Old Bristolians 15 vs North Bristol 22Western Counties North
01 Dec 2013 20:29
30th November 2013
North Bristol were desperate for a win after losing their last four clashes and headed to Failand hoping for a good performance. The team was happy to see returning players Ross Wilson, Mike Ogbeta and Carl Smith, all who had good games and enabled those around them to flourish too.
Playing with the slight slope North Bristol had an early chance to open the scoring but Dan Snow’s lengthy penalty, although on target, did not quite have the legs after one minute. North looked threatening in the opening exchanges. After five minutes Ogbeta raced down the right touchline and his inside offload to Wilson almost brought a try but the ball went to ground. Minutes later a catch and drive went close again but Max Sheppard was adjudged to have put a foot in touch.
The home side then went looking for their first score and set up camp inside North’s twenty-two. A Jim Hitchman yellow card saw North reduced to fourteen men and Old Bs sensed this was their time, turning down an easy three-pointer to opt for the scrum. Following the put-in Alex Cue, enjoying his best game of the season, disrupted the home No. 8 and won a crucial turnover. North were able to clear their lines and crucially no points were conceded.
Snow put North on the board with a sweetly struck penalty after twenty-seven minutes as North went hunting their first try. Ogbeta took a quick lineout and from the resulting attack, North were able to string quality phases together. After some powerful drives towards the line it was hooker Richard Mortimer who finished over the line to claim the unconverted score. North led 0-8 after thirty-two minutes.
From the re-start second row Chris Jelf, outstanding on the day and playing his 150th game for North Bristol, galloped deep inside the Old Bs twenty-two once more. With the pressure now turned up a notch, Alex Featherstone was able to claim a loose lineout and then it was the big man Wilson who crashed over to score a try. Snow slotted the extras and it was 0-15.
Wilson went from hero to zero soon after when the referee inexplicably yellow-carded the lock for a high tackle which looked like a perfectly timed hit to everyone else watching.
After the re-start Old Bs missed a simple penalty attempt on forty-five minutes but were now looking sharp, especially from fullback where their No. 15 enjoyed a super game. It was his offload that put his winger into space to score to bring them back into the game at 5-15 after sixty-five minutes.
North Bristol looked to have secured the win when prop Featherstone took a short pass from Cue to scorch forty metres to the line for an impressive try. Snow added the conversion at 5-22. But back came Old Bs, running the ball from everywhere, and they were scoring down the left to keep the game alive at 10-22 after seventy-seven minutes.
Looking to get within a bonus point a speculative cross kick went up from Old Bs and was caught by there winger. The covering Smith at fullback stopped before tackling the ball carrier, hearing a whistle he presumed had stopped play. However it was from the adjacent football match going on, entering a penalty shoot out, and Old Bs had brought the game back to 15-22 in the first minute of injury time.
As the game entered the eighth minute of injury time, Old Bs twice threw the ball not straight at the lineout and North Bristol were happy to kick the ball out for a valuable Western Counties North away win.
Tries - Alex Featherstone, Richard Mortimer, Ross Wilson
Conversions - Dan Snow (2)
Penalty Goals - Dan Snow
North Bristol\'s League Record Against Old Bristolians
Played 5, Won 4, Lost 1, Points For 113, Points Against 77
Aretians II 41 vs North Bristol III 22Friendly
01 Dec 2013 20:07
30th November 2013
Uncontested scrums ensured plenty of running, though it denied that traditional physical contest that can sway a game’s outcome one way or the other. Lineouts, however, were hotly competed for and North’s Rob Sansum was influential there.
The to-and-fro of an uncertain beginning looked over when Mark Tudor drew the last defender, before giving Mark Smith a pass to score from. The big lock lived up to his nickname of ‘Flapper’ and the ball went to ground to the groans of nearby spectators.
Aretians immediately responded as North’s tackle line faltered, to take a converted try and a lead they never lost. Yet North had a memorable moment when Craig Hazzard broke free, then passed and looped three times before finishing off with a breathtaking try at 7-5.
As the half wore on Aretians’ ascendancy grew in time with the replacements that emerged from the pitch next door. Three unconverted tries took them away from North who rallied briefly, before Aretians snatched three more tries by half time.
Two of Aretians’ “bench” came to North’s rescue and created an impetus that was infectious, giving the visitors new heart and inspiration. A well taken Sam Astall try from a tapped penalty marked the change, and just reward was given to Johnny Guest when he scored after some illusive and exciting running.
There was much hard work yet to be done as the game became a thrilling running exchange. North’s hardcore of Chris Gransden, Sam Astall, Jake Phillips and Matt Tudor set off great running from Andre Samura, Matt Lang and especially Steve Hudd. North’s’ last word came when Mark Smith made amends for his earlier calamity by putting wing Neil Clifford away for North’s’ last try.
A game of two halves, North left themselves with too much to do later on, but finished feeling they had more than played their part in a 41-22 defeat whose score line did not do them justice.
Tries - Sam Astall, Neil Clifford, Craig Hazzard, A N Other
Conversions - A N Other
Chosen Hill FP 23 vs North Bristol 14Western Counties North
25 Nov 2013 09:43
23rd November 2013
Chosen Hill’s Churchdown ground has never been a happy hunting ground for North Bristol and this game proved to be the same as it ended in a disappointing loss. It was an even game with North having the power up front and Chosen Hill looking more dangerous in the backs which could have gone either way. But North had left themselves too big a deficit to overcome at the break.
Playing up the slope in the first half North needed some stout defence to keep their hosts out and it wasn’t until the twentieth minute that the first score was on the board. Chosen Hill set it up with a powerful drive from a lineout and their centre dived over. With the conversion they led 7-0.
The lead was increased to 10-0 with a penalty goal before Chosen Hill enjoyed the luck of the bounce when their winger collected an up and under as the ball bounced away from full back Josh Davies, and they were under the posts for a converted try.
North Bristol pressed up the slope and as the half neared conclusion they were camped five metres from the home side’s line. A catch and drive was penalised a metre from the try line for bringing the maul down and then from the resulting scrum re-set Chosen Hill dropped it under pressure. Twice the referee did not award the penalty try but, third time lucky, he went under the posts as North’s eight drove to the line once more. Dan Snow kicked the easy conversion and it was 17-7 at the turnaround.
North had a good start to the second half and after forty six minutes Max Sheppard touched down for the try as North’s pack drove Chosen Hill back over their own line. Snow was successful again with the extras and it was 17-14.
North’s Achilles Heel of late has been at re-starts where Ross Wilson and John Wood have been sorely missed. A penalty was won by Chosen Hill at this re-start and when their fly-half connected with the three-pointer they increased their lead to six points, straight after North had got right back into the game.
The final twenty minutes were a turgid affair. A couple of good tackles kept Chosen Hill’s dangerous backs in check and North’s pack drove hard trying to clinch the winning try. But with time running out, a drop-goal took away North’s losing bonus point and it finished 23-14.
Tries - Max Sheppard, Penalty Try
Conversions - Dan Snow (2)
North Bristol\'s League Record Against Chosen Hill FP
Played 12, Won 5, Lost 7, Points For 197, Points Against 228
You can read Chosen Hill\'s report at
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