Gloucestershire All Golds - Report
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All is Gold in Salford as Gloucestershire take the prize
IF rivals were not taking the Gloucestershire All Golds seriously enough before, they should now after they won the Salford Festival.
However, not many could have anticipated the level of success they enjoyed following a draw with Widnes and victories over the Broncos and Reds, except perhaps club chairman Lionel Hurst.
He said: "The All Golds shook the very foundations of rugby league.
"It was such a triumphant occasion that it will always live in the memory.
"It was a night that climaxed the All Golds' greatest ever season."
In their first match, good defence from the All Golds could not stop Gerrard from scoring for the Vikings in a corner, with a powerplay unsuccessful.
Good team work by Dan Poulton and James Gahan opened up the defence and Gahan touched down to level the scores.
The powerplay was declined and to the crowd's amazement, Matt Bradley stepped up to attempt a drop goal from way out on the touchline.
He split the posts to give the All Golds a 6-4 lead at half-time.
As possession changed hands the ball found its way to Sean Denning, who smashed into the defender and offloaded the ball to Nathan Rainer.
Rainer, now in open field, made a blistering run to the line and Bradley converted to make the score 12-8.
The Vikings' Kelly bumped his way over the line and the powerplay was converted to make it 12-12.
Next up were hosts Salford City Reds and a fantastic solo effort from Denning secured an early lead.
Bradley converted but Salford had the next score when a defensive error and missed tackle allowed City's Evalds to cross the line, with Lomax bringing the scores level.
As the set was drawing to a close the ball found its way to Bradley who threw an outrageous dummy pass before diving over.
As the first half ended the All Golds led 10-6, before debutant Jack Adams found himself with the ball after an exquisite move.
He made his move and went under the posts, but the conversion was missed.
The next try was from a stroke of genius from All Golds' Dan Poulton, whose vision allowed him to spot a gap behind the defensive line.
His grubber kick gave Gahan an eternity to pick up and casually make his way over the line.
The conversion was missed and with only a minute left on the clock the All Golds had sealed the win.
Salford had the final say in the last play as Anderson bulldozed his way over to make it 18-10 to the All Golds.
The final match against the Broncos was an interesting and exciting encounter with the winner taking the title.
The ball found its way to Callum Mulkeen, who had two defenders to beat.
He went past one and handed off the other to make a break for the line, offloading to Matt Williams for the match's first try. The conversion was missed.
The Broncos scored on their next possession through Thomas to level.
Next the All Golds experienced déjà vu when Mulkeen found himself in the same position with the same defender in front of him.
Again he stepped and broke the line and as the cover tackler came across Mulkeen dropped his shoulder and battered his way through.
The conversion sailed wide and the Broncos scored next to bring the scores back level through McMeeken.
A delightful switch between Bradley and Denning then enabled Denning to score and Bradley converted to lead 14-8.
As the hooter went for the last play of the half Macani found a hole in the All Golds defence and scored with the goal added to make it 14-14.
The second half saw the Broncos lead for the first time when Molloy scored and converted his first try.
Defences remained strong until Adams stepped up and handed off the first defender, threw a dummy pass to confuse the second and side stepped a third before running in near the posts.
Bradley converted with two minutes left to level the scores.
The All Golds calmly made their way up the field and on tackle four were 20 metres from the try line.
Bradley dropped back into the pocket and slotted the drop goal that sealed the title.