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12th January 2011 SPORTING NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE.....................
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RUGBY - OLD RICHIANS 62, ROSS 1st XV 8

An organized, fit and confident Old Richians side showed ruthless efficiency on Saturday in defeating Ross 1st XV and scoring 10 tries in the process.

Within 10 minutes of the start, Old Richians had built up a 17 point lead through clinical finishing and exploiting gaps in the Ross defence. The 10 for Old Richians was getting an armchair ride as their forwards created quick ball and was able to hit numerous runners, demonstrating why they were 2nd in the league.

However, Ross seemed to suddenly come to life and with Gavin Oates to the fore at the breakdown and strong tackling from James Hughes and Casey Morgan, Ross started to create pressure on the Old Richians line which led to 3 points from Casey. Then the referee produced a yellow card for excessive rucking from Old Richians and Ross had a head of seam. Unfortunately, they then pushed a pass and Old Richians struck again. However, the last 10 minutes belonged to Ross with the forwards starting to get on level terms with the opposition and Tara Barnett and Lee Cleaver starting to make some yards. This saw a scrum near the Old Richians line and Gareth Holdsworth put James Hughes in space to put Casey Morgan in at the corner. Old Richians then scored again to make the half time score 29 - 8. Unfortunately, the restart saw the wind taken out of Ross's sails as Old Richians scored twice quickly and put further distance between the teams, destroying any confidence Ross had of making a comeback.

The 2nd half saw Ross endeavour to try and get back into the game and Craig Powell and Matthew Redman took a number of quick penalties to try and create something but to no avail. The last 20 minutes became a scrappy and disjointed affair and a number of incidents that resulted in a yellow card for each side. Despite Ross continuing to work hard and be fully committed, Old Richians ran in 3 more tries.

This was a chastening experience for Ross and next weekend's fixture against Brockworth has become a vital game in the season.


RUGBY - ROSS 2nd XV 14, LEDBURY 2nd XV 39

After the prolonged weather induced break, Ross 2nds finally got back into league action on Saturday, taking on a strong Ledbury outfit in the North Midlands Merit Table. The inexperienced Ross team worked hard but Ledbury were too strong up front and ran out comfortable 39-14 winners.

Ledbury's win was forged in the first quarter as they dominated possession and ran in five unanswered tries as they raced to a 29-0 lead. With the game barely 20 minutes old, Ross were staring down the barrel of a gun. However, they dug in and the veteran props, Dave Cooke and Tim Morgan anchored the scrum. Some strong tackling from Russell Walker and Pete Smith in midfield stopped Ledbury in their tracks and Ross got to half-time without conceding any further scores.

The second half proved a more competitive encounter, with Ross posing more problems to the Ledbury defence. With ball in hand, Chris Price and Dave Lawrence began to punch holes in the previously solid Ledbury defence. Eventually the pressure told and Ross opened their account. After another strong scrum, Ian Phillips moved the ball quickly right. Tom Harris put Centre, Grant Holdsworth in space and a forty yard mazy run saw him score under the posts. Ian Phillips converted and Ross were on the score board with 7 points.

The back row of Alan, Mick Pollock and young George started to deliver quality possession and Ross quickly added another converted try. Tom Harris pounced on a loose pass in midfield and embarked on another mazy run that saw him score under the posts. Again Ian Phillips converted and Ross were 29-14 down, with 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately for Ross, Ledbury were able to galvanize their efforts for two scores of their own and ran out 39-14 winners.

The Wye Gardens Services man of the match was Russell Walker for a strong performance in attack and defence.

Ross 2nds are back in league action at Ross Sports Centre on Saturday, 15th January. Kick off is at 2.15pm.

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