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Ross-on-Wye kicked off the new season in style at the weekend with an away win against Gloucester Old Boys in their first game since promotion to the Gloucester Premier league. After a bruising forward dominated encounter,Ross ran in four tries to register a comfortable victory and get their new league campaign off to a perfect start.

It was important Ross got off to a positive start and within five minutes they were on the scoreboard. From quality scrum ball, no. 9 James Hughes broke right. From the ensuing ruck, fly half Gareth Holdsworth chipped the ball through for Winger Simon Gwynne to chase. He outpaced his opposite number to score wide out on the right, but a missed conversion from Gareth and a drop goal from Old Boys fly-half Gareth Fenwick got the home team back in the game to put the score at 3-5.

Both teams relied on their forwards to do the work up front. The Ross scrum was dominant, however, putting Gloucester Old Boys under a huge amount of pressure ,and it was from a scrum that Ross delivered their second score. From a Gloucester put-in, the Ross eight drove them off the ball. Mike Davies, the Ross no. 8 picked up from the base and fed James Hughes. He popped a well timed pass to centre Bas Parker who cut through the Gloucester midfield defence, before outpacing the cover defence to score. After Holdsworth's earlier failed attempt, Ross gave the kicking duties to scrum-half James Hughes who put the ball over and scored a later penalty to put the score at 15-3 as the teams went in at half-time.

Both teams looked tentative early in the second half, with a number of errors from both sides. However, Ross were the first to regain their composure and it was no. 8 Mike Davies who added the third try. Once again the Ross pack delivered quality scum ball. Mike Davies picked from the base and crashed through two tacklers to score. Hughes stepped back to take the kick from about 35 yards out and coolly slotted the ball over to put Ross 22-3 up. However, the Old Boys were not going to lie down and after a period of play in the Ross half, their hard work paid off, with a fantastic sprint for the line from Winger Ollie Hutchinson, who touched down to get the Old Boys back in the game. A conversion from Fenwick and some passion from the fans saw the team with some renewed hope. These hopes were soon dashed however, when a period of pressure close to the Old Boys line saw Hughes make a break into space to score. Ross celebrated as he converted his own try to leave the final score at 29-10 and give the away team their first win in the Gloucester Premier league.

The Walford Timber Man of the Match was James Hughes for his all round probing game, capped off with a solo try. Ross want to pass on their congratulations to Ali Hunter-Blair, ex Ross Winger, who scored on his debut for Stourbridge in National League 1 last weekend. Ross RFC wish him all the best for the coming season.

Ross have a friendly against Greyhound next Saturday in Hereford, returning to League Action on Saturday, 26th September at home to Hucclecote.

Gloucester Old Boys team were: Adrian Harvey, Ollie Hutchinson, Darren Minns, Shaun Rayer, Patrick Holmes, Gareth Fenwick, Ben Thompson, Ollie Rider, Lee Bell, Alex Davis, Steven Bosworth, Rich Bosworth, Paddy McGurk, Greg Padfield and Cass Hannaford with Subs: Matt Phillips, Mike Long and Tom Rayer.

The Ross team comprised Chay Brine, Simon Gwynne, Luke Gray, Basil Parker, Huw Bellamy, Gareth Holdsworth, James Hughes, Tara Barnett, Chris Price, Wayne Williams, Ashley Nelmes, Matt Jones, Tim Hanks, Ali Rees and Mike Davies with Subs used: Dave Mince, Nick Rawlins and Craig Creed.


Ross RFC 2nd XV entertained Stourport 2nd XV on Saturday in an exciting opening fixture of the new season. Ross started the game in fine form, only to be denied by good defence from Stourport or poor decision making by Ross.

Ten minutes into the game, Ross suffered a blow when losing centre Adam Teague with a suspected shoulder dislocation. When play restarted Ross took the game to Stourport and were rewarded with with a penalty which was converted by Chris Gage. Slowly Stourport started to get on top, causing Ross to concede far too many penalties. Eventually, the pressure told and Stourport scored two tries, one of which was converted to bring them into the lead 12 points to 3. Unfortunately Ross didn't learn and kept giving penalties away until the referee lost patience and Ross 2nd row was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. During this spell, Stourport took advantage and scored a push over try which was converted for a 19-3 lead at half time.

In the second half Ross changed tactics, using quick ball from off the lineout by the outstanding Richard Russell. Good passing from scrum half Jacob Kay started to allow Ross backs Matt Taylor, Chris Gage and Josh Morgan to run at a tiring Stourport defence. Ross now had the upper hand and after a scrum 10 metres out, Russell barged over for a well deserved consolation try.

In summary, Ross lost the match due to poor discipline which must be corrected in future. Many thanks to match sponsor, Wye Garden Maintenance who's Man of the Match was Richard Russell.

Next Saturday, Ross 2nds are at home to Drybrook 3rds. Kick off is at 3pm.

Ross 2nd XV train every Tuesday and Thursday at Ross Sports Centre from 6:45pm.

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