Bears win contest in harsh conditions
COVENTRY BEARS 8 UNIVERSITY OF GLOUCESTER ALL GOLDS 4
Pre-season warm up game, Sunday 22nd February
From the Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham
The Bears notched up a first win of 2015 versus the University of Gloucester All Gold’s a side which has been playing at this 3rd tier level for the past 3 years.
Conditions were terrible for both sides and the rain and hail worsened as the match went on with the pitch becoming a mud bowl in which it was very difficult to play.
It was the All Gold’s who stuck first after 6 minutes as their left prop managed to force his way over on the left after a Bears turnover deep in the half. The Bears struck back shortly after through a wide play with centre Stephen Coleman scoring in the left corner. Neither side managed to slot their kicks and it was a wrestle between both sides for the rest of the half to manage to string together any momentum.
Half time 4-4.
The second half began and conditions worsened but the Bears seemed to want it more and after some determined forward play Alex Brown managed to pick and go deep in the All Gold’s half and grab a try. The conversion was again unsuccessful with the scores remaining 8-4.
The rest of the second half was an up and down affair with both sides making many mistakes due to the conditions. The All Gold’s pressed time and time again in the final quarter but were continuously repelled by a resolute Bears defence.
Overall a very tough game for both sides with the Bears defence and character the standout between the two sides over the 80 minutes.
Coventry Bears second row Chris Barratt was awarded Man of the match due to his work rate and ironclad defence throughout.
Final score Coventry Bears 8 University of Gloucester All Gold’s 4.
1. Troy Brophy, 2.Liam Scott 3.Stephen Coleman 4.Eddie Medforth 5.Andy Winfield 6.Dan Poulton 7.Cameron Boulter 8.Matt Cooper 9. Alex Brown 10.James Geurtjens 11.Chris Barratt 12. Liam Thompson 13. Simon Phillips
Subs all used: 14. John Aldred 15. Dylan Bale 16.Josh Bell 17. Alex Calvert 18. Callum Wishart 19. Alex Beddows 20. Ben Tyers 21. David Oconnor 22. Jake Pratley
Bears Tom Tsang commented:
It was great to get the win over Gloucester, especially in the manner the game was played and the conditions it was played in. The pitch and weather were some of the worst I've seen so it was less about attacking structures, more about attitude and desire.
We had a good first hit out last week against Hemel and were unlucky not to get the win. We did a lot of work through the week on defensive systems and effort levels and I think this was evident against the All Gold’s. Although we conceded first inside 10 minutes, we held them out for 70 odd minutes, at times having to defend multiple sets. The victory and the way we ground it out will give us good confidence ahead of next week's game against Oldham.
picture by Jef Bale