Old Colstonians: Your local Bristol Rugby Club!

Match Report vs Smiths Industries

Old Colstonians travelled to Cheltenham, for a top of the table clash with Smiths Industries RFC on Saturday. After their winning streak came to an end the previous weekend, courtesy of some questionable looking but well drilled chaps from Ross on Wye, the OC’s were determined to bounce back. The opening moments of the game were played at an intense pace on a noticeably wide pitch. This intensity was kept up throughout the entire 80 minutes and the onlooking supporters will confirm that this was a fierce contest between the two teams that were camped at the top of Gloucester 2.

The OC’s were lucky to get the first 3 points of the fixture as their hard work in attack led to an early penalty, which was slotted between the sticks. The home side played very confidently, with a clear direction and focus about them, meaning that the first half culminated with them 20 points to 3 ahead of the visitors. The OC’s had failed to take their chances, the ball had not always gone to hand and centre Tom Childs was unlucky not to break free from the defence after hitting two lines off two flat, well-timed passes from Haynes. The frustration was clear and at certain points the panic appeared to set in. There was a particularly risky offload from Michael Ball in his own 22 which urged the away team to focus on producing a performance that would secure the win that was needed. This error was most certainly made up for by Baller subsequently putting his school boy like frame in front of multiple oncoming Smiths players on numerous occasions with absolutely no regard for his own safety. After the game he stated that he would relish the opportunity to start in the next fixture and was of course pleased with a very solid performance.

As the second half commenced the change in precision and accuracy was clear. Big carriers, England and Leek to name but a few, worked relentlessly to carry the ball in to the face of the opposition. The Colston forwards ensured that possession was retained again and again until a well constructed set of phases enabled Ant Stilwell to go over for Colston’s first try. As Matthew Leek took a ball from the nine close to the line and crashed through the Smiths defence and over for the try, the turning point could be sensed. Each player worked tirelessly in defence and attack for the entirety of the match. The level of pressure applied allowed winger, Knightclub, to pluck a floating ball out the air, turn on the gas and score between the posts. The conversion was knocked over and the OC’s led 24 - 20. In the final ten minutes each side fought for every piece of possession and the OC’s edged in to the home team’s half. When within range, Haynes edged Colstons’ lead to 27-20 with an audacious but perfectly executed drop goal.

Each and every OC player had given their all to ensure they came away victorious, with an absolutely crucial win in this fight for the title. This was without doubt the victory of the season, of which there have been many. Smiths were unlucky not to come out on top in a game that could have gone either way, had it not been for the unwavering determination of the OC’s.

The support from the travelling away crowd was a huge factor in this win and discussions in the club house after the game confirmed that this factor could have indeed swung the balance in Colston’s favour. The encouragement was most certainly there from all of the supporters. Notable mentions should go to the following: 2nd XV captain, Mr John Forrest (43) for his persistent commitment to cheap lager and a dry sense of humour whilst viewing a tense fixture; Our resident Chilean member of the club, Rodolfo, who’s blood now runs blue and gold and who’s passion can not be called in to question; and Vice-Captain Josh Grant for his ability to get legless at any given opportunity. As always the faithful contingent of supporters who are seen on the touchline each week have the thanks and gratitude of the entire squad for their continued support and words of wisdom.

Matt Leek had spent all of his energy, so much so that he was unable to contribute to the evenings antics and travel back on the team bus. Given the expenditure of calories at a rate that he has not been used to for some time, the squad have on this occasion collectively chosen to overlook this issue. A spokesmen for the club has said that “Mr Jamie Winn led the celebrations in his usual cautious manner on the team bus home but it has been confirmed by the players that they wish to make no further statement about their post game celebrations at this time.”