All Golds Match Report
Coventry Bears v Gloucestershire All Golds
Report by MIKE HYDE
Butts Park Arena, Sunday 21st May 3pm Kickoff
Coventry Bears 18 Gloucestershire All Golds 26
Bears improving, but still second best.
The sun was shining in Coventry, as regional rivals Bears and Gloucestershire All Golds took to the pitch.
Today’s visitors All Golds had every reason to be confidentafter beating North Wales Crusaders in their last outing to give them three victories so far this season.
Meanwhile, the Bears were determined to shake off the inconsistency and inability to play for 80 minutes that has frustrated and left them sitting third bottom in the table.
The Bears kicked off and pressed hard in the opening minutes, but soon it was Gloucestershire who were on the offensive forcing Brad Delaney to lose the ball in his own try line,and after the dropout, Jack Mitchell powered overto the left of the goalposts for a try which was converted making it 0-6.
The All Golds’ Mo Agoro added to the score over on the right wing. It was now 0-10, but the Bears were determined to get back into the game, and it was James Guertjens who pulled a try back for Brad Delaney to convert.
Therewas then a slightly soggy patch with a few handling errors by both sides. Harry Chapman came close again but it was Mo Agoro who prevented a certain try.
It took some creative Bears play after the AllGolds lost the ball for Harry Chapman to pull the home side level with 34 minutes on the clock, with Brad Delaney’s conversion putting the home side aheadfor the first time.
However, as the hooter blew for half time, All Gold Ben Stead calmly took a penalty to level the scores.
Half time 12-12
As the teams came out again, there was everything to play for, and the Bears were conscious that it was a second half collapse which cost them so dearly the previous week
However, it was another successful penalty kick for the All Golds that opened the second half scoring after just two minutes of play.
TheGloucestershire pressure continued with Coventry struggling to keep in the game, but the home side recovered their composure and a stalemate ensued for the much of the third quarter.
A combination of determined tackling, aided by handling errors kept the score at 12-14 until the All Golds on one of their attacks managed to get the ball out to the far left to score a try with almost an hour of the match played.
The All Golds then showed how they have notched up their victories this season by repeating the feat four minutes later, with a string of accurate passes putting Steven Neald over on the right wing.
Again the conversion proved too much, but at 12-22, it felt like the game was slipping away, and many of the loyal fans felt that quite a few of the referees decisions were going against the Bears, adding to the feeling of frustration at Butts Park.
The All Golds’ final try of the game was skilfully taken by Brad Kislingbury who plucked the ball out of the air following a kick from ten yards out which went over the heads of several players from both sides.
However, the Bears were not finished yet, and with seven minutes to go, Chris Barratt crossed over just to the left of the posts to give Brad Delaney an easy conversion.
And crowd pleaser JamahlHunte joined in the fightback with an exhilarating 70 yard run following a breakaway. Sadly, this did not result in a try but in his sustaining an injury when eventually tackled, and having to leave the field, which rather summed the afternoon up.
Speaking afterwards, Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang reflected:
‘That was a really tough one to take. After last week, the lads really owed it to themselves and the fans to raise their game. we clearly started slowly again but as always we came straight back and showed real fight.
When we took the lead in the first half i felt we could have kicked on. And i think we would have but for the first of two game changing decisions from the referee - the first was a decision to wipe off a try which could have put us 18-10 up just before half time. I’ve watched the footage back and I’m still convinced it’s a try.
The second was Billy our halfback getting sinbinned midway through the secondhalf which really hampered our attack and put pressure on our defence.
Me and the lads are obviously gutted about not getting a result today but we will keep going and will keep working hard to find the breakthrough we need.’
Final Score Coventry Bears 18 Gloucestershire All Golds 26
1 Harry Chapman
6 Billy Gaylor
7 Brad Delaney
8 James Guertjens
9 Richie Hughes
10 Jack Morrison
11 Kieran Sherrat
12 Chris Barratt
13 Matt Reid
Interchanges [all used]
14 Joe Prior
15 Paddy Jones
16 Dan Gover
17 Hayden Freeman
Bears Man of the Match; James Guertjens, try scorer and gained a lot of yards with the ball
Match Sponsor: Colin Mason
Half Time: 12-12
Referee: M Rossleigh
Scoring Sequence; 0-6.0-10,6-10, 10-12, 12-12, 12-14, 12-18, 12-22, 12-26, 18-26
The Bears have no game next week, and the following week they travel all the way to Canada to play the Toronto Wolfpack.
The next home fixture is a must win game against strugglers Hemel Stags on Sunday June 11th.