CAVALIERS ON TOP IN CLASH OF TITLE PRETENDERS
Two of the title favourites clashed at a wet and windy Harcourt Hill and it was the Cavaliers who came out on top.
The Warriors mounted something of a fightback in the second half but the Cavaliers’ spurt of tries late in the second period settled the match in their favour.
The Cavaliers’ 26-6 halftime advantage was secured despite a 10-2 penalty count against them and the second period continued in the same vein, until the Cavaliers’ John Connaughton was sent to the sin bin for persistent team offences.
Still the home side were able to counter anything the Warriors could throw at them to run out comfortable winners.
The first half was scrappy as neither side could hold on to the ball and the referee was fully occupied as offences multiplied.
However, it was the Cavaliers that played the better-structured rugby and were on the scoreboard after three minutes, Kris Ford touching down for the first of his three tries.
Gareth Hall crossed for the home side’s second and when Ford crashed over for another, the home side were well in control.
Further tries from Connor McCaffrey and Sam Earle and, with Dan Brooker’s third goal of the day, the hosts were 26-0 ahead and cruising.
However, Kirk Lewis forced his way over for the Warriors just before the break to give them some heart and the game was back in the melting pot when Sean Roberts scored, again from close range just after the change of ends.
Sam Conway converted both but, even with a man advantage, the Warriors couldn’t get the next score.
After a brief siege of the Warriors line, Luke Gardiner went over before Ford completed his hat-trick to ease the Cavaliers out to a 38-12 lead.
Kieran Cox won the race to a well-placed Conway kick to the corner for the Warriors’ third try but Brooker and McCaffery scored in quick succession to put the result to bed.
The Warriors did score with the last play of the game. It was a carbon copy of their previous score as Dean Cooper’s cross kick found Ash Lewis who touched down but the score was a consoloation.
CAVALIERS: Garry Dunn; Errol Carter, Thom Murton, Connor McCaffrey, Luke Gardiner; Dan Brooker, Ben Jayson; Tom Davies, Gareth Hall, Simon Price; Chris Pulger-Morwe, Kris Ford; Dan Jamieson. INTERCHANGE: Doug Chirnside, Joel Hopkin, Sam Earle, John Connaughton, James Royale, Richard Williams, Josh Foster.
Scorers: Tries; Kris Ford (3, 19, 64), Gareth Hall (11), Connor McCaffrey (23, 74), Sam Earle (31), Luke Gardiner (58), Dan Brooker (71)
Goals; Dan Brooker 6 from 9
WARRIORS: Kieran Cox; Charlie Gaulder, Ash Lewis, Harry Gaulder, Ben Roche; Sam Conway, Dean Cooper; Dean Banks, Sean Roberts, Ben Brinkworth (Capt.); Kirk Lewis, James Allen; Ben Barradine; INTERCHANGE: alex mahoney, Justin Lee, Jake Thompson, Darren Collier, Paul Bolger.
Scorers: Tries; Kirk Lewis (38), Sean Roberts (45), Kieran Cox (66), Ash Lewis (79)
Goals; Sam Conway 2 from 3, Ash Lewis 0 from 1.
Referee: Melvin Bettridge (SWRLRS)