“ Just a bad day at the office?”
Service took the short trip to ‘Newlands’ to face Bredon, at their temporary home, due to Bredon’s pitch being unplayable.
In difficult conditions with a wet ball Cheltenham struggled to gain a foothold in the game.
Bredon started well controlling the ball in the tight, building pressure and controlling territory. So much so that Service, on the back foot, were giving penalties away and being punished by some excellent touch finds that resulted in play being maintained deep in Services half.
The visitors defence was being tested and some big tackles from Tim Davies and Ross Ruck around the fringes kept the home side out. The pressure told and the first points of the game came from the Bredon 10 slotting a well struck penalty from 30 metres.The pattern of the game was consistent, Service struggling to go through the phases, keep possession and subsequently build pressure on the Bredon defence.When they did get into the home sides 22 the greasy ball got spilled, penalties were conceded and possession was given away.
Bredon were playing a direct game and following a missed tackle in midfield they broke free and scored the opening try in the corner. An excellent conversion gave the home side a deserved 10 -0 lead.
Service just couldn’t get a foot hold in the game, credit to Bredon, but it was definitely a lack lustre display from the visitors. Penalty after penalty was conceded both in possession and defence with another one for blocking given away that was slotted through the posts with ease from the impressive home sides 10, who was controlling where the game was being played.
Half time 13 -0 to Bredon.
The second half saw CCSRFC try to pick up the pace of the game and play in the right parts of the pitch, attacking slightly wider with some good carries from Jon Stickler at 12 giving the service pack some ‘go forward’ ball and Ross Ruck leading from the front and taking the fight to Bredon with aggressive carries. Yet again handling mistakes and infringements were the curse of the visitors and everytime Service managed to get in the 22 they conceded the turnover, before they could build pressure to test the defensive structures. Service just didn’t play to their strengths, building pressure and then, once earnt, going wide with paceService kept competing and when able to build defensive pressure, they forced Bredon to kick, however the kick returns struggled to go wide, where the space was, but often cut back into the channels and into the heart of Bredon’s defence, where once again possession couldn’t be maintained.
A further penalty conceded by Service in the middle of the pitch 30 metres out saw yet another kick fly through the posts. 0-16.
In the final stages of the game, Civil Service got some go forward, went through some phases in the home sides 22, built some pressure and went wide where the gaps had been created and Ollie Wilton went over for a consolation try with the attempted conversion striking the posts.
Final Score 16 – 5
You either ‘Win’ or you ‘Learn’. CCSRFC, both individually and as a club will for sure take learning away from both the performance and execution of the game plan. A deserved win for Bredon but a difficult day at the office for Civil Service.