Cheltenham Civil Service RFC - Men's XV huddle

Civil Service 1st XV 39 – Tewkesbury RFC 12

Service were on the road for their first league game of the season at Tewkesbury and were looking to continue their good preseason form following last weeks win over Broad Plain.

Service started brightly but were hit by an early controversial blow when what appeared to be a deliberate knock on when Service looked certain to score wide was missed by the referee, allowing Tewkesbury to race up field unopposed and score under the posts. In what set the tone for the rest of the match, the kick was surprisingly missed.

Service were not behind for long, with last weeks star man Joe Lucas scooping up a loose ball on the half way line before leaving the home defence in his wake to score wide to level the scores. Service then began to turn the screw, pinning the home side into their own half. Another break by Lucas and Richardson split the defence and created a hole for Markey to ghost in to score and put service in the lead with an unconverted try.

The pressure was maintained and Lucas was again instrumental, spinning out of a tackle to pop the ball to Markey to score his second of the day and Service led by 10.

Tewkesbury then had a good spell of pressure and worked a good converted try to bring the game back in range at half time at 15-12 to Service.

Will all to play for, it was Service that made the first move in the second half, working their way up field for White to sneak a try up the blindside and extend the lead again and secure the bonus point. However, a pattern began to emerge with Tewkesbury being given a succession of cheap penalties which got them into the Service half. Tewkesbury took advantage, forcing a try to get themselves back in the game, again unconverted to bring the score to 20-17 service.

Another missed knock on and a succession of further penalties brought the home side back into the Service 22. However, by this time Ed Cooke was causing chaos at the front of the Tewkesbury line and was forcing them to throw long. Laurent loitering at the back of the line snaffled the ball and began a counter attack. Service worked the ball up to Tewkesbury line. The ball was held up over the line but from the next phase Else crashed over. To everyone’s amazement the score was converted by Markey and Service never looked back, keeping the home side in their half for the rest of the match.

Richardson picked up the next score, having been put through he was faced one on one with the home full back, dummied to no one and snuck around the outside to score in the corner. The scoring was completed after yet another held up ball over the line resulted in a scrum. The Service pack was dominant by this point and drove over the line with Simpson making the touchdown. Markey completed the scoring with his second conversion.

Final Score: Tewkesbury 12 Civil Service 39

Tries: Markey (2), Lucas, White, Else, Richardson, Simpson
Cons: Markey (2)

Man of the match: Ed Cooke from a host of candidates for a super game and causing Tewkesbury all sorts of problems in the line out

Champagne Moment: Breakout try from our line to theirs

Dick of the Day: Tom Jones for being tackled by a tackle shield and ending up on his arse

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