Clifton Rugby retain John Budd Cup
Clifton 1st XV secure close victory over visiting side Barnstaple to claim the John Budd Cup and another victory in National League 2 South.
[Author: ROGER OPIE]
Referee: Calum Howard
Clifton Sausage Man of the match: Charlie Bullimore .
Clifton edged this victory without re-capturing their recent good form. It was the visiting pack which had more muscle at times and enabled the Barum boys to keep the game close in a seesaw encounter.
Clifton’s fast start and slick handling matched the crisp conditions to give Brad Barnes the opportunity to kick a penalty. Barnstaple pressure though led to a catch and drive resulting in a penalty try converted by Jordan Petherbridge. The Devonians were making good ground in attack and Petheridge secured a penalty. Clifton second row John Hawkins secured lineout ball throughout the game and impressed in the loose to keep his side in the game.
From a Clifton catch and drive flanker Max Woodward was powered over with Barnes adding the extras but a similar position allowed James Starkey to give Barnstaple the half time lead.
Clifton began the second half with a move involving forwards and backs to send Dan Wells over with Barnes maintaining his fine kicking. Momentum went away from the hosts for replacement Luke Berry to score with Petherbridge converting and restore the lead.
Clifton’s performance in the final quarter with some strong running led to try opportunities and eventually Alex Giltrow went over from another catch and drive with the ever reliable Barnes adding the vital two points for the win.
Full Time: 24-22
Tries Woodward  Wells  Giltrow 
Penalties Barnes 
Conversions Barnes [35, 47,63]
Tries Penalty  Starkey  Berry 
Conversions Petherbridge [16, 53]
Penalties Petherbridge