Yatton run out winners in high-scoring encounter
PUBLISHED: 14:58 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:58 15 March 2017
Yatton returned from Cheltenham with a hard-fought and narrow league victory.
Cheltenham 34 pts
Yatton 37 pts
With the Cotswold Hills providing the backcloth and blessed with excellent playing conditions and pitch, both sides were committed to playing open attractive rugby as Cheltenham were looking to celebrate with a win on their annual president’s day.
Yatton had other ideas and an early arrival enabled Yatton to shake off the travel blues and prepare for the game.
From the whistle, Yatton probed the Cheltenham try line and were soon rewarded with a penalty try as their larger opponents collapsed the driving maul.
In the opening exchanges, Yatton lost influential flanker Dan Williams with a shoulder injury, but such is the growing strength of the bench and the versatility of the players in the squad, this setback was overcome and seem to spur on the rest of the squad.
The Yatton pack were outstanding in not taking a backward step in set play and aggressively contested the breakdown. With quality possession secured, this unleashed the backs with Ben Bowyer and Liam Chambers bagging a brace and Pete Quinn also going over. Jack Edwards complimented the score with two conversions and a penalty goal.
Special mention must go to scrum-half Lloyd Richardson, who bossed the fringes of the scrum all afternoon and Mitch Want, who pummelled the Cheltenham line with his powerful, incisive running.
As the game ebbed and flowed, with both sides committed to attack and scoring tries, leaky defences were exposed.
At the final whistle, having fully utilised the bench, Yatton narrowly came away with a win, but full credit must go to Cheltenham, as it takes two sides to produce an excellent game of rugby.
There is no game next week, but Yatton play host to high-riding Chew Valley (currently third in the league) on March 25.