Christopher Wilson at Oaklands
Bristol All Golds battled hard in a sometimes tempestuous match to secure a valuable two points in the chase for a play-off place. Against a side likely to be challenging for the top four, this was a must-win game.
After a good start with George Orriss’ first try for the All Golds, and the first of a superb hat-trick, sloppy play allowed the Eels to pull level through a well-worked try from Callum Whitcombe. However, Brandon Lamb’s powerful run to score and Darrion Ball’s goal gave the All Golds a 12-6 interval lead.
The Eels levelled early in the second period through George Harris but had a man advantage through Ed Tait’s sinbinning when Orriss went over in the corner for his second try.
Mike Harrison then saw yellow, and Eamon Tiernan scored a superb long-range try through the All Golds’ 11-man defence before Jack Uren crossed with ten minutes to go and Orriss rounded off his personal haul taking advantage of a poorly judged kick to outpace the defence to the line.
The game ended with both teams engaged in a scuffle that resulted in Tait and Brentwood’s Harry Pyke being sent off. 
Bristol All Golds battled hard in a sometimes tempestuous match to secure a valuable two points in the chase for a play-off place. Against a side likely to be challenging for the top four, this was a must-win game, as it was for the Eels as well.
Brentwood went into the game on the back of a big 54-28 over North Herts Crusaders while the All Golds lost heavily to Hammersmith Hills Hoists in London last weekend.
It was the All Golds who started strongly and soon had points on the board. A good chase from a Darrion Ball kick earned a goal-line dropout and on the fourth tackle, Ball engineered the space for Dom Williams to send George Orriss over for his first All Golds try and the first of an excellent hat-trick for the winger.
The Eels then lost their captain Jamie Impey to an injury but began to find their feet in the game. A half break from stand-off George Harkins was a warning to the All Golds, which wasn’t heeded.
Sloppy play gave away a penalty and a well-executed move saw Callum Whitcombe power over the line. Tomas Scarsbrook levelled the scores with the conversion with 11 minutes played.
Orriss was then called upon to make an important tackle as his opposite number threatened to escape down the wing.
Play was nip and tuck until the water break but when play resumed, the All Golds took charge.
They dominated possession and Mike Holden went close before Mason Ball was held up over the line. Finally, with nine minutes left in the half, they got their reward.
From a scrum penalty 20 metres from the line, Brandon Lamb was unstoppable as he powered over under the posts. Darrion Ball added the extras and the All Golds held on for a 12-6 interval advantage.
They continued as they left off in the opening minutes of the second half, but a howler from Holden, who fielded a kick but lost the ball in the tackle and Harkins was on hand to touch the loose ball down. Scarsbrook duly levelled the scores again.
However, emotions were beginning to rise, and Ed Tait was shown a yellow card for a shoulder charge but despite the man disadvantage, the All Golds scored from their next set following a sweeping attack downfield ending with Matt Blacker’s well-timed pass sending Orriss over in the corner.
Tait was preparing to re-take the field when tempers flared again, and Mike Harrison was ordered to the sideline for a ten-minute rest after some ill-timed advice to the match official.
With a two-man advantage, the Eels took their opportunity and immediately scored through a long-range try from Eamon Tiernan. Scarsbrook missed the extras, and the scores were tied once again at 16-16.
However, despite playing a man short, the All Golds wasted a glorious opportunity to re-take the lead once again when Nathan Tucker butchered a simple two-on-one with Orriss unmarked outside him.
His blushes were spared minutes later when Jack Uren profited from poor Eels marker defence to dodge his way through defenders to score by the posts with less than ten minutes left.
The home side then gave the ball away on their next set, but Scarsbrook inexplicably chose to kick for field position on the first tackle.
Orriss blocked the kick, picked up the loose ball and set off for the try-line just evading the cover for a score near enough to the posts for Darrion Ball to slot over the extras and put two scores between the sides for the first time in the game.
Ball was then forced into touch near the line as the All Golds looked for the score to seal the points and the home side were given a scare shortly afterwards as a Brentwood attack developed but the final pass flew into touch.
There was just time for one last All Golds attack, but after Holden was hit late, tempers exploded, and a melee rapidly developed. Once things had calmed down, the referee showed red cards to Tait and to the Eels’ Harry Pyke before blowing the final whistle.
The All Golds have a week’s break before their next fixture against North Herts Crusaders at Dings Crusaders RFC when a repeat of their 16-12 win in Hitchin will be the aim.
ALL GOLDS: Mike Holden; Henry Symons, Dom Williams, Mason Ball, George Orriss; Greg Hamilton, Darrion Ball; Ed Tait, Adam Turner, Mike Harrison; Brandon Lamb (Capt), Billy Hooper; Jack Uren; INTERCHANGE: Russ Preston, Morgan Lewis, Matt Blacker, Luke Bowyer.
Tries: Orriss (3, 53, 72), Lamb (31), Uren (69)
Goals: D. Ball 4 from 5.
EELS: Callum Whitcombe; Connor Gascoigne, Georgie Treffers, Eamon Tiernan, James Sullivan; George Harkins, Tomas Scarsbrook; Ruari Henderson, Harry Pyke, Ryan Campbell-Webster; Euan Tiernan, Harry Crellin; Jamie Impey (Capt.); INTERCHANGE: Thomas Adams, Zak McClenaghan, William Mead, Alfie Adams.
Tries: Whitcomb (11), Harris (47), Tiernan (59)
Goals: Scarsbrook 2 from 3.
All Golds player of the Match: George Orriss had a magnificent game for the All Golds, carrying strongly and making some good defensive interventions not least an incredible catch to defuse a wide kick that would have got the Eels back in the game early in the second period. His three tries were well taken and were key to the All Golds’ victory.
Scoring sequence: 6-0, 6-6, 12-6, (HT), 12-12, 16-12, 16-16, 22-16, 28-16, (FT)
Penalty Count: 5-8
Referee: Malcolm Holmes
Image: George Orriss on his way to his third try in the win over Brentwood (Image courtesy Shaun King)