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19th January 2011 SPORTING NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE.....................
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RUGBY - BROCKWORTH 18, ROSS 1st XV 6

Ross produced a much improved performance from the previous weeks drubbing but this was not enough to beat a Brockworth side hungry for revenge for an earlier season defeat. Ross started with a strong wind behind them but were unable to build any field position in the first ten minutes as Brockworth dominated the early exchanges due to a combination of penalties and infringements at the scrummage. This resulted in a 3 point lead but as soon as Ross managed to get into the Brockworth area a great tackle by Chay Brine followed by strong rucking by the forwards with Jake Christopher to the fore resulted in Casey Morgan slotting 3 points. However Brockworth went back up the pitch and another infringement by Ross resulted in another 3 points. Ross then started to build some momentum and with the forwards starting to hit quick ball from Craig Powell had managed to make a number of powerful breaks with TC Leech beating 3 defenders on one occasion. However Ross kept giving penalties or knocking balls on and this resulted in Brockworth clearing their lines. Finally a couple of strong runs by Matthew Redman and Josh Morgan resulted in another penalty which Casey slotted. The half time score ended up being 6 - 6.

Faced by the strong wind and slope, Ross knew that they would have to come out strongly, however again a series of penalties due to infringements at the breakdown meant Brockworth were able to keep play in Ross's half and their 8 was stopped short by an excellent defence from the forwards. However the lack of possession finally cost Ross as a mistake in the middle of the pitch meant a kick going through and despite what clearly looked like a hand from Josh Morgan touching the ball down before a Brockworth player the referee gave Brockworth the try. This meant Ross would have to chase the game and despite starting to pick the pace up and a series of powerful drives from Mike Davies, Ross kept being penalized and having to start any attacks from their 22. Ross were then further punished when a charged down kick meant their flanker fell over the try line with the ball. This gave Brockworth a healthy lead and meant Ross would have to score twice to win.

Ross finally started to build a series of drives, with Jack Evans and Dave Mince trying desperately to create quick ball for Gavin Oates and Lee Cleaver to get over the gain line, and this resulted in 5 minutes of pressure in the Brockworth 22. Desperate defence and a lack of precision meant that Ross couldn't quite find that clear opening until James Hughes managed to sneak his way over. However despite James coming up under the forest of players the referee felt unable to give the try. The last 5 minutes saw Ross continue to try and break the opposition down with Sam Griffiths making some good runs after coming on but couldn't quite find that killer pass or break to make the match a one score game. The final score ended up 18 to 6.

Whilst this result firmly places Ross in a relegation battle, the team can be confident they can get themselves up the table. Continued strong defence as seen through the game, Brockworth made one half line break all game, and an improvement in the execution from the team will see them puts some wins under their belts and claim the table.


RUGBY - ROSS 2nd XV 17, OLD HALESONIANS 24

Although this was another league defeat, the young Ross side took some considerable steps forward against a very experienced Halesonians side, pushing them all the way before falling to a late try that clinched the game for the visitors.

The early exchanges were dominated by the visitors as their experience showed against the young Ross outfit. However with Alex Bound and Pete Smith showing the way defensively Ross managed to frustrate Halesonians for the 1st quarter, but with the lions share of possession they eventually wore down the Ross defence scoring 3 quick tries either side of the half hour mark, giving them a comfortable 19-0 lead.

It would have been easy for this young team to lose heart, but Ross dug deep and with less than 5 minutes to go to half time, they got the score they needed. After Halesonians had pushed Ross deep into their half with a clearing kick, Winger, Greg Morris collected the ball, making good yards before being tackled on the halfway line. Dave Lawrence and Chris Price secured quick ruck ball and Captain, Ian Phillips released the ball to Alex Bound, who again made good yards. Once again the forwards secured the ball and quick hands from Tom Harris put Grant Holdsworth into a gap and he raced clear to score. Lee Harrington converted and Ross were 19-7 down at the break.

Ross continued where they left off in the second half, winning a lot of quality ball with the new back row of Alan, Merv and Mick Pollock winning the battle of the breakdown. This amount of possession eventually paid dividends as Grant Holdsworth added a second score wide out on the left on the hour mark. Once again Lee Harrington converted and Ross were back in the game 19-14 down. More pressure saw Ross win a penalty 35 yards out and once again Lee Harrington stroked it between the posts making the score 19-17 with less than 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately Ross could not rustle up once last score and with a couple of minutes remaining Halesonians crashed over to score seeing them home 24-17.

The GKC Motors Man of the match was Grant Holdsworth whose two tries brought Ross back into the game.

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