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Report: Bristol United 33-36 Gloucester United

Bristol United slipped to a last-gasp defeat at the hands of Gloucester United at Clifton RFC on Saturday.

The hosts led 26-5 at the interval, but conceded five second half tries as the Cherry and Whites fought back for the A-League victory.

What happened?

Bristol raced into an early lead when George Perkins capitalised on a Mat Protheroe break to touch down in the corner for an unconverted try.

In a comprehensive first half display, United added a quickfire second when Academy hooker Nick Freeman dabbed down following a well-worked set-piece.

Mat Protheroe – enjoying a fine game against his former side – went over for Bristol’s third following a neat interchange with George Perkins, pushing the hosts 19-0 ahead midway through the first period.

Gloucester pulled back a try before half-time as Alex Morgan rounded off a slick attack, but George Perkins crossed for his second of the afternoon soon after to ensure United remained in control at the interval.

George Perkins scored twice at the Clifton RFC training base (JMP UK).

The visitors struck again almost immediately after the restart as the lively Callum Braley put Aaron Hinkley over in the corner.

But Bristol responded well when Jack Wallace’s thumping tackle forced a turnover and James Newey had the easiest of jobs to run in under the sticks to stretch the lead to 33-12.

The procession of tries continued as Gloucester replacement Cameron Orr crashed over the whitewash to keep the Cherry and Whites in touch.

A penalty try at the scrum, following the sin-binning of James Dun for an infringement close to the chalk, pushed Gloucester within nine points on the hour mark.

And, after Aaron Chapman saw yellow to reduce Bristol United to thirteen men, Cameron Orr bundled over for his second to set up a nailbiting final quarter.

In the final stages, Gloucester United’s Will Safe rumbled over from a metre to seal an impressive fightback from the visitors and condemn Bristol to defeat.

Key moment:

Two yellow cards in quick succession, to Academy duo James Dun and Aaron Chapman, reduced the home side to thirteen men and Gloucester United took full advantage to force their way back into the game.

Man of the match: Mat Protheroe

Mat Protheroe delivered a strong display in this A League encounter against his former side.

The full back communicated superbly with his backline, making several line-breaks and linking up well in attack.

Protheroe dotted down for a first half try when he finished off a flowing move, while also turning provider for George Perkins' opening score.

Defensively, the former England U20s man proved solid also, making a last-ditch tackle to thwart an almost certain Gloucester try.

Photo of the match:

Nick Freeman finishes off a slick set-piece move (JMP UK).


Bristol United:

15. Mat Protheroe; 14. Ryan Edwards, 13. Jack Wallace, 12. James Newey, 11. George Perkins; 10. Billy Searle, 9. Reiss Cullen; 1. Jack Cosgrove, 2. Nick Freeman, 3. Ollie Dawe, 4. James Dun, 5. Ehize Ehizode, 6. Nick Fenton-Wells (c), 7. Jack Capon, 8. Nick Haining.

Replacements: 16. Charlie Gibbings, 17. Jack O'Connell, 18. Alex Giltrow, 19. Max Cresswell, 20. Sam Graham, 21. Iwan Hughes, 22. Aaron Chapman, 23. Tom Hargan.

Gloucester United:

15. Carwyn Penny, 14. Ed Bogue, 13. Tom Seabrook, 12. Elliott Creed, 11. Alex Morgan, 10. Lloyd Evans, 9. Callum Braley; 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Henry Walker, 3. Alex Seville; 4. Charlie Beckett ©, 5. Callum Allen; 6. Will Safe, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Gareth Evans.

Replacements: 16. Joe Mullis, 17. Cameron Orr, 18. Jack Bartlett; 19. Alfie North, 20. Aaron Hinkley; 21. Toby Venner, 22. Red Lloyd, 23. Tom Stanton.