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Ross RFC 2nd XV travelled to Merit table leaders Bromsgrove on Saturday and returned with an outstanding 22 - 19 victory.

From the kick off, Ross quickly started attacking Bromsgrove. With Craig Creed turning over Bromsgrove ball it was quickly recycled to Powell. Swift hands saw the outside half find fullback, Chris Gage, who straightened his run to cross the gain line and add 30 metres, before being halted by some fine defence by Bromsgrove.

Ross now had the upper hand and kept on attacking at every opportunity. Against the run of play, Bromsgrove mounted an attack from their own 22. After some fine passing and some poor defending, a try was scored under the posts and with the conversion added, Ross found themselves 7 0 down. Not downhearted by this, Ross continued to adopt the attacking game. After a fine break, Gage kicked up field. The ball was closed down by Creed, who in turn shipped a fine offload to Rawlings to finish off a fine try with a 15 metre sprint to the line. With half time approaching, both sides cancelled out each other to leave the score 7 to 5 in Bromsgrove's favour at the break.

Ross started off the second half in the worst possible way, conceding a converted try within 10 minutes, but once again, Ross bounced back. Fine work by the back row of Creed, Hayward and Christopher secured the ball for Powell. A swift pass found outside half, Andy Bevan and with a mixture of pace and power, scored a fine try which was converted by Gage to bring Ross back into the game at 14 points to 12. By now Bromsgrove's larger pack started to dictate the play around the rucks and mauls, using the tight head prop to batter the Ross defence.

After 10 minutes of intense pressure, Ross finally bowed to the onslaught . Once again, it was Bromsgrove's tight head who at last breached the Ross line to score under the posts. Feeling a little bit too sure of himself, the kicker missed the conversion to still give Ross a sniff of a result. Now, with only 10 minutes to go, Ross gave it a last effort. Good driving up field by the forwards caused Bromsgrove to infringe at the ruck. A penalty was awarded and Gage stepped up to convert the 40 metre kick at the posts. Ross, now only 4 points adrift had the scent of an upset.

Bromsgrove kicked off deep into the Ross half. The ball was fielded by Powell, who with speed and skill out smarted four Bromsgrove defenders. When he was eventually tackled, the ball was made available for the tireless Chris Gage, who beat the final defender before falling across the try line to give Ross the lead for the first time in the match. With the conversion added by Gage and the game in the last minute, Bromsgrove kicked long into the Ross half again. This time, the ball was caught by Gage, who knew time was up and launched a 60 metre kick up field and the little bit of luck that Ross had earned saw a nice bounce find touch in the Bromsgrove 22 to end a thrilling game.

This week's man of the match could have been any one of the 15, but with a solid game in defence as well as attack, plus a total of 1 try, 2 conversions and 1 penalty, the Walford Timber man of the match was fullback, Chris Gage.

Next Saturday, Ross 2nd XV are at home versus Malvern in the Merit table. Kick off is at 2:20pm.

by Ian Howell

Megan and Jess with their medals.

Three members of the Junior Academy squad, supported by parents, travelled up to Newark to attend the Nottinghamshire Indoor rowing championships.

Megan Jephcote in the Wj12 class won Gold with a distance of 491 and Jess Boon won bronze with distance of 438 in their two minute ergo test. Sam Boon, rowing over the full 2Km distance was a creditable fourth with a time of 7.40.

Junior Captain John Lewis commented, 'Congratulations must go to them all. They are excellent performers all round, I am very proud of all them. Thanks also to their parents for their support.'

Next for the Junior Academy is Pangbourne Junior Head, where the squads performance group is again testing itself against high class opposition.

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