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On a gloomy, wet and very muddy Saturday afternoon, Ross 2nd XV produced one of their best displays to defeat a very big and powerful Old Halesowen side by 17 points to 12.

Ross got into the action very quickly with outside half, 17 year old Jack Taylor cross kicking for Andy Bevan to chase down into the opposition 22. Scrambling defence by Halesowen resulted in a line out to Ross which was won by T C Leech. In the ensuing maul, Ross had the ball turned over and the defending outside half kicked a good clearance to the half way line and again, Ross won the line out. This time quick ball found scrum half, Powell. He in turn fed Taylor who passed to centre Baz Parker. Taylor made a fine loop to receive the ball 30 metres out and after leaving the 2 remaining defenders in his wake, scored a fine unconverted try in the corner to give Ross a 5 nil lead.

Confidence was now high and Ross kept the pressure on. A fine chip and chase by back row, Hayward got Ross to within 5 metres of the try line. After being tap tackled, he released to prop Matt Redmond who was only denied a try by a fine cover tackle from the defending full back. Most of the game was now in the oppositions half but try as they might, they could not add to the score before half-time.

Ross started the second half as the first finished, on the front foot, with 17 year old second rows, Troy McCauley and Dave Lawrence giving Ross some fine yardage with powerful runs. Ross forced their way to within 5 metres of the Halesowen line and when the defence split, Hayward was on hand for an opportunist try. The conversion was missed to give Ross a 10 nil lead. This score seemed to spur the home side on. The bigger opposing forwards started to attack around the fringes of the rucks and mauls, only to be turned over time and again by Parker and the much improved Jason Oates. Ten minutes of pressure was soaked up before the Ross line was eventually crossed for a converted try.

Undeterred, Ross stuck with the running rugby, moving the bigger team around and gaps were soon exposed. Again fine work by the Ross backs saw Parker sprint to the line for a fine try. This was converted by Gage to give Ross a 17 to 7 lead. With 10 minutes left, Halesowen threw every thing at Ross. Fine defence by Ian Phillips and Russ Walker stopped a fine break and more cover tackling by Sam Griffiths held the opposition at bay. The last play of the game saw Halesowen score a consolation try but with time up, Ross had secured a fine, well deserved victory of 17 points to 12.

This week's Walford Timber man of the match could have been any one of 16, but eventually, Jason Oates for his doggedness and untiring work in the loose was awarded the honour.

Next week Ross 2nd XV are home to Gloucester All Blues at the Greytree pitch. A big thanks to all the supporters who came to cheer us on in horrible conditions. Your support was very much welcomed.


Ross Rowing Club took the opportunity on Sunday to name three brand new Fillipi boats that have been purchased through the support of local businesses and Sport England.

The boats are designated for the Junior Academy and represent another important step in the development of Junior rowing in Ross. The boats are of the highest standard and are exactly the same as those used by the GB squad rowers who won Gold medals in the last Olympics. These boats have been supported by Ian Williams from WH Polymers and Jay Boaden from Midas NDT.

Ian commented, 'We are delighted to be able to support such a successful organization. It is with great pride that we now have our name associated with this equipment and the Junior Academy.' 'I have watched the progress of the club over the last few years with great interest and we are only too pleased to be able to support its continued progress,' added Jay.

The Ross club has successfully attracted many local businesses along with Sport England to support the development of its Senior and Junior fleet. This amounts now to 20 boats and many dozens of both sweep and sculling blades. In addition to this support, the club is also proudly supported by PGL who helped purchase the blades for these new boats.

Each boat was dedicated by Clive Snell, the first being a quad. It was named the Clive Snell Family in respect to the amazing support Clive has given the club, especially the Junior Academy, over many years. The double scull was named the Ian Howell. This is to honour the dedicated service Ian has given the club in helping it make such incredible progress in the last 5 years.

The single scull, much to his incredulity was named after the clubs modest Chairman, Bryn Hughes. Bryn has been associated with the club for over 30 years and has been Chairman for the last five. Bryn said, 'It is a great honour to be recognized in this way.'

This new equipment supports the pathway for the club juniors to be able to compete at the highest levels. It affords any young person in the Ross area the opportunity to aspire to the highest level possible in sport. The Junior Academy is recognized nationally as one of the best open Junior Rowing Clubs in the UK and prides itself on its adherence to the core values: to teach firstly the love of sport, then teamwork and then helping young people be the best that they can be.

Ian Williams, Bryn Hughes, Mayor John Edwards, Clive Snell, Jay Boaden and Ian Howell.

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