3rd XV v Berry Hill 8th Feb 2014

On a day that was nothing short of atrocious and an international on the tele the fact that this third team game was played was no small feat.

The game started with the Sarries playing up hill into the gale. Somehow they managed to put some consistent phases together and strong runs Kierran White, Peter Lodge and Samuel Andrew Jones forced the Hill defence back and from a ruck close to the line Paul Crombie forced his way over.

Hill hit back and started to use the elements but tenacious tackling kept them at bay. Until at last there out side half kicked a penalty from inside his own half a rarely seen thing in any level of rugby.

Sarries again hit back and drove hard up the hill but a breakdown saw Hill sweep away to score through their classy centre.

Halftime arrived but no real break was taken as the agreement was to get on with the game.

The cold was now incredible and any passing movements were challenging to say the least. The game went into stalemate but eventually former Norwegian international player Andrei Hangar crashed over for the Sarries the kick was converted by Mark Vaughn. 12-8 to the Sarries two minutes left.

But credit to the Hill they raised one more effort and smashed their way up hill, helped by a couple of crucial decisions they forced a five metre scrum from which their excellent no 8 crashed over on the final whistle to win the game.

Credit to both clubs to put two genuine third teams out unlike others who use such days where lots of games are cancelled to plays Squad XVs.

Berry Hill were the winners but the real winners were the 30 plus blokes who kept grass roots rugby alive. All my men of the match

Final score Berry Hill III 13 Cheltenham Saracens III 12

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