Cheltenham Saracens far too strong for Tewkesbury

Cheltenham Saracens 54 Tewkesbury 17

The early stages saw both teams sizing each other up and it became a midfield battle with good attack and defence from both sets of teams.

Eventually the deadlock was broken as Number Eight James McMahon picked from the back of a scrum and offloaded to scrum-half Kyle Thomas who weaved his way past the defence to tack up the first points of the match. Harris kept his cool and added an extra two.

Minutes later, following a penalty, Saracens found themselves with a lineout on the Tewkesbury 5m line and with well worked forward’s maul drove over. Harris converted again to double the lead.

A good break saw centre Jack Lawrenson hit through gap and with two defenders bearing down on him, go over just left of the posts for the Saracens’ third try in quick succession. Harris kept his 100 per cent record to make it 21-0.

The last play of the first half saw Tewkesbury add their own points. After taking their time in possession, their patience paid off as they eventually found and exploited a gap in the Saracens defence. The conversion missed but only just and the half ended 21-5.

The second half started evenly with both sides camping in the middle of the park but after considerable pressure from Saracens and good defence by Tewkesbury, full-back Sam Rimmer broke the line to go over and with the conversion made it 28.

This didn’t stop Tewkesbury after sustained pressure on the Sarries defence, a kick over the top of the defence saw their quick winger catch the bounce and touch down in the corner.

The angle again however was too much for the conversion. 28-10.

Saracens responded well and it wasn’t long before they were building phases inside the Tewkesbury 22m area.

A cross-field kick from Harris saw winger Dom Richardson catch and cooly side-step his opposite number to stroll over left of the posts. Harris converted again to take the score to 35-10.

This opened the Tewkesbury floodgates and after building phases in the Tewkesbury 22m area again, McMahon got himself a try, picking the ball out of a ruck and shrugging off a tackle to score beneath the posts. Harris easily converted for 42-10.

Tewkesbury worked hard in possession following the re-start and didn’t stop working to get themselves a converted try after some strong running to make it 42-17.

A well worked backs move saw full-back Rimmer go in for his second try of the game and Harris who was having no problems with the tee, added the extra two again with the kick.

After more pressure in the second half, including a big carry from forward Josh Wright, Saracens crossed the line again.

This time Jake Townsend, who came on to replace an injured Jack Lawrenson, received the ball out on the wing and sprinted away to tap down in the corner. Harris hit the post with the kick but did not convert.

Gloucestershire Echo Report

Free Rugby Sessions for 11 and 12 year olds

On behalf of Cheltenham Saracens Youth Rugby, below is some information in relation to some free rugby summer sessions for 11/12 years olds this summer at KGV.

The sessions are aimed at getting kids involved in a team sport and particularly rugby, with a view to them carrying on at the Cheltenham Saracens for the next season and beyond. They will be playing rugby at local senior schools from September and ultimately this will help the transition whilst giving them an initial positive experience of the sport. Both experienced and novices will also be catered for.

If Cheltenham Saracens Youth Rugby can get this off the ground, the intention is to start up other age groups and develop a youth section at the club that will be great for the community, the game, and indeed the kids themselves. They have full RFU backing who are assisting the sessions with a grant and additional coaching help.

Any further information please contact George Efthymiou on 07929 729202 or and he will be happy to help.

Cheltenham Saracens receive Natwest grant towards community DIY weekend

CHELTENHAM Saracens are one of only 12 clubs in the country to be selected by NatWest Rugby Force to receive a grant of £1,500 towards their community weekend of DIY.

The King George V playing fields club was chosen by a panel of judges, as it was felt they would benefit greatly from the extra funding.

Saracens have recently completed a £50,000 lottery-funding refurbishment and this extra grant enabled them to carry out further improvements and redecoration.

The mayor of Cheltenham Simon Wheeler, visited the club during the DIY weekend, where more than 30 volunteers turned up, helping to paint and clean the clubhouse.

He was impressed by the progress the club had made since taking over the lease of the clubhouse four years ago, considering it had stood unused for over 20 years.

The weekend brought the community together with young and old helping out and Cheltenham’s MP Martin Horwood even made an appearance to lend a hand.

Police figures have shown a two-thirds reduction in crime in the area since Saracens occupied the clubhouse and local residents, councillors and police have shown overwhelming support for the club.

After gaining promotion this year from Gloucester One, they are now developing their youth section this season and are offering free rugby development sessions this August, for children starting secondary school in September.

For further information on the free rugby sessions for Under-12s, email

Cheltenham Saracens name Olly Morgan and Leroy Hughes in new coaching line-up

CHELTENHAM Saracens have named former England full-back Olly Morgan in their new coaching line-up.

The move for ex-Gloucester man Morgan makes the club’s Gloucester Premier ambitions clear after promotion at the end of last season from Gloucester One.

Morgan, who will focus on the first team backs, has made 131 appearances for the Cherry and Whites and won two caps for England.

The 28-year-old coached a number of sessions last season, alongside Gloucester academy coach Peter Buxton and Treviso-bound prop Rupert Harden.

Morgan will be joined by former Moseley man Leroy Hughes, who has a wealth of national league experience.

Former Cheltenham and Old Patesians hooker cum flanker Hughes will train the forwards.

Jimmy Connolly has also made the move back to Saracens from Cheltenham North and will coach the seconds.

Backs coach Archie Nelmes and Mike Pitman will continue coaching next season, lending support to Morgan and Hughes.

Pitman said: “We were so impressed with Olly when he did a couple of sessions with us last season.

“We know a few clubs were interested in him coaching but he knows what this club is about and he is keen to be a part of our vision for the future.

“Olly and Leroy will be a great combination – Olly has so much techincal knowledge and Leroy will add a bit of grunt and passion.

“Paul and Rupert were fantastic last season and getting Olly on board shows we are building for the future in Gloucester Premier.

“We are under no illusions how tough the season is going to be in the higher division but with the new coaching line-up we have all bases covered. We have everything in place and a strong coaching unit.

“Now the players need to work hard in pre-season and hopefully with a name like Olly Morgan we will attract more players to recruit.”

Cheltenham Saracens clinch the Combination Cup in thriller over Old Patesians



CHELTENHAM Saracens snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they triumphed over Old Patesians in a fiercely-contested Cheltenham Combination Cup final at the Prince of Wales stadium.

Tries from Saracens lock Kris Williams and hooker Scott Rowe gave Saracens a 12-0 lead, before Pats fought back to decrease the deficit to 12-7 at the break through a wonderful solo try from pace-ace Lee Hathaway, converted by scrum-half Matt Mudway.

Buoyed by the late first-half try, Pats grabbed another in the 47th minute, as Rob White grounded the ball from a driving maul to level the scores.

Saracens fly-half Bradley Harris booted his side back into the lead with a penalty but not before Pats captain George Angell sliced his way through a tiring Sarries’ defence to put Pats 19-15 up.

But it was Saracens night as captain James McMahon crashed over from a driving maul, and Harris added the extras to secure the Cup for the first time since 1984.

CHELTENHAM SARACENS: S Rimmer, M Williams, D Richardson, J Lawrenson, W Smallbrain, B Harris, M Kelly, D Burnham, S Rowe,C Windley, W Dove, K Williams, T Patience, S Meheran, J McMahon

REPLACEMENTS: R Coleman, C Wilkinson M Francis, A Cresswell, K White

OLD PATESIANS II: L Hathaway, W Tyler, J Ballinger, J Fautey, A Ballinger, C Duffin, M Mudway, J Enderby, M Mcarney, E Gardener, P Bennett, H Gunther, B Vincent, J Spry, G Angell (c)