Clifton Under 13s win Bristol Combination Plate Final
Clifton Under 13s claimed the Bristol Combination Plate on Sunday after a hard fought win over Midsomer Norton who battled right up to the last.
Having been beaten by Chippenham (eventual winners of the cup) in the first round Clifton u13s battled their way through to the final of the Plate competition with wins over Whitehall (w/o), Dings, Thornbury and Winscombe before finally overcoming Midsomer Norton in the final held at Old Redcliffians RFC on Sunday
The match was hard fought with Midsomer Norton not giving an inch until the final whistle. Clifton opened the scoring with the backs making significant progress through some open running only for Felix to be tackled into touch on the MSN ’22. Lineout knocked on and Clifton scrum which has performed really well in recent weeks since the sessions with Ronnie, secured the ball for Toby to pick up and ghost in through the MSN defence. Freddie converted and 7-0 after 5 minutes.
Hopes of an easy victory were soon dashed though as MSN picked up the fight through their impressive outside centre who first made a break down the left wing and then subsequently down the centre of the pitch and broke through two or three tackles to score under posts 7-7 after 15 minutes.
Clifton held a clear advantage in the Lineout and Scrum with close on 100% own ball on both and a good percentage against the head. The ruck was fiercely contested and arguably MSN held the edge there however the referee (who I thought had an excellent match) penalised MSN on a number of occasions for going straight to ground over the ball, and it was from the first of these occasions in range of the posts that Clifton took the opportunity to go back into the lead with Freddie kicking the points from just inside the 22 to lead 10 – 7.
Restart and a number of phases released the backs and the ball found its way to Felix in space on the left wing which usually has one outcome. Unfortunately he couldn’t convert his own try but breathing space and 15-7 at half time.
MSN half time team talk obviously got them going as they came straight at Clifton in the 2nd half, a few uncharacteristic handling mistakes showed the pressure we were under and most of the first 10 minutes of the second half spent in our own half. The scrum continued to function and defence held firm, at least two occasions in our own 22 led to the ball being secured in the scrum and passed across to the centres and kicked up field to relieve the pressure.
Some brave tackling by Harry in one of the MSN attacks led to a clash of heads , concussion and paramedic called. Get well soon Harry.
One score for MSN would have made things interesting at this stage but as they pressed for the score a pass out to the centre as they looked to release their 13 was intercepted by Joe who was away , 30 yard gain but tackled by the MSN fullback, well offloaded by Joe back to Freddie who offloaded to Felix for the usual outcome. Conversion made 22-7 and the plate was ours.
Well done to the forwards who secured a good amount of possession in the scrum and lineout and enabled the backs to accumulate enough points for the win. Thank you to the whole squad who turned out on the subs bench and also injured players Luke and Will C.
Well played to MSN who never gave up and brought a good contingent of supporters as did Clifton who were out in force in the sun. Into the clubhouse for sausage and chips, a few pints and the presentation. Thankyou to Old Reds for hosting the final and arranging some great weather!