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2nds fall at Coney Hill

Coney Hill II 20,Sarries II 6

Sarries arrived with high hopes for this friendly, despite a much changed side than selected due to unavailability.

Deja vu was prevalent as the same official for the game had presided over last weeks fixture vs Chosen Hill. It was also the same for the way the game transpired.

A hard physical encounter as expected in which both sides bashed away at the defence to no avail…scoring opportunities were at a premium with a penalty each being the outcome of the first half.

The second half was more of the same with the Sarries forwards completely dominant in the scrums and on a par in the loose and lineout.The battle was in the backs with the Coney Hill 10 being instrumental, pinning Sarries back with positional kicks and running play,however the doggedness of the Sarries backs held out bar one bounce of the ball from one such kick pressurising Carl Stevenson to infringe whilst chasing back with the opposition winger and fullback, which the ref deemed worthy to award a penalty try…much to Stevensons dismay.

Sarries were the masters of their own undoing,the same scenario as last weeks game ensued with sarries frustration at the confusing manner in which the ref was officiating the contest leading to penalty after penalty giving hill momentum.
With a lineout in which the ref allowed Hill to yo yo players in and out, Sarries were caught napping as Hill suddenly threw the ball in and set up a driving maul to allow their impressive 8 to score.

A penalty for each side left the score at 20-6 to the home side at full time…a score line which seems to flatter the winning side as it was a very close game with Sarries finally applying pressure on the Hill line in the last 15 minutes but with no prize.

A superb scrummaging performance and decent loose play by a much juggled pack with 2 former backs in the second row and makeshift jumpers in the line-out who performed well.

The backs defended well and met a brick wall when attacking despite all efforts.much to applaud but still lots to work on…especially mental strength when dealing with officials and the way they officiate.

Highlights were the leadership skills from Damien Frieli and Junior Mcdaid, and James Connolly for becoming the shortest second row in the clubs history, and a solid performance in defence by all members of the squad.

Writers MOM is Chris Windley playing 6…..consistently a nuisance at the breakdown, good line-outs despite only just taking on the role, and tenacious in defence.

Emphatic win for 3rds at Chosen Hill

Chosen Hill III 0 – 33  Cheltenham Saracens III

Saracens third string made the short trip to local rivals Chosen Hill, to play what has become a rare beast in this day and age, a genuine third team match.

The game kicked off in very muddy conditions, with the Chosen gnarly old towards taking a stranglehold on the early skirmishes. But try as the may they didn’t quite have the key to the Sarries try line, with pressure all but soaked up the Cheltenham side began to turn tables and a powerful run from their centre Chris True saw the rugby league convert crash over for a five pointer, converted by out half Matt Mudway.

Sarries had now grasped that all their aces were in their back line and a flowing move sparked by Mudway saw the power house that is Matty Williams crash over for the first of his three tries, once again Mudway slotted the extras.

Half time 14-0 to the Sarries.

The second half saw the Hill boys once again press forward but again the Sarries put in a good defensive shift with thumping tackles raining in from True, Jay Marriott and all the boys in the back row.

Chosen gave everything but as they tired the Sarries began to snaffle more and more ball and again it was Williams who brushed off several would be tacklers to score his second.

Then came the try of the match, flanker Andy Lewis wrestled the ball free from a Chosen player, he set off down the touch line, when tackled he off loaded the ball on to the supporting Mark Harris, he flicked it to Martyn Prossor who spun the ball out to Mudway, Mudway drew the Hill’s defence and put returning skipper Paul Grayson away to gallop home from forty yards, Mudway added the conversion.

With the game over it was just left for Williams to complete his hatrick.

Excellent game of rugby played in heavy conditions.

Writers MoM, Matt Williams

2nds slip up against Chosen Hill

Saracens 2’s-8,chosen hill 2’s-15

On a cold crisp day sarries took to the field against a Chosen Hill XV known to be difficult opponents.Confidence was high after a Stellar performance in the terrible conditions of last week and a strong looking squad.

The first half was an arm wrestle with both sides applying pressure but failing to capitalise on any opportunity given.The physicality of the game was at a premium throughout the match with forwards and backs matching each other blow for blow,the boiling point was eventually reached just before half time when the influential chosen no.8 was sin binned for striking an opponent.
This loss of a man allowed sarries a chink of light in the hill armour as they finally made headway and slotted 3 points courtesy of Jake Townsend…halftime Sarries 3-0 up.Scouse

The second half saw Sarries lose composure and allow the hill forwards along with some decisions by the official to start to pressure the home team mentally and physically. The big boot of the hill 10 pinned sarries in the 22 and with numerous attempts to clear the line either blocked or failing to find touch the pressure ramped up. This eventually told as Chosen scored but failed to gain the conversion.

The visitors did the same for the majority of the second half as did the Sarries who were struggling to gain any offensive foothold. Chosen Hill scored again through a well worked maul from their impressive line-out…conversion gained…15-3 to Hill. Sarries were struggling to gain any control on the game as mistakes were made,letting Hill off the hook and letting them apply pressure time and time again.

RichThese mistakes were compounded with the loss of 3 key players due to injury and a player to the sin bin as tempers and frustration mounted. Finally with 2 mins to go something clicked,a neat cross kick from Connor McDaid found Will Hewer on the left who gathered impressively, beat 3 defenders and scurried over…conversion missed,15-8.

Twenty seconds left and sarries threw caution to the wind as they had to….the handling and composure which was lacking earlier finally came together as Dom Richardson broke from swift hands and scampered down the wing…however he didn’t notice will hewer in space on his left and was eventually bundled into touch for the final whistle.

Sarries loss,8-15

Plaudits must be given to Chosen Hill who played their game plan well and frustrated Sarries throughout the game.

The shining light and MOM goes to Will Hewer who defended well, made metres forward and took his try superbly.

Read newspaper article here

Boss Paul Grayson left smiling after 3rds beat Bredon Star 2s

Cheltenham Saracens III 24 Bredon Star II 16

Cheltenham Saracens III were slow out of the blocks in the cold conditions, allowing Bredon to set up phases before bagging an early try after attacking down the blindside. The conversion, however, was not on target and shortly after the restart, Bredon won a penalty at a ruck in the Sarries half and the kick was converted as the visitors extended their lead to 8-0.Harris

Bredon’s second try was scored following a break away after the referee resisted calls of a forward pass, and awarded the try, but the angle proved too much and the conversion was wide, for 13-0.



 Sarries started their comeback after settling down and their first try came from lock Kristian Williams. After Saracens forced phases towards the Bredon line, the colossal lock rampaged over from close range. The conversion was charged down, and Sarries made do with only the five points, and a 13-5 half-time deficit.

Bredon struck again shortly in the second half with a penalty from in front of the posts, but it did not take Sarries long to grab another five points from a scrum. A good drive gave the backs a good platform and some good passing allowed Jay Marriott to cross the whitewash after hitting the hole in the defence. The conversion was spot on and Sarries closed the gap to 13-10.Coops

With Bredon on the back foot, fly-half Matt Mudway took the opportunity to put Saracens ahead. A storming run by winger Matt Williams saw him cross the line, only to be held up. The resulting scrum saw Saracens drive the visitors over the whitewash allowing the wily veteran to pop up and glide over. The conversion was missed, but Saracens looked confident.

It was Mudway again who had an influential hand in Sarries’ final try after a good break and offload to Andrei Hanger saw Sarries gobble up yards deep in the Bredon half, before Adie Clarke rumbled over to seal the win. Mudway added the extra two from the tee to put Saracens 24-16 up.

The match ended with Saracens running down the clock and walking away with a result and second-half performance which left manager Paul Grayson grinning from ear to ear.

Read newspaper article here

Cheltenham Saracens II enjoy victory at Berry Hill II

Berry Hill 2nds 5 Cheltenham Saracens 2nds 31

It’s great to hear a mutual perspective and huge compliment about your side and this is exactly what we got from the games referee who was incredibly impressed with the discipline, handling and game management in what can only be described as Armageddon weather conditions by visitors Cheltenham Saracens RFC 2nds.

Sarries took the game straight to the hosts and dismissed the conditions and fully backed their ability to play expansive rugby and the combination of power player Craig Hopson and graceful glider Ed Hampshire in the centres were to be a thorn in the Hill defence all afternoon. With both making inroads behind Hills backline it was only a matter of time before a score was recorded and it was to be Hampshire to grab himself a brace on both occasions ghosting past tacklers fun fun. The forwards were to have the next scores bragging rights and after an excellent maul Junior McDaid peeled from the back to flop over from 2 yards out.

There’s an ingrained die hard attitude in the forest and no clubs rollover and allow you to to sit on a scoreline or let you think you have the league points in the bag. You simply have to play for the full 80 minutes and not take your foot off the gas. Berry Hill came back as hard as the driven hailstoned rain but Sarries were as equal in defence as they were attack closing out Hill time and again leaving the home side going nowhere and eventually kicking possession away time and again. Sarries countered hard at every chance but we’re found slightly wanting at the whitewash eiether from last ditch tackles or knockons from now freezing hands. After another set piece catch and drive maul the visitors drove hill back over their line and the burly replacement centre Damien Frieli adding his weight to the maul dotted down for Sarries bonus point try. With minutes to go hill were to run in a late consolation try for their work rate and home pride. Jake Townsend put in a 100% kicking day converting all Four tries and a penalty from all angles and distances incredible in the conditions final score Berry Hill 5 Chelt Saracens 31.

Players of note yesterday the half back pairing of Louis Gilbert and Paul Hewitt who were instrumental all game technically smart and physical giving. Skipper John Welsh powerful leader. The centre partnership as mentioned earlier C Hopson and hampshire. Wayne Hobson a dogged and industrious outing but coaches MOM must go to Dean Hobbs……everywhere.

Read newspaper article here