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28th October 2009 SPORTING NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE
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RUGBY: ROSS 2ND XV 12 - STOURBRIDGE LIONS 33

Ross RFC 2nds took the long journey North on Saturday for a league encounter with top of the table Stourbridge Lions. On a windy afternoon, a mainly young Ross side performed admirably however, it was an experienced Stourbridge side that prevailed, winning the match 33-12.

Stourbridge elected to play with a gusty wind in the first half and as a result Ross found it difficult to get out of their own half. The Stourbridge 10 took every opportunity to pin Ross back in their own twenty two and it was only some strong tackling by TC Leech, Russell Walker and Ellis that prevented Stourbridge taking an early lead.

As the half progressed however, the pressure took itís toll and eventually Stourbridge did convert one of their many chances to open the scoring putting them 7-0 ahead. Within minutes they had doubled their lead, as some weak tackling out wide let their Winger in to score, putting them 14-0 ahead. With the conditions against Ross, they dug in and with more strong tackling it looked as if Ross would get to half time only two scores down. However, on the last play of the half Stourbridge added another try to go in at 19-0 at half time.

With the wind at their backs Ross started the second half strongly and quickly camped themselves in the Stourbridge twenty two. Dave Mince went close, quickly followed by Alex Bound and Sam Griffiths but Stourbridge held out. Ross then suffered a cruel bit of luck that saw Stourbridge add another try. After a clearing kick from the Stourbridge no.10, Karl Pritchard ran the ball back. Beating the first two tacklers he then offloaded to TC Leech. The ball bounced up off TCís shoulder into the arms of the Stourbridge Winger who raced clear to score, putting them 26-0 ahead.

Ross however, refused to buckle and played their best rugby for the next 30 minutes. With Karl Pritchard at fullback running back all the loose kicks, Ross finally got on the score sheet. After Rob Jode found TC at the lineout, the ball was quickly moved across the back line Huw Bellamy took the supporting pass, dummied his man and accelerated over to score. Sam Griffiths added the conversion and the score was 26-7. Almost immediately Ross added another score. From the kick off Huw Bellamy put in a huge clearing kick. The Stourbridge fullback was tackled by Pickles Rawlings, TC picked up the spilt ball and crossed to score. Ross were now only 26-12 down.

Ross were unable to add another score and with time running out, Stourbridge added their fifth try and the game ended 33-12 to the home team.

This young and inexperienced Ross side should be proud of their performance against a strong experienced Stourbridge outfit. The Walford timber man of the match was Karl Pritchard for his counter attacking from fullback.

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