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Loan watch: Dings edge Clifton in derby thriller

Eleven Bears players were in dual-registration action over the weekend, with Dings edging Clifton in a derby thriller and Hartpury and Weston-super-Mare also earning wins.

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National Two South
Clifton 31-32 Dings Crusaders

Dings secured their first victory over cross city rivals Clifton in five attempts, thanks to a dramatic late winner from replacement scrum-half Waylon Gasson.

The last time Crusaders beat the men in lavender & black was back in September 2018, ironically following a home defeat to Redruth. Harry Tovey was the hero that day, courtesy of a second-half interception try that secured a 11-17 victory. Since then however, Clifton have dominated, winning four in a row against Dings, and, as the clock went into the red at Station Road, it looked for all money that Clifton would chalk up a fifth straight win against the Dings. But they left the door slightly ajar, and Dings struck in the final act - Gasson getting up with the ball after touching down from the back of a tremendous driving maul to give his side a one-point lead, and ultimately, a bonus-point victory against a top four side.

If statistics are anything to go by, it's still somewhat of a mystery how Dings won this game. Crusaders' were under tremendous pressure at the scrum, their line-out spluttered, and Clifton looked more dangerous and cohesive in the wider channels. But every time the visitors managed to secure possession in the danger zones, they struck with ruthless precision and accuracy. They tackled their hearts out and never once dropped their heads, even when they were behind midway though the second-half - they just kept going right til the end.

It didn't start too well for the visitors, though. They were five-points down inside two minutes. A lovely little show-and-go from impressive second-row Joe Owen led to the first of four tries for in-form wing Fin Sharp. Dings hit back with a penalty from Tovey, but the Owen - Sharp axis struck again shortly after for Clifton to grab their second try. The scores were level again after Dings' hooker Tom Anderson burrowed over for his 16th try of the season. Tovey converted.

Anderson went over again just before the break following a carbon copy try to give Dings a 15-10 lead at the interval. Clifton had the better of the third quarter with Sharp going over for his hat-trick. Luke Cozens, who also had a fine game at fly-half for Clifton, converted to make it 17-15. Full-back Alex Howman raced in for a converted try to nudge Clifton 24-15 ahead.

But Dings replied with an unconverted try in the corner for wing Tommy Foot to make it 24-20. Centre Harry Rowson nipped in for an interception soon after. Tovey added the extras from straight in front to give Dings a three-point lead as the clock ticked down. Sharp got the bumper crowd off their feet in the dying minutes with his fourth try, which was converted from wide out by replacement stand-off Jac Lloyd to give his side a 31-27 advantage.

Crusaders', though, had the final say with a trademark try from a driving line-out in the final play. As soon as the pack stated edging forward, the backs joined in and Gasson was on hand to to dive over for the match-winner. The conversion was missed but there was no time left on the clock and Dings celebrated a memorable victory.

Clifton scorers: Sharp (4), Howman. Conversions: Cozens (2), Lloyd (1).

Dings scorers: Anderson (2), Foot, Rowson, Gasson. Penalty: Tovey. Conversions: Tovey (2).

Clifton: 15 Howman; 14 Sharp, 13 Hamid, 12 Ascherl, 11 Kilbane, 10 Cozens, 9 Spencer; 1 Bullimore, 2 Selway, 3 Giltrow, 4 Harper, 5 Owen, 6 Wilson (c), 7 Woodward, 8 Talbot. Reps: 16 Cano, 17 Gwilliam, 19 Broady, 19 Ward, 20 Lloyd.

Dings: 15 Tovey; 14 Hargan, 13 Rowson, 12 Arscott, 11 Foot, 10 Wilstead, 9 Knight; 1 Turner, 2 Anderson, 3 English, 4 Bilton O, 5 Hodge, 6 Slade, 7 Bilton A, 8 Holcombe (c). Reps: 16 Gollop, 17 Appleton, 18 Rovery, 19 Gasson, 20 Jones.

Referee: Dan Parrott


Bailey bags brace as Hartpury progress in cup

Championship Cup
Hartpury RFC 36 (97)-(66) 40 Richmond Rugby

Ultimately, Hartpury progressed through to the quarter finals of the end-of-season Championship Cup, but on the day they came up second best to an energised and enthusiastic Richmond side.

A well-drilled catch and drive saw Hartpury fly over through Will Crane, before Harry Short also dotted down.

Deago Bailey then powered over near the sticks for 19-0 lead, before Richmond hit back through Miles Wakeling.

Hartpury however hit back immediately, with Deago Bailey cantering over for his second try, but Richmond responded immediately with Oscar Waite powering over from close range.

Richmond snaffled an interception and minutes later, Ntinga Mpiko burrowed over for another try - and when Waite scored again and and Ted Landray knocked the conversion over, the scores were tied.

Hartpury gained some field position from penalties and the trusty drive enabled Aled Ward to get the touch down. Williams, into a tough wind, missed the conversion but Hartpury were back in front by five.

Hartpury were next to score after excellent work from Iain Grieve, in his last competitive rugby match before retirement. Setting up another drive opportunity, a smart shift of the ball in the lineout led to Mitch Walsh carrying over for his first Hartpury try.

Richmond weren't done yet and smartly attacked down the blindside, with a grubber kick being regained by Owain James, leading to substitute Vaughan Bentley crashing over. Once again, Landry was successful with the kick it was down to a three-point game.

From the resulting kick off, Myles Scott, barged his way over several tacklers to get the winning score, but it was Hartpury who progressed with an aggregate victory.

Power and Thompson fire Weston to victory

Tribute South West Premier
Weston-super-Mare 27-10 Bournemouth

Weston-super-Mare completed their Tribute South West Premier campaign by beating visitors Bournemouth 27-10 to finish the season in a respectable fourth place in the table and avenge a season's opening defeat at Chapel Gate.

Players, officials and supporters observed a one-minute silence before the Bournemouth game in memory of former Weston captains Clayton Hope (1959/60 and 1965/66) and Peter Jenkins (1968/70), who recently passed away.

Tries from Bristol Bears Academy hooker Aaron Thompson and flanker Jack Woodland plus two conversions and two penalties from fly-half Chris Young. Outside centre Jordie Wayman crossed the whitewash for the south coast with inside centre Grant Hancox adding the extras.

Trailing 20-7 at half time, Bournemouth had the territorial advantage in the third quarter of the Tribute South West Premier clash. But their only reward for their efforts was a Hancox penalty to reduce the deficit to two points.

Weston regrouped, and Bear’s Academy Dylan Power crossed for the home side’s third try. Young added the extras in his 200th first-team appearance for Weston, having made his senior debut in April 2006, scoring over 200 points for the Club’s three senior teams. 

Another Bears Academy player, replacement scrum-half JJ Williams, broke from his own half, racing away down the right, searching for the bonus point try. Still, he was stopped just short of the line.

There was a standing ovation for Ross Bennett, who had switched from scrum-half to full back when Jack Curtis was injured, who was making his 223rd and final appearance for the home side, having made his senior debut off the bench against Oxford Harlequins in December 2006.

Weston-super-Mare scorers - tries: Aaron Thompson, Jack Woodland, Dylan Power; cons: Chris Young (3); pens: Chris Young (2).

Bournemouth scorers - try: Jordie Wayman; con: Grant Hancox; pen: Grant Hancox.

Referee: Jon Binfield (South West Goup)
 
Photo credit: Weston Rugby/Andrew Collins

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