A dramatic final saw Clifton and Old Patesians share the spoils in the Gloucestershire County Cup final after the game finished 19 v 19.
Pates had soundly beaten Clifton in the quarter final last year, but the teams had not played each other this season, and with Clifton having improved markedly since then, in particular with our defensive line speed, and having lost only one game all season, we were confident of success.
Nevertheless, Pates began the stronger, with their much vaunted back-line giving Clifton real problems. Slick handling, solid tackling and a strong wind saw them take a deserved early 14-0 lead. Clifton are, however, a resilient team, and, with our boys waking up and their backs now shackled, we came back with a deserved try of our own to turn around at 14 v 5.
Clifton were by far the better team in the second half and after tries had been exchanged came roaring back to level the scores. With the boys camped on the Pates line for long periods a Clifton win looked inevitable, but, credit to Pates, their defence held out and eventually they were awarded a penalty, which they gratefully kicked into touch, ending the game.
This was truly a game of 2 halves, and a draw (with the trophy shared) was a fair result. The game was entertaining to watch and was played in great spirit by teams who are a credit to their clubs.
Updated 20:02 - 1 May 2017 by Nicholas Sproull