Author Archives: joeowhite

U15s bounce back

The big grudge match – Cheltenham Tigers away and our boys bounced back from last weeks cup disappointment with an all round display of Defence, Attack, and Discipline.

Defence – The boys showed some great resilience and guts when confronted with some big aggressive units running straight at them. The whole first half we seemed to be defending in and around our 22 and ten yard line. But still not much yardage was gained by their bullish pack who in fairness gave our makeshift and rearranged scrum a bit of resistance. Still we won a few against the ahead and lineouts went according to plan bar one going begging on their try line. In fairness, the strong wind had alot to do with this and it also explained why we were camped in our own half for prolonged periods in the first thirty minutes. Still playing this number of opposition (…) the boys carried on and didn’t drop their resolve for an instant. It was a breath of fresh air as the line held, and held, and held; until we regained the ball only to be pinged on countless occasions for what, I’m still not sure?

Attack – Although in the first half we barely got out of our half, we still looked dangerous on a few occasions and might a couple of dropped passes gone to hand we could have gone in at the half by a couple of tries up. As it was, we were only 5 points down and everyone would have settled for that at the beginning (and during..) as the turn saw the wind on our backs and the wind in our sails (soon, wait for it)..
We subsequently pushed them back in the scums and pummelled the rucks with some great hits leaving lots of space for the backs to use their dancing shoes and run in some points. The first try however was a good forward move that lead to Ryan crashing over (who still had a lot to do) but with a little help from some friends was awarded the score.
With a Keano conversion the lead was ours and never given back at 5-7.

Then the twinkle toes fly half himself went over for a 7 pointer with a lovely cut back inside on a recycled move. A much deserved score as he a had a man of the match performance with solid distribution, vision and guile.

Then as sure as the forwards got on the flood tide the backs benefitted with clean quick ball and and day-skipper Joel Birchy, sailed down the wing and got a nice score in the corner to make the score a little more ship shape and respectable.
See what I did there..

But the backs weren’t settling for that and although more tries could (& should … Mr Birchmore!) have been run in , Joe took umbrage at the refs poor eyesight and ran around a few flat footed Tiggers to score near the fifteen yard line, which Keane kicked to take the score to a decent and deserved number.

Discipline – Now a lot is spoke about this topic in and around rugby and to understand it you need to be on the pitch and not just watching from the side lines with your shed goggles on (current company guilty!) But the boys showed restraint beyond their years even though the coaches were spitting feathers at some of the decisions unfolding. To a lad there was no dissent or back chat and that there in the end is why we won the game and not only because we scored more points than them.
Big pat on the back fellas and I’m sorry if you heard me lose it.

Incidentals /parish notices- Injuries suffered to : Daubs (broke it again, that’s just careless!), Budge (you’re a trooper), Toby (cracking hits mate) Harvey (in the wars & dropped from a great height – well not that high.. but on your head ouch!) everyone with the usual bruises and gashes – you all played in a derby and you know it.
Fred, Harry, Aiden, Joel F, Birchy, Joe, Jaden, Jude, Keane, Harvey, Luca, Tobes, Daubs,Leo, Blessing, Ryan,Budge,Charlie,Growler, Adam, Sam, Tom
Thanks to Noah, Lanners, Will Green and the everyone who came to watch. The turn out in their club house was excellent and the smartest we’ve been- complemented on by them too.

And, by the way, we’ll have those bragging rights, thank you very much!

Tigers 5- 26 Sarries pups

Pups struggle in first cup match

The CC game v Dings Crusaders earlier today really put the pups to the sword.

In a match that promised much, it delivered very little in the way of a result and a performance.

It could have been all so different if early scoring chances hadn’t been squandered – with a couple of 5mtr line-outs being butchered and a short of the line drive wasted, which normally are bread and butter any other time. If we’d capitalised early on then it could have been a different story as even after letting in a couple of soft tries we still had lots of possession and attacking yardage.

Then came the madness from team indiscipline that undid us. With penalty after penalty giving the opposition un-earned ball, and yet every time we won it back, the refs arm went up and we were retreating ten again, and again.

From these plays we started ball-watching, and our shape and defence went south. Three, four and even 5 man overlaps were starting to define a poor defensive show that we didn’t seem to want to correct.

Infact, I can’t remember when we last gave the opposition this much room, with space galore, tries started going in left right and centre.

The drop outs, however were greatly contested with either Blessing, Leo, Charlie or Toby coming away with the ball. However, unusually poor contact technique often made stripping our normally safe players easy with turnovers aplenty. It was like a stuck record – just as we got momentum we gave the ball away.

Still the boys defended well in the tight and Adam, Tank, and Noah were tackling fantastically and clearing out rucks like their lives depended on it.

Growler, Budge, Harvey, Aiden and Keane all had snipe attempts thwarted and it was becoming apparent that this ‘newly formed’ team were no slouches. They had great defence and speed, but in attack they ran straight, shipped the ball out, and supported which inevitably meant tries. Credit to their coaches who later told us they had formed this season from Cleve and Frampton Cotterel and it was all becoming apparent these cherry picked players were possibly one of the best teams the pups had faced in a long time.

With injuries galore, before, during (and after … get well soon Skip) we had players out of position and changing throughout the match constantly.

Losing Keane late on meant that another re-shuffle was called for and Joe, who had been closed down tight at 12, then moved to 10 and Growler left the warmth of the forwards to end up at centre with Aiden (and then Joe again..). Although we pressed again, the aforementioned lads had good darting runs, but this Bristol lot weren’t giving much away and their jackling was fantastic; with NOT GETTING ISOLATED a key item to be worked on this Thursday.

Our consolation came in a line clearance kick which bounced high and Joe was there with a leap and 65metre charge to score a good solo try. Other notable positives were Harry, JoelF, Fred (injured 1st half) all played decently as did Leo Daubs, Jaden & ‘yo-yo’ new man Luca who was on and off more times than we could count… but he got to play his favoured 9 eventually (and didn’t disgrace himself ), with Harvey slotting in nicely at back row (because he plays like one!).

But, alas there was no stopping this Bristol team as they were just too good (…today)

Onwards and upwards –
Today the lamppost.
Tomorrow the dog!

Sarries 10 – 34 Dings

Cheltenham Saracens chairman Jimmy O’Shea says Gloucester Premier will be so tough this season

JimmyCheltenham Saracens are no longer the new kids on the block.

For many years one of the lower ranked teams in the town, they have now established themselves in the top three behind Old Patesians and Cheltenham, with many of their supporters believing they have power to add.

Double success in the end-of-season Cheltenham Combination cup finals only added to the optimism that is currently pervading King George V as they prepare for their fourth season in the rarified heights of Gloucester Premier.

But amid all the hope and expectation, chairman Jimmy O’Shea has warned that they have a tough season ahead.

“I think this will be our hardest season since we got into Gloucester Premier,” said O’Shea. “Look at the teams who have come up – Spartans and Gloucester Old Boys – it’s going to be very competitive.

“And then there’s the two clubs who have come down – Whitehall and Cirencester – they’ll both be strong as well.

“We’d love to go for promotion this season but you have to realise that a lot of teams can go up very quickly and then come down very quickly. We don’t want that happening to us.”

Not that O’Shea is expecting the club to struggle this season. He is delighted that Gloucester duo Billy Burns and Jacob Rowan will continue to coach at the club and is pleased to report that nearly all of the players who made last season such a success are still with the club.

O’Shea himself is a Saracen through and through after joining the club way back in 1982.

A back row forward who captained both the 1st and 2nd XVs, he is about to embark on his fifth season as chairman of the go-ahead club.

“We’ve got a good committee and everyone is on an even keel. We don’t pay players but they’re all happy here and we work hard to make sure that continues to be the case,” he said.

O’Shea may be urging caution but there’s a feelgood factor that could take Saracens a long way this season.

Original post int The Local Answer can be found here.

Cheltenham Saracens need to be ‘taken seriously’ after double Combination Cup win

Cheltenham Saracens’ double win in the Cheltenham Combination Cup has proved that they are a team to be ‘taken seriously’. Saracens have risen through the leagues in recent years have won five trophies in the last four seasons including the Junior and Senior Combination Cup titles this season.

Cheltenham-Saracens-celebrate-their-double-cup-winIt leaves the club as the most successful in Cheltenham this season in terms of silverware.

Jimmy O’Shea, of Cheltenham Saracens, said: “It shows that we have put a stamp in the town that we are a team to be taken seriously now. “It was one of the best and biggest days that we have had at the club for some time. It shows that as a club we are moving in the right direction and the hard work is paying dividends.”

Cheltenham-Saracens-celebrateThe Senior Cup was claimed as Saracens beat Old Pats Seconds 39-29. In the Junior Cup, Saracens fought back from 13-0 to beat Bredon Star 14-13 in a grandstand finish at Cheltenham North.

O’Shea added: “With Bredon so far ahead with about ten minutes to go, I wondered if it was just one of those days. To win like that with two late tries was amazing and there was a real buzz among the Seconds because they have had a fantastic season.”

Saracens are aiming to have a third team to enter into the Combination Cup next season and could compete in all three tiers of the competition.

Bust“It is a fantastic time for the club at the moment,” said O’Shea. “We have come a long way over the last few seasons and had a few promotions. The Combination Cup is a competition that means a lot to us and we put a good deal of emphasis on it. To be so successful in the Combination Cup this season is great for the whole club.”

To see the original article Click Here

U14s successful in County Cup qualifier

2016/2017 Gloucestershire County Cup
Pool 5
Round 2

Stroud u14- 0
Cheltenham Saracens u14- 57

Remember Remember the 6th of November!
This was the day that the Sarries Pups put on a display!

We travelled to Dudbridge Hill to face an unknown entity in Stroud so the plan was simple, stop them scoring and we’d only need 1 score to win the tie. The boys certainly did that!

The early stages were evenly contested up until Kian picked the ball up and went on one of his great runs beating the Stroud boys with quick feet and pace, eventually halted in their 22 where he popped the ball to our own rocket Joe who went over for the opening score on 2 minutes, Keane added the extras. 0-7.
5 minutes later and Joe was over again in the corner, this time unconverted. 0-12.
Some resolute defence and tackling in midfield by the back row trio of Adam, Alex and Noah made sure the Stroud half backs weren’t able to get too far with their sniping from breakdowns, combined with big hits from Charlie and a last ditch tackle by Harry kept out the boys in blue and white. With our defensive shape looking a little lost we needed to get hold of the ball and that’s exactly what Kian did on 17 minutes, he lit up the game and got the crowd gasping with another fantastic run from inside his own half, taking on and beating defender after defender, turning them inside out. He was eventually caught about 10 metres from the posts, once more the Sarries support was on hand to retain possession and with Fred supplying Keane onto Joel to allow Joe to go over in the corner for an unconverted try. 0-17.

Our forwards were doing a great job against a bigger pack with Ryan and Leo fronting up with Sam and Charlie assisting from the engine room, this helped Thomas to take a couple against the head, which was a brilliant effort especially as his opposite number was already hooking before the ball was anywhere near the tunnel.

A period of loose play and handling errors by both sides interrupted a day of running rugby, when our own George North stopped a Stroud player in his tracks and virtually picked him up and ran him back towards his own line, Charlie and the back row turned the ball over, presented it to Fred who let it go into the hands of the backs, straight down the line to Taylor who was over next to the flag in the left hand corner but was to be denied by an earlier infringement that nobody knew about due to the referee’s whistle being a damp squib.

Fast forward a couple of minutes and with a slight bit of indecision from a set piece near the 5 metre line nearly stopped a score but the ball again found its way to Joe who ran round under the sticks for a converted try to end the half.
HT- 0-24

The second half saw the return of Mr.T who had been out for a few weeks with a hand injury, he replaced Leo and slotted into the front row as if he hadn’t been away, also the smiling Jaden came on for Taylor who picked up a slight knock.
10 minutes into play and our very own human wrecking ball (Charlie Maker) went on a trade mark marauding run, leaving Stroud defenders trailing in his wake, after about 40 metres past the gain line he was eventually stopped and let the backs have a run, with more great handling and territory gained the ball was picked by Thomas and with a defender or 2 to beat he touched down right next to the left hand upright to make it an easy kick for Keane. 0-31.

Just 3 minutes later and a jinking run by full back Harry, piercing the defence to allow Joel to cross in the corner for an unconverted try. 0-36.

Now the gaps were appearing and getting bigger for the dominant Sarries attack so this was the perfect time to introduce Harvey back from his 2 month absence with a rib injury, he took over from the very impressive Fred at scrum half who took his place at full back with Harry going into the centre.

The final 5 minutes saw 3 more Sarries tries from Joe, Joel and Fred. All were successfully converted to give the boys from KGV a 0-57 win!

I would like to say that even though the Sarries notched up a large score, Stroud never gave up and should be commended for their attitude up to the final whistle!

That said, our boys were very good today with another shut out that pleased the coaches above all.

Every single Cheltenham Saracen u14 deserves a pat on the back for their performance which made the decision for MOM too difficult to give to just 1 player so the accolade this week goes to Fred and Charlie who have set themselves high standards and really raised their game this season.

A big mention goes to Jason Robinson sorry, Kian and obviously Joe with his 5 tries!