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11th May 2011 SPORTING NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE.....................
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RUGBY - NORTH MIDS SHIELD SEMI FINAL - ROSS 18, DROITWICH 20

After dominating the game for the majority of the North Midlands Shield semi final Ross fell behind to two late scores to see a place in next weeks final snatched away by a determined Droitwich outfit.

The visitors did start brightly, moving the ball quickly away from contact and stretching the Ross defence. However, some strong tackling by Craig Smith and Grant Holdsworth out wide snuffed out any chance of Droitwich scoring an early try. Up front, Ross began to exert control. In and around the rucks they were abrasive and always made ground and at scrum time they were completely dominant, with front rowers Tara Barnett, Wayne Williams and Matt Redman giving their opponents a torrid time in the scrum. It was from this superiority that Ross built their first score.

After another dominant scrum, No 8 Adam Clements broke from the back of the scrum. He fed scrum half Craig Powell, who made ground before delivering a perfectly timed pass to Wing Craig Smith who galloped in to score wide out on the right. The difficult conversion was missed, but Ross were 5-3 ahead.

For the next twenty minutes Ross played all the rugby and were rewarded with two great tries. First was a great solo effort by Gareth Holdsworth who came onto a great pass from fly half Chay Brine and cut through the midfield defence. He then sold the Droitwich fullback a great dummy before scoring under the posts. Unfortunately, Casey Morgan hit the post with the conversion but Ross were 10-3 ahead.

Another Droitwich penalty closed the gap to 10-6 but Ross responded immediately with another score. After some great ball carrying by Gavin Oates and Dave Mince put Ross on the front foot, some quick hands put Winger Grant Holdsworth clear and just as his brother had earlier, dummied the fullback before outpacing him to score wide out on the left, putting Ross 15-6 ahead at half time.

Ross continued in the same vein in the second half with the Ross pack continuing to dominate at close quarters and Ross thought they had gone further ahead after Dave mince was driven over by Tara Barnet and Matt Jones. However, the referee ruled he was held up and the try was not given. At this stage Ross were in control of the game and a Casey Morgan penalty put them 18-6 ahead with 10 minutes to go, then in a matter of 5 minutes the tide was turned as Droitwich scored two quick converted tries and with less than 5 minutes to go, Ross found themselves 20-18 behind. A last ditch attack proved unsuccessful and the referees whistle brought the game to an end, seeing Droitwich through to the final.

The HB Spices man of the match was Tara Barnett for a great scrummaging performance.

On Saturday, 21st May, Ross are holding their annual awards Dinner and Dance at The Mighty Eight Pool club. Tickets at 8 are available from The Drop inn or The Mighty Eight.

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