Chipping Sodbury finish fourth after last day defeat

May 03 2017

Gordon League 1st XV – 21 v Chipping Sodbury 1st XV – 19

Gordon League 1st XV – 21 v Chipping Sodbury 1st XV – 19

The game was teetering at 21-19 for the final 20 minutes of this fixture however the skilled observer would have noticed that men like Ollie Laidler, Tom Farthing and Man of the Match M.Cook were doing their utmost to tip the balance in Sodbury’s favour. 

Sodbury spent the week rounding up all of their props and then selected them in the front five. Lee Ralph and Luke Balentine-Smith were in their usual berths, backed up by Alan Keeping and Ben Sharp in the engine room. Though short of top-end speed all four bring large amounts of torque to proceedings. Each time they had the ball in their hands they barrelled through the home defence making valuable metres. 

Sodbury relinquished their head start when, after just 3 minutes, they failed to deal with a grubber kick on the edge of their 22. The home side exploited the unpredictable bounce to go ahead, and then added another score from a 5m scrum. 

After the break Sodbury, with the slope in their favour, scored themselves thanks to Dan Bradley. 

The introduction of the slope seemed to help Sodbury’s momentum. On 10 minutes they were awarded a scrum 35m out from League’s try line.  Sterling work from the front five gave the platform for M.Cook to launch himself. His one-man surge took him 20 metres before he was pulled down. The ball was presented sweetly allowing the quickest of rucks and found Sodbury’s ultimate warrior, Bradley, whose solo mazy run saw him unpick the defence for his second try of the game, which he also converted. 

Just 5 minutes later it looked like Sodbury had done enough to disrupt a League lineout however the home side collected the bouncing ball. This time it was a solo try run in from 30m and through four tackles that embarrassed Sodbury. Moments later the Sods were awarded a penalty for a high tackle and they booted the ball deep into the 22 for a 5m lineout. The drive was set up once again and Dave Guest broke free but was stopped agonisingly close. The pack piled in to recycle the ball in time for close-range specialist M.Cook to power over for the five-pointer. Bradley converted. 

There was an opportunity to steal the game when Sodbury were awarded a penalty after they built some 10 phases in the oppressive heat. The ball drifted agonisingly wide and the Sods were left with only a losing bonus point to take back down the M5.