Cheltenham v Minchinhampton
Great Win for U12
Cheltenham vs Minchinhampton
We arrived in Cheltenham just as the drizzly rain did! Wet and boggy it may have been but it wasn’t particularly cold so we couldn’t complain!
As our boys lined up to kick off, the supporters were left wondering if it was the spa waters of Cheltenham that was making the opposition look so big in comparison to our Minch Rams. However, we never doubt that this will phase our boys and the match started with a fast pace - Toby N and Max getting stuck straight in with the hard tackles. Stan made a promising early break on the wing, but Cheltenham’s defence were waiting and stole the ball back. Some fast passing took Minchinhampton by surprise and Cheltenham broke away, making it all the way to the try line to take the early lead.
As Cheltenham kicked for the restart, Fin made a great catch and pushed Minchinhampton forwards. Jack came in with great support and made some good ground followed by a well timed pass out to Finlay. Cheltenham managed to win the ball back but an unlucky knock on gave Minchinhampton the scrum. Cheltenham tried a clever clearance kick but it was skilfully scooped up by Jake H. Cheltenham demonstrated some good tackling but were countered by Todd and a strong rip from Charlie B. Cheltenham kept up the forward pressure though, getting the ball down to make it 0-2.
Perhaps Minchinhampton took this as a signal to switch it up a gear; it certainly seemed so from the speed with which Fin took on a huge drive forwards, supported by Harry. Wilf came on just as Cheltenham had won a scrum from an unlucky knock on. Cheltenham tried to push forwards but they weren’t going to get through our master of tackling Wilf. As if spurred on, great tackles came from Jack and Jake B too. Harry showed us how size is no obstacle to getting the big guys down if you tackle low. He then snuck in to steal the ball and cleverly passed it out to the speedy legs of Jake H on the wing. Cheltenham ‘s defence seemed to hold strong, as on came Joseph to add his power to the pack, winning an early ruck. He got the ball out to Todd, who drove a long way forwards and then made a well timed pass to Jack who drove through three defenders all the way to the try line and down! Minchinhampton were on the score sheet 1-2.
Joseph and Toby N were at the centre of Minchinhampton’s driving power as they ripped balls and won mauls. The boys showed how well they could pass along the width of the pitch as the ball came from Toby to Charlie B to Harry to Fin. Moving strongly forwards all the time he passed the ball out to the other Charlie who was making a cracking debut to our team as he drove forwards and over the line for a try! 2-2.
After a motivating team talk, on came Billy, Felix and James looking ready for business...
Cheltenham’s restart kick overshot and went straight out so Minchinhampton took the scrum.
With Wilf and Jack’s power pushing forwards we made good ground. James stole the ball out to Felix and on to Charlie. Being driven almost into touch, he made a clever cut back in and then passed the ball back out to James who ran it over for a try. Minchinhampton took the lead. 3-2
It was Joseph and Stan’s turn to team up and drive forwards. As Cheltenham tried to kick the ball away it was brilliantly caught by Harry and passed to James who made a speedy break away. Cheltenham’s cage seemed rattled by our strong restart and a high tackle stopped play, with time out taken for everyone to regroup and focus.
Cheltenham started back strongly but Felix and Joseph were ready with the tackles. Harry was great at driving over, allowing James to get in and steal the ball away to Billy who charged forwards. Supported by the line he passed it on to Felix , to Fin. As Cheltenham put in the hard tackle they were countered by Joseph. Cheltenham tried another clearance kick but it was caught again by the safe hands of Harry. As James cleared from the ruck, Charlie made a run, passing it on to Felix who got over for the try. 4-2.
Fin and Billy made a fast restart, with Joseph supporting a strong drive forwards. An unlucky knock on gave Cheltenham the scrum. Another clearance kick found the ever steady hands of Harry again. Wilf and Max showed great power in driving over and enabled James to snatch the ball out again, who passed it to Jake H, with Finlay waiting to push over the try line. 5-2.
Minchinhampton continued strong with great tackling from Billy, Stan and the unwavering Wilf. As Minch won a scrum, James got the ball away to Felix who made a run down the line. With a Cheltenham defender on his heel he attempted a clever chip forwards but just missed another try with an unfortunate knock on. The boys continued on though with fast clever passing. The ball went from James to Charlie to Billy to Felix who this time went over and down for the try! 6-2.
Minchinhampton seemed unstoppable and Billy made a fantastic restarrt kick. Cheltenham scooped it up and drove forwards strongly but they weren’t getting past Wilf who followed up a cracking tackle with a rip of the ball, passing it out to Felix who ran at speed almost to the touch line. Showing great game awareness, he timed a pass to perfection to Charlie who was brilliantly placed on his right and Charlie dived over and down for another try just as the full time whistle blew! 7-2 full time.
A great match, a well deserved win with all our boys showing great determination, power and pace. Credit also for keeping calm and focused on what was at times a rather heated second half! Hopefully a good confidence booster for all, bring on the county cup games!