With glorious weather and an expansive pitch suited to their liking, Clifton were looking to come back from two successive defeats. Although Bournville had only two wins to their account this season, the Clifton coaches were aware that they were facing a team with a tightened defence and several bonus points from narrow losses.
What was not expected that the outcome of a tense encounter would be determined with the clock in injury time.
Early pressure was exerted by the Chocolate Men, and from a scrum their number eight broke loose to cross over. Although Clifton responded, they were held up and unable to pierce the home defence until both wingers were brought into the action. Soon enough, a strong break from Bristol Bears flanker, Kofi Cripps, sent in Zak Hamid. This score was quickly followed by captain Marcus Nel making thirty metres to send another Bear, Tom Ormsby, across the line.
Clifton now had momentum and were opting to run the ball and turning down kickable penalty opportunities; the attackers were twice held up over the line, but only had a five-point lead at half time. This lead was taken away after the break by a home try, before a well worked touchdown from Nel; Gloucester loanee fly half, Rory Taylor (being watched by an England Under 20s coach), adding the extras, and then soon after kicking a penalty to establish a ten-point lead.
Bournville were not done however, and some individual work led to a converted try, soon after another score to put the Chocos two points ahead. With time running desperately close to the final whistle, Clifton opted to place a penalty into the corner. From the resultant line out and drive, replacement number 9 Mitch Spencer whipped the ball blindside to fellow replacement Tom Hatch, who burrowed over; Taylor converting to secure a try bonus point win.
Clifton coach Luke Cozens commented, “We were coming back from two losses and Bournville have eight losing bonus points, so we knew that coming here was going to be tough. We had put some pressure on our players after two defeats and needing to find extra energy at key moments to win games".