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Tom Tainton

writes

Posted Saturday, December 14th 2019

Report: Bristol Bears U18s 18-17 Bath Rugby U18s

Bristol Bears Academy U18s came from behind to seal a dramatic victory over Bath in the West Country derby on Saturday.

Sean Marsden’s side recorded a nailbiting 18-17 win at Shaftesbury Park, as Tom Wilstead’s late penalty ensured Bears opened the U18s League with the spoils.

The home side trailed 17-8 at the interval, with a Deago Bailey try and a Wilstead penalty keeping Bristol in touch during a windswept opening forty.

After the break, Ollie Holiday’s converted try brought Bristol to within two points, before Wilstead’s well-struck penalty goal confirmed victory.

“I’m so proud of the lads and the way we performed today – it’s been the result of a lot of hard work. We’ve left no stone unturned in our preparation and the way the boys have come together has been excellent,” said Academy transition coach Marsden.

“It was a huge shift – the guys worked for each other and created a lot of opportunities. We just felt with the energy and intent we were showing that we would keep getting chances and credit to TJ [Wilstead], he stepped up under pressure to convert the penalty.

“What was really pleasing was how we defended in that second half. Defence was a big focus for us after last season’s disappointing results and it’s clear how far this group has come. The defence has been led by Jordan Crane and the boys were disciplined and aggressive, it was superb to see.

“I’d like to mention the support, too. It was a fantastic turnout at Shaftesbury Park and it means so much to the players and staff to see the Bears community coming out to back the team to a derby win.”

Bristol Bears Academy U18s: 15. Benjy Joseland; 14. Deago Bailey, 13. Harry Rowson, 12. Dylan Power, 11. Ollie Holiday; 10. Tom Wilstead, 9. Angus Judkins; 1. Andrew Turner, 2. Jalen Curry, 3. Andrew Thompson, 4. George Taylor, 5. Charlie Rice, 6. Fergus Dick, 7. Jamie Collier (c), 8. McKenzie Duncan.

Replacements: 16. Tomas Gwilliam, 17. Tom Sims, 18. George Perry, 19. Alex Ashton, 20. Morgan Jones, 21. JJ Williams, 22. Freddie Vaughn, 23. Chay Mullins.