenter added a simple penalty from under the sticks to extend the lead to 13 points and the game was put to bed on the hour mark, when Lowis and Mortimore combined to free up Oscar James, who wasn’t to be denied from close range.
Carpenter added the conversion, before Saracens drove over for their third of the night, but it wasn’t enough to take the gloss off of a convincing Clevedon display and secure some long-awaited silverware for the Coleridge Vale trophy cabinet.