Author Archives: joeowhite

Cheltenham Saracens welcome back captain James McMahon to face Hucclecote

First team manager Archie Nelmes is looking forward to blowing someone cobwebs away this weekend as Cheltenham Saracens invite Gloucester Premier rivals Hucclecote to King George V.

Defeat away to Longlevens was difficult to take in their pursuit for a play-off place but Nelmes says there is plenty to take from the loss.

“We were very disappointed with the result against Longlevens two weeks ago,” Nelmes said. “As a squad we have looked into what and where we feel we came up short.
“Coaches Leroy Hughes and Billy Burns have taken those negatives and turned them into positives on the training paddock.

“It was nice to give the lads a weekend off last weekend they are now fresh and champing at the bit for this weekend’s fixture.”

And Sarries are buoyed by the return of their captain James McMahon at a key moment in their campaign.

Captain James McMahon

Captain James McMahon

“The return of skipper James McMahon will give us a real boost,” Nelmes continued. “Hywel James moves to outside centre with Jack Lawerson away working with the RFU.

Read article here

Old Centralians III’s unbeaten run ended by Cheltenham Saracens III

Cheltenham Saracens III V Old Centralians III

‘Some days you’re the dog, somedays you’re the lampost’ were the poignant words spoken by Saracens stalwart Gary Short following their last encounter with Old Centralians, having suffered a heavy defeat.

The undefeated Old Centralians arrived at the KGV to be met with wet and windy weather conditions and a Saracens 3rd team detirmined not to be ‘the lampost’ again.

Early phases of the game suggested that may be the case with Old Centralians running and recycling the ball well. That pressure resulted in an early Centralians score, which went unconverted.

The visitors continued in the same vein for much of the first half, but the Saracens defence was well organised and ruthless in order to stave off wave after wave of Centralians attack.

The second half opened with more wind and more rain making life difficult for the lineouts and for any chance of fluent running rugby. Multiple handling errors from both sides resulted in a leg sapping amount of scrummaging on a pitch which was soft under foot to say the least.

A chip through from Saracens’ Bradley Harris was defiantly chased down by second row Lloyd Arkell who’s tackle resulted in a penalty given for Centralian’s full back holding on, on the ground. The quick tap was taken by Hywel James, catching the Old C’s defence on the back foot and then out pacing the attaempt at the cover takle, to score near the posts allowing Bradley Harris a simple conversion to slot through the uprights.

Following this the Saracens defence was once again called on, rebuffing rolling mauls and strong ball carriers on there own line. Good defensive organisation coupled with dogged detirmination preventing the visitors from crossing the try line.

Saracens pressure and torrential rain contributed to a Centrailians fumble and a lose ball which was pounced on by Bradley Harris who hacked it through allowing himself to flomp on the the ball over the try line for Saracens second try. He then prompt;y stepped up to miss the conversion.

The Saracens could have had a third score late in the second half from Paul Hewitt. A Cents kick through was gathered by Hewitt deep in his own half, he the proceeded to glide through several tackles and chip over the top, continuing the chase to touch down over the line. Unfortuantley for Paul following a fantastic show of pace and skill the referee dissallowed the try as he was unable to tell for certain whether he or the covering defender was first to touch the ball down.

Final Score
Cheltenham Saracens III 12
Old Centralians III 5

I would like to be able to highlight some special perfomances , but in tough conditions every single player player was worthy of special commendation. The highlights above were not indicative of a game that was hampered by the conditions and for the most part was tough, ugly rugby. A fantastic well desereved scalp for the men of the KGV.

Billy Burns backs Cheltenham Saracens to bounce back from Longlevens defeat in Gloucester Premier


Billy Burns backing Cheltenham Saracens







Gloucester’s Billy Burns is urging Cheltenham Saracens to bounce back from their defeat away to Gloucester Premier rivals Longlevens.  The fly-half has been giving a hand coaching the King George V club this season alongside his Premiership and European commitments.

Following a set-back in their push for a second-place finish, Saracens return to action at home to Hucclecote next week after a mid-season break.

“Obviously the weekend just gone was a massive disappointment for the players and management alike,” Burns said. “We knew full well going into the game that Longlevens were a good physical side with some good pace out wide and they had what it took to cause some damage.”

“Credit to them – they stuck to their game plan and caused us problems. We couldn’t quite get ourselves back into the game.”

“As a management team, we have decided to give the guys the weekend off so we can get some good training sessions in before we head into a tough run of games.”

And Burns has been impressed by the senior team’s durability despite coming up short at Longford Lane last weekend. “The reaction from the players has been brilliant with good numbers turning up to the gym on Tuesday night and the boys hungry to right some of the wrongs from the weekend,” Burns continued.

“The boys are working hard to prove to our supporters and themselves that the weekend just gone was just a blip in what has been a fairly successful campaign so far.”

“Hopefully with the week off the guys will be fresh and raring to go when our next league game comes calling.”


Cheltenham and District Combination Cups fixtures announced

The 2016 fixtures for the Cheltenham and District Combination Cups have been announced and they are listed below:

For the Senior and Junior Cups, all evening games are due to kick-off at 6pm, with Saturday games at 3pm.


Game A: Cheltenham (Home team) vs Cheltenham Saracens (Away team)
Date: April 6

Semi Final 1 – Game B: Tewkesbury (Home team) vs Cheltenham North (Away team)
Date: April 20

Semi Final 2 – Game C: Old Patesians 2 (Home team) vs Winner of Game A (Away team)
Date: April 21

Final: Winner of B (Home team) vs Winner of C (Away team)
Date: May 7


Game A: Smiths (Home team) vs Gloucestershire Police (Away team)
Date: March 29

Game B: Old Patesians 2 (Home team) vs Cheltenham Sarcacens 2 (Away team)
Date: March 30

Game C: Cheltenham North 2 (Home team) vs Bredon (Away team)
Date: March 31

Semi Final 1 – Game D: Winner of A (Home team) vs Winner of B (Away team)
Date: April 12

Semi Final 2 – Game E: Winner of C (Home team) vs Cheltenham 2 (Away team)
Date: April 19

Final: Winner of D (Home team) vs Winner of E (Away team)
Date: May 7


Game A: Tewkesbury 2 (Home team) vs Cheltenham Saracens 3 (Away team)
Date: April 13

Semi Final 1 – Game B: Smiths 2 (Home team) vs Norton (Away team)

Date: April 27


Long battle results in defeat against longlevens

Cheltenham Saracens RFC 14
Longlevens RFC 17

Sarries travelled to Longford Lane hoping to keep track with those chasing for the play-off place.

The Sarries tried to start with speed, with charging carries from Jonah Manu, David Fitzharris and Gareth Rogers. Overall however, the match started slowly as both teams attacked and defended well, cancelling the other out, while the heavy pitch and wet conditions made things difficult. But it wasn’t long before Saracens opened the scoring, tapping over a penalty from almost in front of the posts.

Longlevens replied well however, securing a penalty in the Sarries half and using it to set phases which eventually lead to a try from the backs. The conversion was missed as the kick couldn’t reach the posts, Longlevens lead by 5 points to 3.

Saracens didn’t respond well to this set back and and eventually it was Longlevens on the score sheet again, with the forwards maul driving from the penalty lineout pushing the visitors back. This time in front of the posts the try was converted to put Longlevens 12-3 ahead.

The half turned into a midfield battle much as it had started, before a penalty by Sarries was kicked into touch. The resulting lineout saw the Sarries pack drive Longlevens over. Harris was unable to convert but Sarries saw themselves within four of the hosts at half time.

Sarries attacked well in the starting minutes of the second half, and the pressure eventually paid off. Poor discipline at the ruck saw an early Harris penalty converted to bring the visitors within a point, 12-11.

Sarries maintained their pressure and discipline and eventually took the lead through the tee of Harris again, a two point lead this time 12-14.

Longlevens managed to score a runaway try in the corner, arguably against the run of play. The conversion was missed due to the difficult angle, leaving Sarries just 3 points behind.

Sarries were unable to secure the ball following the restart which allowed Longlevens to run out the clock with forwards’ phases before knocking the ball out of play.