Terrible trio terrorise LeagueTerrible trio terrorise League

December 19 2017
Terrible trio terrorise League

Gordon League 26 - 31 Chipping Sodbury

Gordon League 26 - 31 Chipping Sodbury

The Three Stooges. The Three Amigos. The Three Tenors. Now Sodbury have their own trio who could possibly become as well known: Lee Ralph, Dave Guest and Luke Balentine-Smith, who make up the front row as The Three Immovables. This victory was built on their foundation of strength and gritty hard work, although each of them is partial to a 20m trundle with the ball under their arm. 

The opening try, in the second minute went to debutant Jack Skelton. It was a spectacular start to the game after highball specialist Tom Farthing got things going. Sodbury swept the ball back and forth across the pitch through four rapid-fire rucks, stretching the hosts. Dom Pullen hit the line hard and broke through, drew in the fullback then passed to Skelton, who had tracked him beautifully. 

Sodbury scored their second try after Joe Horton galloped in off his wing at pace from a free kick. He was brought down 10m short of the try line but scrum half Tom Head found Dan Bradley, who split the defence to score. Jon Cook converted again for a 14-point lead inside 10 minutes. 

A yellow card for Sodbury on 15 minutes let League back into the game and they entered the Sodbury half for the first time. Their stay was prolonged as they broke up play with some very physical rugby.

Sodbury were embarrassed as the half drew to a close when a series of uncharacteristic errors led to League scoring wide on the left. 

Minutes later, after a third Sodbury ruck the ball was in the heads of Luke Balentine-Smith. It was like watching a demolition ball smash into a building; he kept going as the defenders piled up in front of him, finally coming to a halt in the shadow of the posts as the fifth tackler joined in. On hand was Farthing, who scooped up the ball and burst over the line for an easy poacher's try which Cook converted. 

Sodbury were bothering the scoreboard as soon as the second half began. Bradley took a sweet pass that he moved on to Head who scampered free to eat up the 30 metres to the try-line for his third try in as many weeks. 

Sodbury were under pressure again as they saw yellow for a lack of precision at a ruck 5m out from the try-line. League scored two tries from close range while Sodbury were reduced to 14. Once their full complement was restored, Sodbury managed to take back some control.

Eventually the spark returned. A solid attacking scrum 10m out set up the platform for Skelton to rush into the line from fullback. His try topped a spectacular debut that couldn’t be dampened by a very late try from the hosts in an interminable period of injury time that had the travelling support checking their watches.