GLOUCESTERSHIRE ALL GOLDS 46 – 22 KEIGHLEY COUGARS
Could this be the coming of age for the All Golds? They thumped one of the predicted promotion challengers Keighley Cougars with Mo Agoro equalling the club record with four superbly taken tries, writes Chris Wilson at the Prince of Wales Stadium, Sunday.
Head coach Lee Greenwood said “That’s the biggest and best win we’ve had since I’ve been here”.
It was no fluke as the home side recovered from conceding a first minute try and then seeing a 12-point lead disappear midway through the second half to score three tries in ten minutes and take the game away from the Cougars.
Agoro’s defence was also on the money as he raced back to cut down the flying Andy Gabriel when the game was in the balance at 28-22.
On the back of an impressive 50-8 win over North Wales Crusaders, the Cougars started strongly and scored with less than a minute gone.
Matty Beharrel’s kick to the wing was batted back inside by Gabriel and Adam Ryder finished well. Danny Lawton couldn’t add the extras but it turned out to be the only time in the game Keighley were ahead.
The All Golds replied after nine minutes and again a last tackle kick provided the points. Kieran Hyde’s towering bomb was fumbled by Ritchie Hawkyard and Steve Parry pounced.
Hyde added the extras to nudge the All Golds in front and they extended the lead five minutes later with a neat shift down the right, Phil Cowburn giving Agoro the scoring pass.
Beharrell’s boot was sparking danger and Gabriel’s catch and offload gave Josh Tonks an easy try to level the score at 10-10.
Just before the interval the All Golds grabbed the lead. Parry’s kick took a number of ricochets and Jack Mitchell pounced for the try.
They extended that lead three minutes into the second half as Joe McClean picked up a wild pass and Harrison Elliott smashed his way over the line from 40 metres out using Hawkyard as a doormat on the way.
The All Golds were physically dominant at this point with Elliott and James Walter providing momentum from the bench but the Cougars rallied and James Feather went over from dummy half before Will Milner stepped inside to touch down and set up a sensational final 25 minutes.
“That game could’ve gone the other way last year, but there’s a different mentality around the group this time,” said Greenwood who was proved right as Agoro crossed for his second.
After some bewildering handling on the last tackle saw Parry’s long pass and Cowburn’s quick hands give him space to step inside and race over. He then showed his electric pace by running down Gabriel who seemed certain to score.
The Cougars pressed briefly and had a try disallowed before the roof fell in on them.
There seemed nothing on as the All Golds switched the ball to Agoro’s wing but he stepped inside and showed blistering speed to dive over under the posts. Then, Parry regathered his chip over the top and stretched out to score.
With a three-score lead and ten minutes left, the home side were able to wind the clock down and Danny Fallon converted one of two penalties as the Cougars’ execution of basic skills fell apart.
With the final act of the game, Agoro scrambled in at the corner for his fourth try to seal an astonishing result.
Greenwood then issued a rallying cry for his ecstatic team: “Today shows that the stuff we’ve been doing in pre-season is working.
“We now go on to Doncaster next week and we go there looking to win”.
ALL GOLDS: Alex Gaskell; Mo Agoro, Phil Cowburn, Brad Kislingbury, Chris Barlow; Jack Mitchell, Kieran Hyde; Ollie Purslow, Steve Parry (C), Harry Kidd; Chris Worrall, Joe McClean,
Billy Brickhill; Subs (all used); Kadeem Williams, Harrison Elliott, Daniel Fallon, James Walter.
Tries: Parry (9, 70), Agoro (14, 59, 68, 79), Mitchell (34), Elliott (43),
Goals: Hyde 5 from 6, Fallon 2 from 4
COUGARS: Ritchie Hawkyard: Vinny Finigan, Danny Lawton, Adam Ryder, Andy Gabriel; Will Milner, Matty Beharrell; Mike Emmett, James Feather (C), Brad Nicholson: Josh Lynam, Josh Tonks; Sean Kelly; Subs (All used); Brendon Rawlins, Nathan Conroy, Matthew Bailey, Fran Welsh.
Tries: Ryder (1), Tonks (25), Feather (50), Milner (55)
Goals: Lawton 3 from 4
SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 6-4, 10-4, 10-10, 16-10, 22-10, 22-16, 22-22, 28-22, 34-22, 40-22, 42-22, 46-22
Penalty count: 8-5
Referee: Marcus Griffiths