Ross on Wye 44 Berry Hill 17
Ross’s season just seems to get better and better. After an unbeaten league campaign Ross added the Forest of Dean combination cup last Saturday with a hard fought 44-17 win over Berry Hill. Ross hosted the final, the pitch looked immaculate and the sun shone, it was set for a great match.
Ross opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a Thai Hayward penalty, but Berry hill hit back after 25 minutes with the games opening try taking them 5-3 ahead. Up to this point the encounter had been evenly contested with Berry hill looking to take advantage of their bigger pack and Ross looking to keep the ball in play and moving. Ten minutes to the break the Berry Hill No 10 got a yellow card and Ross took full advantage of their numerical difference, a sustained attack saw them deep in the Berry Hill twenty two with Alex Davies nearly broke clear but was dragged down within ten yards of the line but quick play sent the ball through three pairs of hands and Matt King cruised over to score taking Ross 8-5 ahead.
From the kick off, second row Chris Price rose to collect the ball, his pass sent Gavin Oates deep into the berry hill defence and from the ensuing ruck scrum-half Ben Element dummied a pass that opened up a gap and in a blink of an eye he was through and clear. As the berry hill defence scampered back he had the presence of mind to see his winger Marcus Barnard wide out on the right and his precise grubber kick was collected by Marcus who touched down to score taking Ross 13-3 clear at the break.
Ross took that momentum into the second half and scores from captain Casey Morgan after he took a quick penalty before the Berry Hill defence could set and the Gavin Oates took them 25-5 clear as the game entered the final quarter. Berry Hill hit back with a score of their own to bring the score back to 25-12, but Ross then scored the try of the match, after the Ross pack delivered good ball to the back of the scrum, Ross moved the ball left expertly through the hands of AJ, Dan Field and Thai Hayward who delivered a well timed pass to winger Alex Davies who got outside his winger and accelerated down the touchline, as the Berry Hill fullback closed in to make the tackle he delivered a perfect pass to his fellow winger Marcus Barnard who cruised over to score. Thai Hayward converted and Ross were 32-12 ahead.
Ross were now in complete control and increased their lead within 5 minutes after some great ball carrying by Josh Walker and Josh Element got them to within a yard of the line, scrum half Ben Element dived over the top of the ruck to score.
As the game entered the last 5 minutes Ross added another score again after a solid scrum in the Berry Hill twenty two, Ben moved the ball to AJ who cut inside his marker and offloaded in the tackle to centre Dan Field who crashed over to score putting Ross 44-12 ahead.
Berry Hill added a late try but this was Ross’s day in the sun and they secured their second Combination cup in three years. The forest combination man of the match was Ben Element.
Marcus Barnard 2
Thai Hayward 2
Matt King 1
Thai Hayward 1