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Townsend stars in Cheltenham Saracens’ home win over Stroud

Cheltenham Saracens II 66 Stroud II 12

5mar2c Jake Michael Townsend bagged over half of Cheltenham Saracens’ points following a 36-point haul. The man-of-the-match grabbed a hat-trick of tries plus booted a penalty and nine conversions.


Stroud Seconds returned to league action at Cheltenham Saracens in a game to relish having enjoyed some close and hard-fought battles over the last few seasons.

5mar2bWith Stroud edging the double on Saracens last season and the home side looking to avenge this with a resolute win at Stroud, they were now prowling the KGV stronghold for the home win double.

Sarries – like Stroud – were slightly depleted of regular second team players, but players from both clubs stepped up to the mark and adorned their respective jerseys.

5mar2aSarries recognised early in the game that to get into strong arm tactics with Stroud’s big and experienced pack would only end in failure, so at every opportunity they pushed the ball from touchline to touchline stretching the big Stroud forwards and asking every defensive question of the Stroud back line including the evergreen and historically outstanding Adam Tarplee at 13 – who used every bit of nouse and brawn to lead the tackle line. But the constant pace and precision passing was just too often and accurate for Stroud to deal with.

Connor Anderson – on his return game – bagged a brace with his second involving running in, out and around pretty much the whole of the visitors’ back line. Chris Davies – on the opposite wing to Anderson – powered himself across the whitewash with some fine running throughout and acknowledged the wide and expansive game Sarries were playing with such effect.

The pick of the forwards was captain Craig Roberts, who was explosive and powerful all game with excellent leadership shown.

Liam Cooper at seven was a close call for Man of the Match with two tries to his name and an outstanding display of work rate and energy and is surely one to watch out for.

But this week’s Man of the Match must go to Townsend who was playing directly opposite Stroud legend Tarplee.

Full newspaper write up here

3rds narrowly beaten by Hill

Cheltenham Saracens 3rd xv 14-Coney Hill 17

Following news of Coney Hills 1st team fixture being called off Saracens feared the worst and their fears confirmed when very few familiar faces from their previous encounter were there.Dan

Not to be put off it was Saracens who won the early battles equal to everything hill had to offer. Numerous tackles made by the back row trio of Simon Betteridge, Luke Brown and Matty Williams led to frustration of hill who were unable to make any yards. Through clever kicking by Mark Vaughan and hard powerful running by Liam Cooper, the Saracens found them camped in the hill 22. A clever quick tap by Neal Francis and an offload Willto Cooper allowed the debutant to score between the posts. Converted 7-0 Saracens. This seemingly kicked started hill who through their powerful backs notched a score up of their own. Converted 7-7.

It was the Saracens who were to have the final laugh of the first half. A clever tap penalty by scrum half Francis in the Saracens 22 enabled winger Chris Davies to complete a 60 metre run to put the home team ahead at half time. 14-7.

Half time saw Coney Hill use their 10 man bench to full effect adding more suspect looking 3rd team players to the fold.Neal

It was Coney Hill who made the first impact scoring a quick tap and go penalty on the Saracens 5 metre line and, with the conversion, leveled the scores at 14-14. The second half saw much like the first a true physical affair with both teams making punishing runs and hard tackles.

It was the final play of the game that saw hill go ahead for the first time. Following an infringement by Saracens at the breakdown on the Saracens 22, the ref didn’t see a deliberate stamp to the head by the hill 9 and, as a consequence, unable to overturn the penalty. Hill kicked and final score 17-14 coney hill.

Unbelievable performance by a true 3rd team against tough opposition. Although a true team performance, stand out man of the match goes to debutant Liam Cooper.

Sarries IIs triumph over Evesham in friendly

Sarries 2’s-12,Evesham 2’s-5

Due to Hucclecote pulling out of the merit table,sarries were matched against Evesham in a friendly at KGV.

With a lot of changes due to players being unavailable or having slight Knocks from the previous week,the sarries took to the field led by the Peter Pan of rugby Peter lodge with a bare 15 with the help of the ever helpful 3rd team management releasing players to plug the gaps left by the players not available.Lodgey
From the outset the signs looked good with the backline making inroads after a tense first 5 minutes.The only mistakes being made were erratic kicking from hand into the wind allowing Evesham to return with interest.

The first score came from the sarries after a sweeping move from right to left allowed Jake Townsend to touch down after good work from James Barrett……conversion missed…5-0 sarries. The game then turned into a bit of a bunfight between the 22’s with neither side giving quarter. Evesham used their powerful scrum to good effect,allowing the 10 to gain good field position for a lineout which led to an Evesham try.

5-5 halftime

After stern wise words from the skipper and senior players sarries turned round with the wind at their backs. The second half was much the same as the first apart from the scrums…sarries somehow clicked andRun the scrum wasn’t an issue any longer as they secured decent ball to allow the backs to gain yards. A scrum on the Evesham line was decisive.A solid platform allowed Junior McDaid to power over for the score with Jake Townsend adding the extras…12-5 sarries.

The game finished by mutual consent due to a serious injury to Harry Lodge and the Evesham skipper with bad cramp.

All in all a much improved performance from the previous week with our backs to the wall and no replacements against a side who were wellTackle drilled and physical and, in the writers opinion, better than last weeks opponents.

As ever Pete lodge was at the forefront of everything, James Barrett the pick of a good backline. Special mention to Sean bissett who, playing prop for the first time in a long time, held his own and was excellent in the loose. Also our new international player Gabriel Kim who stepped up and performed well.

Cheltenham Saracens net comprehensive victory over Hucclecote

Cheltenham Saracens 30
Hucclecote 10

After a weekend off, Sarries took to the pitch in less than ideal conditions against a Hucclecote side struggling for away form.

The game started slow with Hucclecote pegging back the hosts in their own half and eventually the pressure handed Hucclecote a penalty, converted in front of the posts.


Brad Harris

Sarries responded immediately, as their dominant pack crushed Hucclecote at the scrum which allowed fullback Chris Plumb to hit the gap and offload to winger Will Hewer who’s speed proved too much for the visitor’s scrambling defence. Harris’ kick was unsuccessful, sailing just wide.

Hucclecote managed to claw their way back in front with a try in the corner after the home defence was caught lacking. The conversion was slotted well from a tight angle.

Sarries again responded by raising their game and piled on the pressure of their own, eventually gaining a lineout inside the Hucclecote 22m area. A Sarries maul made a lot of yardage but was stopped just short of the line. Eventually it was strong, tighthead prop Dave Fitzharris who picked up from the ruck and battered his way over. The kick was not converted, leaving the score at 10-10.

Sarries saw themselves go ahead again with the last play of the first half, as they again annihilated the visitors allowing fly-half Brad Harris to slip through the defence and touch down. He kept his cool to convert, putting the hosts 17-10 at the break.

The second half saw the Sarries start well again as they dispatched a penalty to extend the gap.

It wasn’t long until they found themselves adding to their lead as Hucclecote couldn’t deal with the Sarries forwards and a rolling maul allowed Josh Wright to trundle over for an unconverted try, giving Sarries a 25-10 lead.

Hucclecote took advantage as the match got scrappy but a monster tackle from lock Gareth Rogers put an end to any forward momentum they had built.

Shortly after, Rogers and the rest of the forwards dominated again, as a Sarries tap penalty lead to the forwards dictating phases. This strong platform allowed good ball for the backs as Hewer again was able to step on the gas and storm over in the corner. The conversion, the last play of the match, was just wide as Sarries ran in 30-10 winners

Newspaper article here

2nd XV suffer home defeat to Coney Hill

Billed as the biggest game of the season the contest did not live up to the hype. The weather and marshalling of the day did nothing to help this scrappy affair.

Sarries II could not build on their dominance of the scrum offensively and defensively offering an ideal platform but lacked foresight and conviction in their attacks. Hill offered little themselves in attack but their outstanding 10 controlled the game with his mercurial boot spinning and turning the Sarries back line time and again.

All the points were scored in the first half with Hill running in a touch line try converted and penalty and Saracens notching a penalty on the close of the half.

Lloyd Arkell was excellent off the bench embracing his new found second row position. Peter Lodge was man of the match for his tireless work rate

Saracens 2nds 3 Coney Hill 2nds 10

Newspaper article here