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24th November 2010 SPORTING NEWS FROM ROSS-ON-WYE.....................
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RUGBY - SOUTHMEAD 17, ROSS 1ST XV 10

Another committed performance from Ross may not have been enough to snatch victory from Southmead last Saturday but they emerged with another bonus point that may prove crucial come the end of the season.

The first half of the game was dominated by the referee's whistle. Some strange interpretation of the laws at the breakdown frustrated both teams, however it was Ross that fell foul of the ref's whistle and Southmead were able to establish territory deep in the Ross half as a result. As the penalties mounted so did the opportunities for shots at goal by the Southmead ten. He did miss two, but three successful penalties saw them into half time 9-0 ahead.

After a stop start first half dominated by the whistle, the second half proved more productive for Ross. They cut out the penalties and as a result were able to retain possession. They looked to move the ball and some strong early running from Josh Morgan and Mike Chandler gave Ross the confidence they were searching for and soon after they opened their account.

Some strong tackling from Lee Cleaver and Matt Redman saw the ball go loose. Gavin Oates was the first to react. Moving the ball quickly through the hands to Centre Chay Brine, he accelerated through a gap in mid field before outpacing both the Winger and fullback to score. The conversion just went wide but Ross were back in the game 9-5 down.

Ross needed to control possession and territory and the next score would have been theirs, however, two unsavoury stampings on the head saw Ross lose Jake Christopher and Alistair Rees to head wounds. This disruption let Southmead into the game and a penalty and try in quick succession saw them take a 17-5 lead with 10 minutes to go. Ross did fight back with fly half, Gareth Holdsworth scoring in the dying minutes to secure Ross a losing bonus point.

The Walford Timber man of the match was Mike Chandler for some thunderous tackling around the rucks.

Next Saturday, 27th November Ross 1st XV will be in Birmingham, playing in the North Midlands Cup. Ross 2nd XV will be in league action at home against Upton-on- Severn. Kick off is at 2.15pm.

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