Chipping Sodbury clinch promotion as champions
Chipping Sodbury 57-7 Longlevens
Chipping Sodbury Rugby Club is celebrating promotion to the highest level they’ve ever competed in after being crowned champions of the Gloucester Premier League.
The title was clinched at home against Longlevens on a heady day for players and officials.
Longlevens came to the Ridings determined not to be on the wrong end of a pounding like like they suffered against Sodbury at Christmas, and made the first 25 minutes very uncomfortable for the hosts. Sodbury were forced into conceding penalties which made it hard for them to leave their own 22, never mind the half.
The visitors scored the game’s first try, which focused the home team, but even then it was a bit of a struggle to set up any kind of camp in Longlevens half.
Sodbury’s first try came on 25 minutes, Gavin Edgar finishing off a sweeping move.
Five minutes later after a 5-metre lineout, Dave Guest scored as the pack rumbled forwards.
Another long-standing member of the team, Lee Ralph, is fast becoming a creative force in open play. In the middle of the pitch he stripped the ball in the tackle and showed a dazzling turn of pace. The ball eventually found Edgar who ran 30 metres to score and make it 19 – 7 at halftime.
Just two minutes into the second half, Sodbury’s Joe Horton set up a ruck and once he was back on his feet, scooped up the ball and scampered the final 10 metres to score.
There was a ten-minute break in the scoring but the next try brought up the hat-trick for Edgar. After some wonderful, balanced running from Bradley and Horton, Edgar took up the challenge and covered the remaining 40 metres to score under the posts.
After six rampaging rucks Longlevens lost the ball and Sodbury were quick on the counter attack. Edgar reaped the benefit of his supporting run, touching down for his fourth try of the game, making a total of 10 tries in 4 games.
Bradley was next to score after a break up the centre of the pitch by Dom Pullen, who made a speedy recovery from a shoulder injury sustained against Frampton Cotterel.
Scrum-half Kiddie Sheikh reacted quickly to a turnover at the line out to find Bradley with a fabulous pass. After a ruck, Bradley was on hand again to score under the posts.
The final try went to Jon Cook after a tapped penalty and another long pass. With the game won, the promotion celebrations could begin.
After a 31-19 win on the last day of the season at Spartans, Chipping Sodbury won the league with a ten point cushion over second place Barton Hill.
Photo courtesy of Paul Rubery