A GAME TOO FAR FOR ALL GOLDS AS EELS CLINCH PLAY-OFF PLACE
BRENTWOOD EELS 68 – 00 BRISTOL ALL GOLDS
Christopher Wilson at The Old Brentwoods Club
The Bristol All Golds crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season in a match described by Head Coach Simon Martin as a game too far. After a bright start from the visitors, the Eels took control and scored a dozen unanswered tries to earn a semi final trip to Wests Warriors next weekend.
Eels’ fullback Callum Whitcombe set the tone with a crunching tackle on George Murray who had made a fine 50-metre break in the opening minute of the game. Whitcombe went on to score four tries and have a hand in several others as the Eels put the All Golds to the sword.
The All Golds were unfortunate that a number of key decisions didn’t go their way, but their defence was all too often breached by strong-running opponents.
Overall, the All Golds would be happy with their first season in the league, just missing out on the play-offs in the last game of the season, will be looking to maintain this progress in 2024.
Bristol All Golds’ Head Coach Simon Martin said that this match with Brentwood Eels had been a game to far as the Bristolians crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season in the Essex sunshine.
Brentwood ran in a dozen tries as their attack made hay in the sunshine while a Spitfire treated spectators and a shadowing helicopter to a series of flypasts.
The tone of a rather one-sided match was set in the opening minute when George Murray made a superb break but after a 50-metre run was thumped into touch by the Eels’ fullback Callum Whitcombe.
Had Murray beaten his man and gone on to score, then things might have been different, but as it was, the Eels took confidence from the defensive play and Whitcombe opened the scoring minutes later with a neat finish out wide from a simple scrum move.
The All Golds tried hard to get an equaliser but struggled to earn possession in their opponents’ half.
Connor Kendall did well to save a difficult situation as he pirouetted out of tackles to make 20 metres after collecting a kick on his own tryline, but there was little forward progress in the rest of the set as the Eels defended strongly.
Whitcombe extended their lead with his second try and Tomas Scarsbrook added the first of his nine goals just before the end of the first quarter, at which point a water break was taken owing to the sweltering conditions.
Following the restart, the Eels extended their lead as Georgie Treffors pounced on the loose ball after Kendall had it knocked from his grasp over the line.
Soon afterwards, Whitcombe slipped a fine pass to Eamon Tiernan who scorched 80 metres to the line.
Then, for the first time this season, the All Golds seemed to collapse, and the Eels profited from some poor defence and luck with the referee’s decisions.
A marginally forward pass from Connor Huggins sent George Harkins away before Simon Wood crashed over from close range. Two more suspect passes resulted in Euan Tiernan crossing by the posts and, with the final play of the half, a knock-on was missed and Whitcombe collected his hat-trick try.
Trailing 46-0, at the break, the All Golds needed an early score in the second half to restore their battered morale but in the opening set, Callum Smith took a pass about which there was some doubt and sped through a defence waiting in vain for a whistle for the touchdown.
The All Golds managed to spend some time inside the Eels’ 20-metre area but could not find the key to unlock a defence that was organised and tackled solidly and there was no way through for the visitors.
The Eels responded with Whitcombe’s fourth try and with the All Golds waiting for the whistle after the Eels clearly interfered with the marker defence, Connor Gascoigne sped away for a try.
Late on, Whitcombe turned provider as he raced to the posts before presenting the supporting Will Mead with a try Mead converted himself.
After this mauling, the All Golds will no doubt now start planning for 2024 on the back of a generally positive season in a new division that has seen them be competitive throughout, missing out on the play-offs by one game.
The Eels, meanwhile, travel to Wests Warriors in the semi-finals hoping to cause an upset a reach the Grand Final for the first time in their history.
EELS: Callum Whitcombe; Callum Smith, Georgie Treffers, Simon Wood, Eamon Tiernan; George Harkins, Tomas Scarsbrook; Euan Tiernan, Connor Gascoigne, Jamie Impey (Capt.); Harry Crellin, Ollie Strange; Harry Pyke; INTERCHANGE: Taylor Giroud, William Mead, Connor Huggins, Ryan Campbell-Webster.
Tries: Whitcomb (4), Treffers, Eamon Tiernan, Harkins, Wood, Euan Tiernan, Smith, Gascoigne, Mead
Goals: Scarsbrook 9 from 11, Mead 1 from 1.
ALL GOLDS: Mackenzie Cumming; Connor Kendall, Mason Ball, Joe Uren, Rohan Chatterjee; Greg Hamilton, Jack Uren (Capt); Russ Preston, Adam Turner, Kieran Harvey; Morgan Lewis, George Murray; Mike Harrison; INTERCHANGE: Ben Cripps, Jay Woodley, Connor Massey
All Golds player of the Match: George Murray had a strong game but the award goes to Mason Ball who put in a tremendous defensive and attacking stint as he worked tirelessly for his side.
Scoring sequence: 4-0, 10-0, 16-0, 22-0, 28-0, 34-0, 40-0, 46-0, (HT), 50-0, 56-0, 62-0, 68-0 (FT)
Penalty Count: 2-1