The Old Elizabethans’
Rugby Football Club
Saturday 8th April:
1st XV League Match Home vs Cheltenham Civil Service
last league match of the season.
Alfie Cotton, Sam Collins, Colm Bourke, Matt Bailey, John-Jo Burden, Tom Verber, Lloyd Robling, Will Mortimore, Jamie Halpin, Dom Swann, Charlie Balfour, Matt Carr, Peter Foley, Jacob Rawlinson, Dominick Horn, Alex Potts, Tom Curtis, Max Marshall.
The last game of the 2016/17 Season to be played at Fortress Hallen had all the hallmarks of being one of the most exciting ends to a season at Old Es for many years. Much discussion had taken place prior to the match about the endless variations that could decide whether Old Es would be promoted for the second time in two years and promoted for the first time into Gloucester Division 1. This last league fixture for the season was against Cheltenham Civil Service who had followed Es up from Glos Div 3 to Div 2 last season and was the same last match of the season. The players took to the pitch hyped up believing that a bonus point and a cricket score against CCS RFC was needed to avoid Smiths RFC catching them, with one game in hand, and being promoted by a better points difference than Es. So all 18 Es players were extremely focused on this boiling hot spring day with temperatures soaring into the early 20 degrees C and plenty of water on board would be the order of the day throughout the match.
Dom Swann Kicked off and the CCS RFC receiver dropped the catch and Old Es straight away took advantage and ran the ball into the opposition 22. The following scrum was won against the head by Alfie Cotton and with a good pick up by Tom Verber the ball was quickly shipped out to the wing for Matt Carr to run in the first try after just a few minutes, successfully converted by Dom (7-0) .
The kick from the restart went straight into touch and a scrum down on half way followed but Es were shoved backwards but a great pick up by Jamie Halpin saw us cross the gain line but without support the referee blew for holding on. Es soon recovered possession and a great break from John-Jo Burden was finally halted 5 metres out. The Es pressure continued though which then led to a try by Lloyd Robling having another great game, converted by Dom (14-0). Nothing was going right for CCS RFC and again their restart kick fell straight into touch. Straight from the scrum Es were back in the opposition 22 and despite a few passes that didn’t reach the intended man Pete Foley did a great job of stopping the ball going into touch and then weaved his way through the defence to score Es’ third try + conversion from Dom (21-0).
Straight from the restart Es caught the ball and sliced their way through the defence and within seconds the fourth bonus point try had been touched down by Lloyd Robling, converted by Dom (28-0). Again Es pressed and Max Marshall probed the defence in his normal spinning deceiving way and immediately John-Jo Burden sprung like a gazelle running 40 metres to score + conversion (35-0). Straight after John-Jo received and broke forward but Es were brought back by the referee for a forward pass. Shortly afterwards from an Old Es’ scrum they broke down the blind side with a ‘Turn on the Gas’ run from Matt Carr who then timed his inside pass perfectly to Will Mortimore who went over for his first try of the afternoon + Dom’s conversion (42-0). Will Mortimore obviously enjoyed that as within seconds of the restart he had sprinted 60 metres to score his second try + Dom’s conversion (49-0).
By this time linesman Frank Arber and ball retriever (pen, paper & fishing net in hand) were starting to feel the pace of repeatedly needing to be behind the posts! John-Jo Burden was stealing some great possession and on this occasion burst into the oppositions half and a great run by Colm Bourke and Alfie Cotton followed with a try being scored by Lloyd Robling + Dom’s conversion (56-0). Still plenty of time in the first half for more scores and the crowd were not to be disappointed as Matt Carr sprinted from half way to score his second try + Dom’s conversion (63-0). The last play of the half from the restart saw Jacob Rawlinson slice through the defence and with a slick and timely pass to Pete Foley a further try was scored + Dom’s conversion (70-0).
The half time team talk spoke about 70 points more please and fresh legs were provided in the form of Dominick Horn, Charlie Balfour and Tom Curtis and within seconds of the second half starting Alex Potts broke through the defence with a kick but rather than keep nudging the ball forward he chose to do a Commando style pick up whilst rolling on the floor but knocked the ball on! Soon afterwards Es were driving forward with Sam Collins ball in hand and with a pass to John-Jo and a flip to Jacob Rawlinson Es had scored their first “conversion missed” try of the afternoon (75-0).
From the restart Matt Bailey earns a great penalty with some good ripping. Es were then pinned back for a while as CCS RFC had their best spell of the game. Es though had a great breakout from the 22 which led to a try by Alex Potts & conversion from Dom (82-0). CCS tried a tricky restart kick which caught Es napping and CCS were in the Es 22 within seconds but Es recovered the ball and again Sam Collins bulldozed his way through the defence and the Es pressure told again with Matt Bailey’s first try of the afternoon + Dom’s conversion (89-0).
From the restart Max Marshall made a great break and passed to Skipper Potts who broke 3 or 4 tackles to score under the posts + Dom’s conversion (96-0). The 100 points were to be racked up straight from the restart when Will Mortimore sprinted through for his third try (conversion missed!! 101-0). Then for the first time in the game Es had a momentary lapse of concentration and fell asleep as CCS broke through a few tackles and scored a great consolation try (not converted 101-5) not what Es really wanted as this reduced the Es’ points difference.
At this point news started to filter along the touchline from coach Andy Brook who had done some reading of the Glos League rules (not during the game!) and had apparently confirmed that if Smiths ended up the season on equal points the points difference would only apply after the count of the number of draws and Es had one drawn game against Old Colstonians and Smiths had no drawn games so on this basis Es would be automatically promoted. Anyway on the field the players were still believing a cricket score was needed and Es continued to apply the pressure, Dominick Horn breaking down the wing with a move that saw him break through two tackles reminiscent of Jona Loma. John-Jo then made a great break from the Es’ 22 over the half way line and popped the ball to Matt Bailey who showed a good pair of heels to the opposition to score + Dom’s conversion (108-0).
Then from the restart a great combination from Tom Curtis, Jamie Halpin, Colm Bourke, John-Jo led to Matt Bailey scoring his third try + Dom’s conversion (115-0). A great take from Colm Bourke from the restart on the 10 m line saw him break free and some good interchanges followed to see Es’ final try of the day scored by proud skipper Alex Potts + Dom’s conversion (122-5).
A great game on a really sunny afternoon was one of the best spectacles ever witnessed at Fortress Hallen with 18 tries and 16 conversions from Dom Swann. After the game as Coach Brook thanked the players for a brilliant well executed defeat of the opposition broke the news about the rules and that Es (we believe) had been promoted and out came the champagne! Even if it were now down to points difference Smiths would need to beat BAC by a margin of 123 points – unlikely!!
Well done lads you can be proud of yourselves and thanks to the big crowd for wonderful support. We can now look forward to the Tour to Nantes, France and the Annual Dinner on Friday May 5th (details below). A brilliant season and despite losing 4 games in total for those 4 losses the points difference was only a total of 16 points a quite remarkable fact from a quite remarkable season. Bring on next season!
Final Score: Old Es 122 – 5 Cheltenham Civil Service
Tries: Lloyd Robling x3, Pete Foley x2, Matt Bailey x3, Matt Carr x2, John-Jo Burden, Will Mortimore x3, Jacob Rawlinson, Alex Potts x3
Conversions: Dom Swann x16
Man of the Match: Alex Potts, a true skipper leading from the front.
All photos by Ann Brook
Thursday 20th April:
End of Season Tour to France
Thursday 20th April saw a stranger than normal gathering of Old Elizabethans at Fortress Hallen which was used as the meeting point for the Old Es’ “Top Gear” rugby tour to France. In the weeks leading up to the tour the 32 tourists had been given the challenge of purchasing a touring vehicle for £200 for the drive to Portsmouth, St.Malo to Nantes, Nantes to La Rochelle and onwards to a scrap yard in Bordeaux before flying back to Bristol.
A real challenge which was soon to find its first victim when the Touring Car of Matt Bailey broke down on Whiteladies Road before arriving at the Club on the back of a Break Down truck – the only vehicle to achieve the target of a having a photo of a Tour Car with all 4 wheels off the ground.
That and the fact that the 4 Young Tourists had been promised a vehicle by Club Chairman Cheek, which never really materialised we were suddenly faced with a shortage of cars but thanks to former player Jim Hemings who had flown in especially from the USA for the tour and had a hire car all 32 tourists left Fortress Hallen in high spirits led by The Ghostbusters Car and followed by the Spice Girls ‘Girl Power’ car and many others.
The trip to Portsmouth was fairly uneventful but the same could not be said for the overnight ferry to St.Malo. The takings at the forward Bar were no doubt greater than expected and the high spirits soon led to many of the tourists showing off their prowess on the dance floor. Once the bar had shut the next challenge for the tourists was to find their way to the Cabins which was more than difficult for Jacob Rawlinson and John-Jo Burden.
The next morning all cars entered French territory and made their way to the City of Nantes stopping just short of the target for some Wine Tasting. By this point the Tour Judges material was already adding up. As Chairman Cheek and his Henchmen toured the U-Boat Pens the rest of the tourists had a great afternoon and evening in the centre of Nantes with much joviality including one of the closest run Boat Races ever witnessed on an Old Es’ tour and a great sing song in an Irish Bar. Even senior players like Frank Arber were seen to be having a wail of time with his new friend Ralph!
The following day many feeling the worst for wear after two heavy nights the team took to the field to play a representative team from Nantes RFC. Old Es had the advantage in terms of numbers and in the heat were able to rotate the team on a regular basis which allowed the bedraggled team to run in more tries than their opposition to register another win in this promotion season. Some great tries from Lloyd Robling and Pete Foley sealed the game for Old Es.
Onwards to La Rochelle and following the ‘Egg Incident’ Es gathered at a local Fish restaurant to refuel with some good French cuisine before hearing from the Tour Judge about the tour indiscretions in the Kangaroo Court before taking to a local bar to watch the La Rochelle vs Gloucester match.
Once again the tour provided a fitting end to the season and all tourists returned safely only to meet up again on Friday 5th May at the Annual Awards Dinner to celebrate promotion to Gloucester Division 1 for the first time in the Club’s history.
The League table for the 1st XV looks like this on Monday 1st May 2017
|Gloucester 2 League|
|Pts. Against|| Pts.|
|Try Bonus Pts.||Losing Bonus Pts.||Total Pts.|
|6||Bristol Aeroplane Co.||22||11||0||11||485||479||6||7||2||53|
|8||Cheltenham Civil Service||22||7||0||15||437||734||-297||8||3||39|
|Last Updated: 23/4/2017|
The League table for the 2nd XV looks like this on Monday 1st May 2017
|Bristol & District 3 Reserves||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Pts. For||Pts. Against||Diff||Avg||Losing Bonus Pts||Total Pts||Adjust|
|Last Updated: Apr 27 2017|
|Old Elizabethans 2nd XV||10||7||0||3||440||266||174||3.8||0||38||0|
|Aretians 2nd XV||11||6||0||5||329||308||21||3.18||1||36||0|
|Bristol Saracens 3rd XV||8||7||0||1||354||129||225||3||1||25||-12|
|Bristol Aeroplane Co. 2nd XV||10||4||1||5||358||338||20||1.6||2||18||-12|
|St Bernadettes Old Boys 3rd XV||11||3||1||7||232||414||-182||1.55||1||18||-8|
|Frampton Cotterell 3rd XV||9||1||2||6||178||451||-273||0.56||1||6||-12|
|Kingswood 2nd XV||6||1||0||5||153||227||-74||-3.17||2||-17||-29|
|Avonmouth Old Boys 3rd XV||4||3||0||1||152||121||31||-4.5||0||-18||-34|
|North Bristol 3rd XV||3||2||0||1||94||36||58||-9.67||1||-28||-40|
As always we are keen to recruit new players from both within QEH and externally. If you are interested in joining a fun ambitious rugby side look no further come and join us. Contacts for further information are as follows:
Alex Potts – Skipper
email@example.com or Mob phone: 07794308243
Andy Brook – Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org or Mob phone: 07917025425
Phil Cheek – Chairman
email@example.com or Mob phone: 07767615223
Paul ‘Blakey’ Barrington – Team Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org or Mob phone: 07815936312
The clubhouse is at Severn Road, Hallen, BS10 7RZ or for more details contact Alex Potts email@example.com
Formed in 1937 by old boys of QEH, the club has enjoyed a long and successful history and has established a position as a well-respected member of the Bristol Combination. The club is located in Hallen, north-west Bristol, where we have a club-house, two pitches and floodlit training facilities – for directions to the club please visit the website (see below).
Whilst always maintaining a link with QEH, the club has recently worked hard to improve this relationship. The club has seen a number of school leavers joining in recent years with a former-QEH pupil leading the 1st XV over two recent seasons.
In the past few seasons the club has also experienced an influx of student players from both Bristol University and UWE. We will continue to offer support for any students wishing to play for us including lifts to training, reduced membership rates and sponsorship for tours.
For contact details, visit www.oldelizabethansrfc.co.uk