Author Archives: Mike Crisp

Cheltenham Saracens 4’s 12 – 20 Westbury 2’s

For the second week in a row, Cheltenham Saracens were able to put out 4 strong teams, and the 4ths travelled over Westbury on severn for a hotly anticipated fixture.On a fairly waterlogged pitch, the game started slowly, neither team willing to back down from the fierce contest between the forwards. The conditions meant that a return to “up the jumper” rugby, and with plenty of experience in the Saracens pack with Terry Beaver, Gary Short, Maurice Chapman, this suited them perfectly. Within the first 10 minutes, the Westbury pack had conceded 2 penalties in the rucks. Without a recognised 10, Saracens were unable to convert these into points. Before long, Westbury had gone over to put the score at 12 – 0 with ten minutes of the first half left. Saracens were soon able to swiftly reply, with an inspired interception from Natan Gilbert who ran the length of the pitch to go over underneath the posts.

The second half started much as the first with the the conditions leading to handling errors on both sides. Westbury converted an early penalty, and drove over in the corner to take a lead of 20-7, but still the Saracens fought on.
It was left until the last play of the game, with a well worked backs move that took the ball within 5 metres of the try line, and took a brilliant pick up from Nathan Gilbert again to double his try count and leave the final score at 20-12.Overall, the conditions helped in making this a good old fashioned forwards game of rugby, and the Saracens 4’s are beginning to come together even more to show the threat they will have in the rest of the season. There is a good mix of old experience and fresh faces willing to put their bodies on the line for the club, the trait of a true Saracen.

Writers man of the match has to go to Nathan Gilbert with his brace of tries, and outstanding tackling in the open.

Saracens III 75 – 5 Dursley III

Dursley turned up short asked to play 30 mins and that just about summed up their day.The first half was a bit scrappy but it did see 4 tries to the Sarries and one to Dursley but the second half the champagne flowed with 7 more efforts. Ten were converted 9 by Mike Crisp (who despite his years should clearly still be playing professional rugby) and one by Sam Jones.

 Try scorers, Connor Mcdaid (3), Wayne Smith (2), Rich Knight (2), Sam Jones, Mark Harris, Rob Long and Neil Francis.

Writers man of the match; Rob Long

Sarries 2s 33 v 5 Widden 2s

Sarries turned up to Widden Old Boys with a strong side, looking to keep the 100% record in the league. Disappointingly the scrum contest was nullified due to Widden unable to field a competent front row.

Sarries started brightly with plenty of ambition, however dogged Widden defence and lacklustre handling denied Sarries scores. Eventually winger Lloyd Arkell crossed after sustained pressure. The game as a whole stayed the same with Widden indiscipline not being penalized by the ref, denying Sarries the quick ball they craved.

Sarries persevered and eventually scored more tries through jj, Adrian Clarke, Rob Collins and James lebarre after 2 Widden sin bins for foul play(four conversions to latchy). Widden had a few good runs through their outstanding number 8,which led to them scoring in the final 5 mins.

All in all a win is a win, however we have room for improvement.

Man of the match was Adrian Clarke who was outstanding in defence and attack with his hard running,rewarded with a try.

Cheltenham Saracens 27- 17 Bishopston RFC

A confident Cheltenham Saracens first XV hosted Bishopston from Bristol in the fourth league match of the season. Fresh from an impressive victory away to Old Colstonians last week, the Sarries started the game looking to get the upper hand of the battle early on. However, Bishopston had different ideas. From the kick off, they came flying out the blocks and applied the pressure on the Sarries with hard running, and some ferocious hits. This pressure paid dividends when they created an effective overlap to score in the corner to make it 5-0.

This kicked the Sarries in to life and a frenetic, hard battle commenced in the midfield. Both teams were flying in to each other, with the Sarries forcing Bishopston into conceding a penalty within kicking distance. The ever growing Harris stepped up and confidently nudged it over to make the score 5-3. From the restart, Bishopston came out firing again. Through a mixture of hard running, and sloppy Sarries play, they created another overlap which was finished off well in the corner by their winger to make it 10-3 to Bishopston. The Sarries marched back up the field, and enforced a penalty, which Harris just pulled past the post to make it 10-3 at half time. In the second half, the Sarries came out firing on all cylinders, and showed the skill and passion that provided such an impressive display last week. With a combination of hard graft by the forwards, and good running by the backs, the Sarries made Bishopston concede 2 penalties in their own 22, which Harris dutifully dispatched, to make the score 10-9.

The Sarries did not let off here. With some great running from Rogers, Hanby and Fitzharris, an overlap was created for powerhouse centre Jack Lawrenson to steam down the line and give the Saracens a 14-10 lead. Straight from the kick-off, the Sarries played back in to Bisopstons half, and after good phases, flyhalf Brad Harris expertly finished off a move in the corner to make it 19-10. Bishopston looked shell shocked by the intensity that the Sarries were coming at them with and quickly conceded a penalty which points machine Harris dispatched to make it 22- 10. With 15 minutes left to go the Sarries had a lineout just outside the 22. Dove expertly took the ball and the forwards bound on to get a march on towards the whitewash. With the line in sight, Bishopston cynically brought the mall down, however from the resulting advantage, fullback Sam RImmer exploded round the outside of the Bishopston defence to dive over in the corner. Saracens 27- Bishopston 10.

With 5 minutes to go, The Bishopston flyhalf took a quick tap penalty and offloaded to the centre for a consolation try. Final score Cheltenham Saracens 27- Bishopston 17.

Man of the match was a close run thing between Gareth Rogers and Wayne Smallman, however, for the passion and skill he showed for the whole 80 minutes, Wayne gets the award.

VJW Contractors Sponsor Brockworth match

We are pleased to announce that VJW Contractors (Ben Wilsdon) will be sponsoring Sarries v Brockworth on 27th October. It is great that local companies are choosing to be involved with Saracens.

Please show your appreciation and come a support the boys on the day and take a moment to have a look at their website ( or drop them a line if you need to discuss any work.

Phone: 01242 260 618