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RUGBY - ROSS ENJOY A FULL BLOODED ENCOUNTER WITH TEWKESBURY

Saturday afternoon saw Ross 1st XV play their final league match of the season against Tewkesbury, who had already been crowned champions of Gloucester Division one with Ross confirmed as runners up. As both sides had already assured themselves of promotion, most people expected a half hearted game but this was not to be and a large crowd was treated to a full blooded encounter.

Tewkesbury were determined to get revenge for being well beaten by Ross at home back in December and started the game with a strong surge into the Ross half, which was met with a fierce defence. As the game settled down, Ross began to put some pressure on the visitors' line but all too often found themselves giving away good ground due to poor dicipline. The Tewkesbury outside half was having a fine game with his kicking and punished Ross twice with two well taken penalties to give them a 6-0 lead. The home team, as on many occassions this season looked to put pace on the game, and came close, with Luke Gray and Ali Hunter-Blair making inroads. With a few minutes left before half time, the Tewkesbury full back kicked a long ball down field. It was caught by Hunter-Blair, who proceeded to run the ball back, outpacing the cover defence and scoring out wide on the left. The conversion was missed, leaving the score at 5-6 at half time.

The second half began with Ross trying to play rugby and far too often being frustrated by the official or by the visitors negative tactics. Midway through the half, Ali Hunter-Blair had to retire with hamstring problems and James Hughes came off with a sore shoulder. Huw Bellamy moved in to scrum half and once again gave a tenacious performance. Staunch defence kept Tewkesbury at bay and stong running from Adam Clement and Gavin Oates saw Ross open up space on numorous occassions. Chris Price came on to add fresh legs to the game but once again, it was the home team's dicipline which was to prove their downfall. With another three penalties being conceded and taken, the final nail was rammed home by the visitors' out half, who slotted a well taken drop goal, leaving the final score at 5-18, however, Ross can take satifaction from outscoring Tewkesbury by four trys to nil in both encounters this season.

The Terrys Digital man of the match was Huw Bellamy.

This coming weekend the club will be sending a party of players on tour to Majorca and upon their return will be looking to defend the North Midlands Vase, which they won for the first time last season.

The photographs were supplied by Denise Meek and readers are welcome to download them from the Ross Rugby Club website.

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Ali Hunter-Blair on his way to score Ross Rugby 1st's only try of the match.

Man of the Match, Huw Bellamy.
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