By Paul Evans
Well played Gosford
Berks, Bucks, Oxon Premier League
Bletchley 1st XV 7 – 59 Gosford All Blacks 1st XV
Bletchley hosted a strong Gosford All Blacks team at the weekend, with the visitors knowing that a win would take them to top of the league.
Bletchley started off brightly, winning a series of penalties at the break down to take them into Gosford’s 22. A penalty kick to the posts went just wide, denying the hosts an early lead.
From then on in, it was all Gosford, with the team demonstrating why they are pushing hard for promotion this year. Good hands in their backs allowed them to exploit space quickly and within 8 minutes they were 0 – 7 up with a converted try.
Bletchley were unable to deal effectively with the restart and Gosford scored from the home side’s error to take a 0 – 14 lead with 11 minutes on the clock.
Bletchley did contain the visitors after that point and worked hard in defence to deny Gosford any easy points. The home side had a couple of breaks, but the final touch always eluded them.
Gosford managed to get the next two tries to secure the bonus point, scoring in the 26th and 34th minutes to take a 0 – 24 lead.
Bletchley did have the final say of the half, with a lovely break out of their own 22 by Dean Williams. He offloaded to Ciaran Murphy who continued the run up the left wing before finding prop Alan Briggs in support. Briggs passed back inside to Murphy, but before Murphy could make any further yardage, he was tripped up by the last Gosford defender. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try and the score going into half time was 7 – 24.
The game was more evenly matched in the first 20 minutes of the second half, with both sides playing some good rugby. Bletchley’s defensive line was resolute and Gosford were having to work hard to find the space that was available in the first half.
A lengthy stoppage for an injury to Doug Walker gave the sides a chance to catch their breath and as Walker made his way to A&E for some stitches to a nasty cut above the eye, Gosford added to their try tally after a period of sustained pressure in Bletchley’s 22. After 23 minutes of second half play, the score was 7 – 31.
An error in Bletchley’s 22 shortly after the restart gave Gosford their easiest try of the afternoon, moving the score to 7 – 38 with 26 minutes played.
With Bletchley still trying to play some rugby rather than settling for a defensive system, Gosford exploited tired legs and bodies to score three further tries and end up with a 7 – 59 win.
As the final whistle went, Bletchley saw another one of their players, Nick Ustaran-Anderegg, make the journey to MK hospital with a knee injury.
The score line does not reflect the efforts of the Bletchley team who played some good rugby at times. With a little more patience in attack, some of their chances will convert into tries.
Next week, Bletchley travel to face Hungerford, hoping to secure some valuable league points.
Team: Alan Briggs, Tom Perkins, Josh Sprules, Lucas Cameron, Taylor Deran, Douglas Walker, Derek Chung, Ian Cope, Harvey Jenkins, Kelvin Rudkin, Ciaran Murphy, Dean Williams, Adam Johnson, Thomas Harrison, Jack Lawrence, Reggie Njovana, Nick Ustaran-Anderegg