Yatton fall just short against Old Bristolians

PUBLISHED: 11:21 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:21 21 February 2018

Yatton Rugby Club.

Yatton Rugby Club.

Archant

Despite a dominant second half display, Yatton could not quite overcome a deficit against Old Bristolians and went down by five points.

Yatton 19 pts

Old Bristolians 24 pts

As expected, this was a game of high quality rugby, with no quarter given by either side.

Yatton’s defensive fraility had been fully exposed when they succumbed to a heavy defeat against Old Bristolians in October. Having raced to a four-try bonus point on that occasion, Yatton were looking for revenge, but this time it was Old Bristolians determination to hold on to their half-time lead that would carry the day, with Yatton having to settle for a losing bonus point.

Yatton played up the park in the first-half with the early exchanges evenly contested. Old Bristolians were looking to dominate and their big No 8 set off on some powerful runs, with Yatton’s Tom Moore doing likewise.

There was some powerful driving play by the Yatton pack, with Tom McMaster and Matt Gooding coming to the fore, but weak defence gifted the first try to Old Bristolians under the posts, which was duly converted.

Shortly afterwards, a penalty awarded to Old Bristolians saw them elect to kick to the corner, and from a text book drive from the line-out they were rewarded with a fine forwards try, the conversion missed.

Yatton’s woes were further compounded when they lost Moore through injury, and from a scrum, Old Bristolians spread the ball wide and another unconverted try was scored in the corner.

Yatton responded and strong attacking play by the forwards put them in the opposition 22. A powerful scrum secured possession and it was the indomitable James Grimes who got the vital touchdown.

Old Bristolians responded with another converted try leaving Yatton to chase a 19-point deficit.

Yatton were determined to keep their half tidy and good interplay between forwards and backs saw the elusive Liam Chambers cross the line in the corner, the extras added by Jack Edwards to make the score at 12-24 at half-time.

Playing down the slope there was a feeling among the home crowd that Yatton, as in previous games, would dominate possession and territory and go on to win the game.

Although Old Bristolians did not score again, they only conceded one try in the second half, as their defence held firm against relentless pressure from Yatton.

Strong running from Pete Quinn, Jack Edwards. Ryan Thorpe, Chambers and Nick Adams tried to stretch and penetrate the Old Bristolians defence, with Lloyd Richardson probing the fringes, but ultimately it was down to the combative Yatton pack to increase the lead, with captain Matt Gooding driving over the line.

Yatton pummelled the visitors’ try line and strong scrummaging resulted in a strike against the head. Yatton were awarded a series of penalties and elected to scrum, but Old Bristolians held fast.

In the dying moments of the game, Yatton would consider themselves unlucky as Old Bristolians were seen to knock on, but the referee played the advantage to Yatton which was subsequently lost.

This was a great game of rugby, played in a tremendous spirit by two committed and disciplined sides, and although disappointing for the home supporter, it was an admirable performance by the whole (injury depleted) Yatton squad.

Yatton’s next fixture is away at Bristol Saracens 2.30 KO (to be confirmed).

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