SOUTH WALES IRONMEN 30 – 36 GLOUCESTERSHIRE ALL GOLDS
Photo courtesy of Lewis Mitchell
The Gloucestershire All Golds maintained their good run against South Wales with their ninth consecutive win over the Ironmen and their previous incarnation, the Scorpions.
However it was not as easy as the first five minutes suggested when the All Golds raced into a 10-0 lead as the Ironmen fought back in an increasingly frantic second half which saw two players sinbinned and All Golds assistant coach Anthony Murray sent to the stands for an alleged breach of matchday procedure.
There were hat-tricks for All Golds’ Mo Agoro and the Ironmen’s stand off Shaun Owens in a game that hinged on a missed kick by Courtney Davies that would have tied the scores at 32-32 and given the Ironmen a real chance at securing their first win of the season.
All Golds coach Lee Greenwood said: “I’m very relieved. We made hard work of it but credit to the Ironmen, they’re much improved.”
At the end of the first half, there was just a score between the sides but it had all looked so different when the All Golds got out of the blocks quickly.
After the visitors opened with back-to-back sets, they swept the ball to the right and Steve Nield sent Agoro in at the corner for the opening try of the game.
From the next set, Brad Kislingbury broke through and fed Nield who didn’t have the pace to finish but from the play the ball Harrison Elliott powered over.
With the perfect start, the All Golds got a little complacent and Owens touched down his own chip over the top.Paul Emanuelli ‘s goal put the Ironmen on the board and back in the game.
The pace of the game on Merthyr’s 4G pitch didn’t let up and following their score, the Ironmen had the upper hand but Agoro snapped up a loose pass to run 70 metres to the posts to extend the All Golds’ league.
Former All Gold Yannic Parker went over in the corner five minutes later to cut the All Golds’ lead to a single score and the sides exchanged penalties before the interval to leave the second half intriguingly poised.
There was a bizarre start to the second period. Chris Vitalini was sin binned for dissent and Kieran Hyde added a simple penalty. The All Golds then scored from a quickly taken tap penalty, Phil Cowburn galloping though a static defence to touch down and they looked to be in control leading 26-12.
But a crazy 20-minute period threw the game back in the melting pot.
It started when the All Golds made a mess of the restart and Owens went over for his second try of the game.
The visitors then conceded two quick penalties but managed to keep out Lewis Reece and Connor Parker who were held up over the line in consecutive tackles before Emanuelli pulled two more points back from the tee.
An error gifted the ball back to the All Golds who posted points through Kislingbury, who bumped off a defender to score.
Hyde’s goal extended the lead to 32-20 but the All Golds were put on a team warning after conceding a rash of penalties and, after Owens had reduced the deficit with a try converted by Emanuelli, Chris Barlow was the man sin binned when spotted making a late tackle.
Izaak Duffy scored from the resulting set of tackles but Davies hit the outside of a post with the straightforward kick that would have tied the scores.
The Ironmen then lost possession on the restart handing the All Golds field position which they took immediate advantage of with debutant Josh Ward chiming into the line to send Agoro over to complete his hat-trick with a well-timed pass.
Incredibly, that was the end of the scoring but the last 12 minutes were frenetic with the visitors clinging on under intense pressure including a penalty right on the final hooter but Ward cleaned up the danger to secure a welcome win for the All Golds.
IRONMEN: 6 Andrew Gay: 2 Yannic Parker, 3 Paul Edwards, 16 Ashley Bateman, 26 Lewis Hughes; 5 Paul Emanuelli, 15 Shaun Owens; 19 Jamie I’Anson, 9 Conner Farrer, 10 Izaak Duffy; 4 Christiaan Roets, 12 Lewis Reece; 17 Zak Williams; Subs: 7 Courtney Davies, 13 Chris Vitalini, 24 Connor Parker, 11 Richard Jones
Tries: Owens (16, 48, 62), Y Parker (29), Duffy (66)
Goals: Emanuelli 5 from 6, Davies 0 from 0.
ALL GOLDS: Steve Nield; Mo Agoro, Phil Cowburn, Brad Kislingbury, Chris Barlow; Josh Ward, Kieran Hyde; Harrison Elliott, Steve Parry (C), Ollie Purslow; Joe McClean, Chris Worrall; Billy Brickhill; Subs: Jay Lobwein, Graham O’Keeffe, James Walter, Jordan Andrade.
Tries: Agoro (2, 23, 68), Elliott (4), Cowburn (46), Kislingbury (56)
Goals: Hyde 6 from 8
0-4, 0-10, 6-10, 6-16, 10-16, 10-18, 12-18, 12-20, 12-26, 18-26, 20-26, 20-32, 26-32, 30-32, 30-36
Penalty count: 13-7
Referee: Nick Bennett