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Loan watch: Clifton power to victory, Dings edge Reds

Fourteen Bears players were in dual-registration action over the weekend, with Clifton storming to victory and Dings edging Old Reds.


Report by Roger Opie.

National League Two West
Clifton 59-19 Stourbridge

Rhys Charalambous featured for a dominant Clifton pack, as dominated possession throughout this encounter.

Early on a free-flowing movement saw full back Alex Howman latch on to a pass to cross.  From the re-start it was Howman again who broke through to score again.  Fly half Luke Cozens secured one of his seven successful kicks of the afternoon.

Centre Will Owen who passed superbly and ran strongly all game was the next to show his strength in going over the line. Winger Alex Kilbane who constantly threatened the Stourbridge defence then crossed after some sublime passing before Clifton had two efforts disallowed through errors in the build ups.

The visitors showed enterprise and caused some threat to see Hooker Jack Lea score with Michael Heaney converting.  Accurate passing led to Cozens extend the Clifton on the brink of half time

From the kick off in the second period a length of the field move with Kilbane prominent for Howman to compete his hat trick.  Last season’s league top scoter Fin Sharp was soon in the action before the game become looser with Lea getting his second.

Will Owen then completed a long sweeping move before scrum half Danny Openshaw completed the try fest.  Stourbridge continued to compete and winger Dallas Ororo showed determination and speed to go under posts with fly half Michael Penn adding the two points

Report and photo via John White.

National League Two West
Old Redcliffians 29-32 Dings Crusaders

Dings, featuring Academy trio Aaron Thompson, TJ Wilstead and Andrew Turner, as well U18 wing Tom Ormsby, made it three National League Two West wins in a row following a hard-fought victory over traditional rivals Old Reds at Scotland Lane.

As expected, it was a close run thing, with Crusaders edging the try count by five to four. Dings' latest bonus-point triumph also signalled the end of Reds' proud two season long winning league run on home soil as well as notching up Crusaders' fourth-straight win against their old adversaries.

A sizeable crowd gathered to watch the game unfold in the glorious south Bristol sunshine, and would have surely got their money's worth as the cross city rivals went at it hammer and tongs. The home side - playing down the slope in the first-half - were undoubtedly on top in the opening quarter but crucially didn't make the most of their territorial advantage as the visitors dug in.

Three penalties awarded to the home side were kicked into the corner in the opening minutes, but nothing came to fruition for Reds. They did, however, open the scoring on the half-hour mark with a penalty from fly-half Ash Groves, who had a fine game in the number ten shirt for the hosts. TJ Wilstead levelled the scores shortly after but it was the home side that crossed for the first try of the afternoon shortly before the break - full-back Kieran Kelly was put through a gap to to touchdown. Groves added the conversion from out wide to make it 10-3 at the interval.

Dings hit back early in the second-half thanks to a trademark driving line-out that was polished off by hooker Aaron Thompson. Wilstead added the extras to level the scores. Again Reds responded with a try in the corner. Groves' conversion attempt cannoned off the posts and stayed out. The tit for tat nature of the game continued with scrum-half Tom Knight sniping down the blindside to dive over for Dings' second try. The conversion drifted wide.

Crusaders then went through the gears to forge a 32-15 advantage with three further tries from skipper Matty Smith, replacement hooker Joe Hawkesby and impressive youngster Tom Ormsby, who was making his debut for the club. But to their credit Reds didn't go away and finished the game on top, adding two further converted tries in the dying minutes to get within three-points of Dings and pick up two deserved bonus-points in the process.


Elsewhere in National League Two West, Harry Rowson was on the scoresheet for the second successive week for Loughborough but it couldn't prevent them from slipping to a 17-37 defeat to Exeter University. George Taylor was among the replacements for Loughborough.

Five Bears were in action for Hartpury as they were beaten by Doncaster Knights at the Alpas Arena.

James Williams kicked three penalties and Aristot Benz-Salomon, Joe Jenkins, Jac Lloyd and Oscar Lennon all featured, but the Knights fought back from 9-0 down to take the spoils in Gloucestershire.

James Dun and Charlie Powell's Jersey Reds kept up a fine start to their 2022/23 league season with a hefty 40-14 home win over Coventry in their 200th Championship game.

The hosts notched three tries in each half, and could have had more, but the win by 26 points was enough for a second successive bonus-point win. The Reds and Ealing Trailfinders are the only teams with two victories from two games, although they’ll be joined by the winners of Sunday’s clash between Nottingham and the Pirates.

The match was preceded by a minute's silence to honour Queen Elizabeth II, with the UK and Channel Islands continuing a period of mourning that will continue until after the late monarch's funeral. The home side also wore their black kit as an additional mark of respect.

A series of early penalty concessions gave Coventry an attacking platform and saw Jersey hooker TJ Harris sin-binned after just six minutes as a result of his side’s persistent offending. Wing James Martin went over in the corner but a touch flag was raised and eventually the home side raised the siege, while Martin was forced from the field with an injury.

Soon after Harris returned, the Reds showed their attacking potential and fast hands across the field set up a chance for Tomi Lewis to show his pace on the flank and score the opening try.

Scrums were a significant source of pressure and as the penalty count turned in the home side’s favour Harris scored two tries in the dying stages of the half, one direct from a maul and the other after bursting from the side of a ruck. Cov prop Toby Trinder was shown yellow following scrum infringements.

Coventry attempted to get early points on the board after the resumption, surprisingly going for goal from a 40-metre penalty, but Pat Pellegrini’s kick was off-target and the next score was by the home side as Jordan Holgate raced onto a deft kick ahead by Lewis, who soon added his second as he was first to Alex McHenry’s grubber.

The visitors eventually claimed tries to reward their commitment, with skipper Jordon Poole crossing from a maul and Louis Brown slipping through a defensive hole, but the Reds forwards had the last word with Eoghan Clarke finishing a maul. The visitors finished the game with 14 men after Will Talbot-Davies was shown yellow for a deliberate knock-on, while Ben Woollett had the last of several near-misses in the final play when he looked certain to cross.

In Tribute South West One, Pete Carter's Chew Valley went top of the league with a bonus-point 48-27 victory over Ivybridge.

Chew ran in six tries to see off their Devon counterparts and continue their fine start to the new campaign.


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