No loss November as Sodbury power into promotion places

December 02 2015

Berry Hill 1st XV – 8 Chipping Sodbury 1st XV – 9


Berry Hill 1st XV – 8 Chipping Sodbury 1st XV – 9


The paths of Sodbury and Berry Hill have never crossed so there was a huge element of the unknown before the kick off. 

Sodbury started with the wind at their backs and it was obvious that the weather would influence the game. The wind wasn’t the only factor at work and Sodbury’s pack had to work tirelessly to provide the ball for their exciting backs, who were undeterred by the wet and sticky conditions. Berry Hill found themselves pressed back by the wind and the ferocity of Sodbury’s back row of Jason Petchey, Matt Cook and Luke Carnaby who created mayhem at the breakdown.

Sodbury’s only reward from a 20 minute battering of their opponents was a penalty from the boot of Dan Bradley. From the restart Sods continued to attack and 5 minutes later won another penalty thanks to Bradley. Berry Hill rallied and managed to spend a good period in Sodbury’s half, opting for lineouts over kicks at goal if they infringed. Any turnover was pounced upon and carried back to Hill. Steve Hopes and Pete Butcher featured for Sodbury and inspired with their tireless work and eye for a gap. 

Joe Horton continues to dominate with his powerful surging runs a feature of every game. His contribution was complemented by the return of Jake Lewis, whose flashing feet and accurate tackling always entertain. The thunderous rucking continued and, in desperation, Berry Hill infringed allowing Bradley the opportunity to make it 0 – 9. 

On the stroke of half time Sodbury lost influential no.8 Cook to a yellow card. Berry Hill kicked for goal to make it 3 – 9. 

Sodbury went into the second half with real purpose and used a series of lineouts and scrums to build a platform. The front row featured prominently with Dave Guest making his usual line breaks. Despite all this effort the away side failed to increase their lead and once control of the ball was lost, Berry Hill kicked it half way to build some pressure of their own. 

From out wide Chris Hamilton posted a memorable performance dealing well with the high ball. His tackling and powerful runs gave his pack confidence and the occasional breather. Glamorous lead driller Dave Telford replaced Carnaby for the last 20 minutes and cemented his reputation as an all-action no-nonsense number 7. His stupendous tackle count went a long way to keeping Sodbury in the game. 

The commitment shown throughout the team was nothing short of amazing. Having withstood a 20-minute assault from the elements and a very determined Berry Hill forward pack, the Sodbury line was at its thinnest out wide and there was little they could do to stop the try. However, the conversion was missed, bringing with it a huge sigh of relief from Sodbury’s soggy supporters. The final whistle went 2 minutes later and the players showed their jubilation, knowing that not many teams will come to Berry Hill and walk away with a victory.