Cleve RFC 3rd 33 -19 Frome RFC 3rd
With a cancellation in the Bath Merit Table Frome RFC 3rd were able to find a fixture and made the trip to Cleve...
After a brilliant start to the season with 3 wins from 3 games, this weekend’s cancelled fixture in the Merit table meant that Frome 3rds had the opportunity to step up 2 levels and take on Cleve RFC 3rds away.
Cleve started with the kick and offered little surprise in what Frome were expecting, big tacklers, well organised defence and some powerful running all controlled around their Fly-half. Frome Showed early promise by retaining the ball, Matching Cleve man for man in the tackles and the majority of the first 20 minutes was played in the Cleve half.
A great move from Frome’s ever reliable Scrum-half Andrew Greenwood saw Frome unleashed the pace of Winger Aaron Weatherall who broke the Cleve defence and was off and clear before the referee called it back for a flag from the Cleve linesman for out of play.
Solid carrying from No.8 Stevan Randall and Hooker Matt Jones kept the Cleve defence busy, but it it came as a shock to the whole of Frome and Cleve when Frome Prop Dave Evans came around the Ruck at an unbelievable pace and onto a wonderfully popped pass from Greenwood. Gaining 20 meters and leaving several Cleve players on the floor it was only a last ditch tackle from the full back that prevented what would have been a try of the season contender.
Strong Rucking from Regler and Steven Ruddick ensured that Jones and Dave Evans continued to carry the ball down field. A penalty against Frome a few meters out cost them dear after all the hard work, With Cleve off the hook and able to clear it was Frome who was now on the back foot.
Despite solid tackles from all the team but especially Scott Hunter and Gareth Simmonds the Cleve attack kept inching towards Frome’s try line. Deep in our own half and with the whole team making big tackles, it was Cleves organisation on the attack that eventually found an opening in the Frome defence. Try scored.
From the kick Frome found themselves again just outside the Cleve try line when a disagreement saw 2 yellow cards and both teams were down to 14 men.
The second half saw Frome mix up the play a little and ship the ball early to the backs via Fly Half Mark O'Shea, a dropped ball allowed Cleve to regain possession and run in for an easy try.
Disappointed, Frome persevered with Centres Sam Woodwood and Phillip Clarke getting more and more time on the ball. As the game started to open up with Frome attacking with more pace, Full back John Spencer and Winger Mike Perry worked well together to gain ground on the right. Solid retention again from Ruddick and Regler allowed Jones to pop up on the shoulder of O'Shea and carry the ball again deep in to the Cleve Half. With everyone committing everything to every ruck it was Randall who drove the ball over the line to get from back in it.
With Frome having put so much in to scoring, Cleve took the opportunity from the kick and attacked, scoring quickly despite all the effort to keep them out.
Mixing things up Full back Spencer went to Fly Half and on came Jamie Smith returning from injury. Rich James and Josh McGuinness came on at Centre with Woodwood and Clarke moving to the forwards.
Smith and McGuiness’ pace was causing Cleve no end of trouble. A solid run from James set up Randall for the breakthrough Frome needed, offloaded to Smith who beat his man to again get Frome back to within touching distance on points.
Two quick tries from Cleve and Frome knew the game was lost with the time remaining. Undeterred they rallied and again, kept the ball in the Cleve half as the clock wore down. Mcguiness was the man who made all the hard work worth it, with a neatly timed link up with Weatherall and Frome were again over the Cleve try line.
Final Score: Cleve RFC 3rd 33 - 19 Frome RFC 3rd