Saints took to the cleaners in the set piece from a formidable Sodbury pack.
By Andy Doc
ALLEZ LES SOUBIROUS
Tuesday 1st April 2014
The Cyril Parsons Memorial Bowl Final
St Bernadettes v Chipping Sodbury
Saints lost this battle up front. Chipping Sodbury dominated in the set piece and Bernadettes was starved of good ball. When they did run the ball out wide they caused the Sodburys back line all sorts of problems. All of Sodburys tries came from their pack and all of Saints came from their backs so that should tell you something.
A big crowd turned up for this combination bowl final under the lights at Bristol Harlequins brislington ground. Saints won the toss and played up the pitch.
And they quickly realised that their opponents had a very well organised and powerful set of forwards when all most immediately they were going backwards in the scrum. And when with only a few minutes played Sodbury kicked a penalty into touch close to Saints 5 metre line, they got the first score of the game from a well worked catch and drive. Conversion missed.
But Saints soon realised they needed to keep it away from Sodbury`s forwards and move them around the pitch which they did when fly half Matt Manuel put in a kick behind for winger Craig Screech to chase which forced the covering Sodbury fullback to take it into touch.
From the lineout Saints took the ball back and forth along the line and after several phases creating an opening for their wing Screech to cut inside from out wide and touch down for Saints first points. Manuel then completing the score with a well struck conversion.
Saints then allowed Sodbury to come back into the game when they gave away a penalty in front of their posts which their kicker gratefully accepted with the resulting kick.
Saints took back the lead when Manuel knocked over a penalty awarded in front of Sodbury`s posts.
And they further stretched the lead when soon after inside centre Callum Quirke managed to twist his-self over the line in the bottom left corner. Conversion missed.
4 minutes to the break and with Saints struggling to hold back their opponents deep in their 22 the referee yellow cards flanker Chris Lock after Saints are penalised twice in a row.
Saints manage to withstand the resulting onslaught admirably but when the ref blows for a penalty 10 metres out Sodbury opt for the kick which they get and with that the ref blows for half time.
Half time 15-16
Saints hold out for the remaining sin bin unscathed but soon after they get back to a full side they go further behind when they fail to stop a driving maul from a catch and drive off a lineout which were gifted to them from another penalty. Conversion added.
Bernadettes influential No 10 Manuel has to retire when his kicking leg gives way as he was taking a crucial penalty kick at the posts which went a miss.
But they do get back into the game when wing Craig Screech bags his second of the game just squeezing in with a dive into the corner. Conversion missed.
Saints miss a golden opportunity to go back in front when Danny Harris now playing at 10 broke free but instead of slipping the ball outside to 2 waiting players on the over lap for a straight run to the line he took the ball into to the tackle knocking on.
And Saints paid the price soon after when with virtually the last play of the game Sodbury doing what they had done all game scored the killer try with another driving maul into the bottom corner . Conversion added.
Final Score 20-30.