Dursley Rugby Football Club
Registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club CASC since 2004
U16s through to County Plate Final
17th March 2015
A Semi-Final to Remember….
Those lucky enough to be at the Stinchcombe Superdome this Sunday will remember this thrilling encounter for a long time. Hosts Dursley welcomed old friends and rival Longlevens for the County Plate semi-final and given the previous close encounters everyone was poised for a cracker, and they were not disappointed.
On and grey wind-chilled morning both teams chose to warm up on separate pitches. Meanwhile our referee, a Mr Ivor Bigrin of Llandaffmefather, Wales had made the international trip to give the game the added sense of importance. Coach Lloyd ran the boys eagerly through their paces whilst prowling around nervously, well aware he had done all he could do to prepare the boys for the challenge ahead. Our man took his place in the press box hoping for an improvement of the previous day’s Lancashire debacle which we are not mentioning here.
Our referee brought the teams together and Dursley kicked off towards the club house. The energy and determination from both sides was in evidence from the kick off and a series of probing midfield battles were evenly contested. It was clear from the early stages that these were two well matched teams and the quality of offence and defence was plain to see. 20 minutes passed with no score until a great backs move drew a penalty which allowed Nathan to kick for touch to give Dursley a 5 yard lineout. The ball was gathered by Tom K who fed Seamus at the back of a determined rolling maul and the boys pushed him over the line to open the scoring. Nathan converted and Dursley led 7-0. Longlevens immediately retaliated and after some strong forward play they fed the ball to inside centre to finish a converted try 7-7. Dursley were stung and before they had chance to respond Longlevens added to their woes with a second unconverted try right on halftime to lead 7-12 at the break.
Coach Lloyd’s half time team talk urged his young charges for more and they soon began the second half on the attack but were repeatedly held up by a determined Longlevens defence. Quick thinking from Andy won the home side a penalty and Nathan’s superb kick to the corner set up a lineout push. This time Tom K gathered and with the help of his forward pack pushed over the line to bring the scores level with an unconverted try, 12-12. The game went on in similar vein with Dursley camped for long periods in the Longlevens half but always a sense that the visitors nimble forwards could score a breakaway try. Nathan was unlucky not to seal the victory when his penalty came back off the post. But as the game entered its closing stages it looked like Dursley were favourites and so it proved when Coach Lloyd called a positional change at a 5 yard scrum moving Jordan to 8 and Tom K to prop. The scrum was uncontested after Longlevens had withdrawn their prop earlier in the half and so Dursley secured the ball and Jordan picked up from the back of the scrum and with the help of his pack forced over for the try. Nathan converted to give Dursley a 19-12 lead with moments to play. The home side held on to be greeted by huge cheers at the final whistle.
Let us be in no doubt, this was a fabulous game of rugby. It had more drama than Poldark, more energy than the sun and more nervy moments than a tightrope walk across a crocodile infested river. Both teams can emerge with great credit for the displays they put on show, this was truly a classic. Great credit can go to our referee whose open and flowing style allowed the game to be everything it had been anticipated to be.
Coach Lloyd can now be very proud of his young team as they head to the County Plate Final. Whatever the outcome, he must allow himself a moment to enjoy Sunday’s success.
Scoreline: Dursley 19 Longlevens 12
Best Cornish Tin Mine Drama: Poldark
Crocodile sandwich: make it snappy
Things we are not mentioning: Preston 5 Crewe 1
Biggest game of the week: Bristol City v Crewe at Dustbin Gate, 17 March 2015