Day of the Toms as 3 Toms cruise over for tries
By Declan Moss
North’s efficiency gives them the edge over strong Fram-Dursley side
North welcomed a combined Dursley-Frampton side to Oaklands on a bright, sunny Sunday morning with a hint of bite remaining in the breeze to remind all that Winter has not yet fully gone away.
Both sides had a lot of absentees due to holidays and thus Lucki guested for the visitors in the first half and Luke in the second.
D-F kicked off towards the Meadows end with the stiff wind in their backs and immediately laid siege to the North line. North absorbed the pressure, repelling the big D-F lads, until the sixth minute when Tom Bullock, in at full back, made a clean break from his own 10 metre line, deep into the visitors’ half. With the defence closing in, Tom made a slick inside pass to the strong running Jacob on his right shoulder, and then received the return pass to dash over for the opening score; the conversion was narrowly missed and thus the scoreboard read 5-0.
D-F continued to use their big backs and forwards to run crash balls, but the North defence tackled like demons. On 16 minutes, North forced a ruck 5m out, from which Tom Bartlett picked and dove over to score against his former team. Again the wind was too much for James and his conversion slipped narrowly wide; 10-0.
Four minutes later, vice-captain Will did a brilliant ‘show and go’ in midfield to open up a gap which he cruised through to touch down under the posts. This time James made no mistake with the conversion; 17-0, which is how the half ended.
Dursley lost a player through injury on the stroke of half time and so the second half was played as 14-a-side. James restarted with an excellent hanging kick which Jacob managed to gather and, with the support of his fellow forwards, set up a drive to the D-F line, only to be held up just short. D-F survived and on 6 minutes got over for their first try of the day; the wind was too much for their kicker and thus the score became 17-5.
North’s play was becoming increasingly disjointed with the visitors growing in confidence and gaining ever more possession and territory, until the 18th minute when Lucki snaffled possession and made a sharp break from the half way line; a swift interchange of smooth passing with Tom Bennett, created the opening for Tom to run in under the posts. James added the extras to make the score 24-5.
The visitors pulled a try back on 24 minutes when Big Nick made an excellent break from hallway to sprint in for his side’s second try, but the conversion was missed, so the score was 24-10.
The final score came two minutes before the end when James intercepted a D-F on their 22 and off-loaded smartly to captain for the day, Mike, who ran in under the posts to leave the easiest of conversions, which was duly scored to leave the score as the final whistle blew at 31-10.
This was a sporting contest, with North’s better handling and quicker passing giving them the edge over their much larger opponents, who were more inclined to use their strength and size to go through rather than around the home defence. But North defended stoutly to prove that guile is more than a match for brute strength.
Tries: Tom Bullock, Tom Bartlett, Will, Tom Bennett, Mike
Cons: James (3/5)
Line Up: 1.Jamie 2.Tom Bartlett 3.Joe Brake 4.Riley 5.Jacob 6.Ollie 7.Isaac 8.Mike 9.Will 10.James 11.Matt 12.Tom Bennett 13.Luke W 14.Panashe 15.Tom Bullock
Subs: 16.Lucki, 17.Joe Bees