Home Win For The Seasiders !!
Battle Of The vale
This battle between second and third was always going to be a thriller as it proved from start to finish. In front of a large crowd the evenly matched sides set about playing attacking rugby, the seasiders had the edge in the opening exchanges and after several passages of play Clevedon were awarded a penalty, duly converted by Kieran Hill. The Xmas break was evident early on as the seasiders tried to force the issue and poor decision making allowed Thornbury back into the game, a penalty kick for touch resulted in a catch and drive try from the visitors, not converted, for 3-5. This lifted the Thorns who pressurised the Clevedon defence, which was led stoically by the seasiders backrow of Biggins, Russell and Biggins. It was Clevedon who scored next with a Hill penalty for a 6-5 lead. Soon after Clevedon lost the services of Ben Williams through injury, replaced by 17 year old Charlie Tucker playing out of position on the wing. Although Thornbury had a slight edge in the set piece, Clevedon had the edge around the breakdown and it was Clevedon who scored next with a long range penalty from Hill for a 9-5 lead at the break.
For long periods of the second half Clevedon had the lions share of possession but the final pass, or poor ball retention let them down and it was against the run of play that saw a tackle missed in the midfield and Thornbury scoring a converted try under the posts, to take the lead 9-12. Clevedon pressed again and a Thornbury infringement and yellow card awarded Clevedon another long range penalty, which Hill duly converted to even the scores 12-12. The final 20 minutes saw play go from end to end until the Thornbury attack was intercepted on the 22 metre line by Charlie Tucker who ran 40 meters before passing the ball inside, which then went through several pairs of hands across the field before, to the delight of the Clevedon crowd, stalwart Tom Thie scored in the corner, Kieran Hill converted from the touchline for a 19-12 lead. In the dying seconds an attempted drop goal by Clevedon to deny Thornbury a losing bonus point, was charged down and a kick through by the visitors saw Clevedon frantically race back and the old head of Mike Lowis was there to save the day to bring to a close one of the best games seen at the Vale in many a year.
Head Coach Nick Hill commented "I am really proud of the way the lads performed and how much we have improved since the start of the season, to move into second place in the league is an added bonus, there is still a long way to go and a lot of tough matches to play though, so we are not getting ahead of ourselves".
Next Saturday Clevedon are away to Bideford Coach leaves 10 30am, all support welcome..