Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Good Friday Match Report

Bears fightback not quite enough

Mike Hyde, Butts Park arena, Good Friday 30 th March

With atrocious weather conditions and the pitch a veritable quagmire, this game was always going to difficult for both sides; Bears on a run of three wins, and Thunder still smarting from two successive defeats.

And to quote a cliché, it was to prove very much ‘a game of two halves’.
The Bears were soon on the attack after kicking off and came close on two occasions with grubber kicks which tested Thunders defence. However, it was Thunder who opened the scoring with a try on seven minutes as Full Back Theeropol Ritson went over from close quarters on the left and Thomas Shaw made good with the conversion.
The Bears responded with some strong tackling in defence with Jason Bass again outstanding and some enterprising kicking from Ben Stead.

However, Theeropol Ritson was on the receiving end of one such kick well inside his own twenty five, but then, managing to keep his feet in the worsening conditions while the Bears floundered, ran almost the length of the pitch to get his second of the afternoon. Again Shaw added the extra two points to make it 0-12 The Bears regrouped after this setback, but were still susceptible to the counter attack as Alistair Blair scooped up the ball and made sixty yards before being tackled.
To the disappointment of the fans, Bears’ Jamahl Hunte, in only his first game of the season was taken off injured and this further disrupted the home sides rhythm.
It was the loss of the ball shortly after on the halfway line that set Thunder on course for their third try of the half, this time Lewis Young crossing over with Shaw adding two more points to put Thunder on 18 points with the Bears failing to register as the half time hooter blew.
With errors a plenty, and both sides playing a kicking game, Aaron Ollett was the first to score in the second half and yet another Shaw conversion put the score at 0-24.

This could have finished the Bears, but within two minutes, James Mason finally put the Bears on the scoreboard, and Ben Stead made no mistake with the conversion.
Some 55 minutes into the game, Stead punted the ball diagonally into the corner for Erroll Carter to pounce on for a second Bears try. Stead’s difficult conversion narrowed the gap further.
Sensing a Bears comeback, Thunder opted to kick for goal rather than run with the ball after a
penalty had been awarded, and Shaw extended their lead to 14 points.

An altercation between Bears’ Chris Vitalini and Thunder’s Jack Aldous made this a twelve a side contest for the next ten minutes, during which time Ritson scored his third of the afternoon, with Shaw converting.
The Bears still weren’t finished, and with a minute remaining, Stead kicked on the fifth, ran after the ball and after a Thunder fumble picked it up and carried it over the line, completing the task with a successful conversion.
Bears spirited comeback in the second half gained them much applause as they left the rain soaked pitch covered in mud which made the two teams indistinguishable from each other.

1 Jason Bass
2 Hayden Freeman
3 Kam Pearce-Paul
4 Dante Morley-Samuels
5 Jamahl Hunte
6 Paul Emanuelli
7 Ben Stead
8 James Guertjens
9 Zac Williams
10 Dan Gover
11 Kieran Sherratt
12 James Mason
13 Chris Vitalini
Subs (all used)
14 Liam Rice Wilson
19 Joel Thomas
16 Malakhi Lloyd Jones
17 Errol Carter

Tries: Mason (48) Carter (56) Stead(78)
Goals: Stead 3/3
Sinbin: Vitallini (70)

1 Theerapol Ritson
2 Alistair Blair
33 Tuoyo Egodo
4 Joseph Brown
5 Mo Agoro
6 Lewis Young

16 Thomas Shaw
8 Liam McEvoy
9 Evan Simons
10 Vincent Rennie
11 Sam Luckley
12 Aaron Ollett
13 Jack Aldous
Subs (all used)
10 Rhys Clarke
15 Harry Aldous
20 Conor Fitzsimons
21 Ben Pointer
Tries: Ritson (7,13,75) Young (36) Ollett (49)
Goals: Shaw 6/6
Sinbin: Aldous (70)

Penalty count: 11-7
Half-time: 0-18
Referee: B Robinson
Attendance: 343
SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12 0-18; 0-24, 6-24, 12-24, 12-26, 12-32, 18-32

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