Chipping Sodbury stay top of the pile
Chipping Sodbury’s first fifteen continued their winning start to the season with a fine win over old adversaries Longlevens.
Chipping Sodbury RFC 1st XV 62 Longlevens 1st XV 24
Chipping Sodbury’s first fifteen continued their winning start to the season with a fine win over old adversaries Longlevens. The opening ten minutes gave little clue to the final result as the visitors raced to a 0-14 lead.
Given that Longlevens had twice beaten Sodbury last season in tight encounters the turnaround was even sweeter as Sodbury ran out convincing winners despite a late rally by the away side.
Sodbury opened their account after a long 22 drop-out by Longlevens was fielded by Joe Horton who sprinted 40m up field, brushing aside attempted tackles before feeding Pete Butcher who in turn set Dave Guest off in pursuit of a try. Butcher was halted just short of the line but wing Kurt Moreton was on hand to complete the score and register the first try of a glittering hat-trick.
Sodbury drew level from the ensuing kick off when some hard running and ferocious rucking led to some fancy footwork by Jake Lewis who left the Longlevens defence in tatters as he cruised home from 50m.
Sodbury took the lead after just 20 minutes when deep in the visitors territory, the combination of Horton and Phil Player supported by Ben Sharp and skipper Steve Hopes breeched the home defence with some fine rucking and set Moreton free to record his second try of the game.
Having worked hard in training to cut down on the number of needless penalties conceded in previous games, the home side left little room for their visitors to work in and Longlevens were forced to play for long periods in their own 22.
Sodbury registered again when10m from their own try line, Longlevens failed to clear despite winning their own scrum and Sodbury turned the ball over, allowing scrum half Tom Cawston to dive in for the try.
The last try of the half was scored with a trademark Sodbury lineout drive. Matt Cooke soared high to claim the ball, which was expertly worked to the back of the maul where the arms of Butcher snatched it before the rest of the pack propelled him over the line.
Just two minutes in to the second half Moreton secured his hat trick with a 40m run. Pressure from the Sodbury No. 8 at a scrum on half way allowed the impressive Phil Player room to pounce on the loose ball and shake off two defenders to feed Moreton.
Longlevens registered their final points of the match with some 30 minutes left to play with a lineout drive that secured a bonus point fourth try, bringing the match score to 36-24. A short time later following some great build up play, Sodbury ran in another try when Cooke used his strength to score following some good work at the ruck by wing Max Gallagher.
Longlevens worked hard in defence, taking their rucks into double figures but the home side’s discipline and sheer weight of tackling drove them 30m backwards. A Sodbury scum just inside the Longlevens half produced a first phase try for Horton who dropped his shoulder and left the away defence in his wake to dive between the posts.
Fly-half Dan Bradley sealed the emphatic Sodbury win with the final two tries. The first began at a lineout when Cooke supplied crisp possession and the ball was driven hard up the centre of the pitch. Bradley unlocked the defence with a dummy to stride over the gain line unopposed.
Five minutes later, with the away side looking to run rather than kick out of their own half, Sodbury’s solid defensive work bore more fruit when Bradley pounced on a forced knock on to cut through a flailing defence to record his brace. Bradley enjoyed a successful day having also kicked 6 out of 10 conversions.