BRISTOL ALL GOLDS 8 – 52 HAMMERSMITH HILLS HOISTS
Christopher Wilson at Oaklands
The Bristol All Golds suffered their heaviest defeat of season against Hammersmith Hills Hoists. The visitors crossed for ten tries in all with only two well-taken scores from Joe Uren in reply.
The first half was dominated by Hammersmith who led 16-0 at the interval despite a litany of handling errors and some desperate but effective All Golds defence on their own tryline.
With a man in the sinbin, the All Golds conceded three tries in the opening ten minutes of the second period as the visitors’ handling skills improved and it looked as if Hammersmith would rack up a huge scoreline.
However, Uren pulled a score back and added another at the end of the game. However, Hammersmith had added four more tries to pass the half century before then and go into next week’s game with London Chargers looking for the win to secure second place in the table.
The All Golds, however, have a winner takes all encounter with Brentwood Eels with a place in the semi-finals at stake.
The Bristol All Golds crashed to a heavy defeat to a title-chasing Hammersmith side that put an error-strewn first half behind them and turn on the style in the second to cruise to victory.
For the All Golds, it was the first time they had conceded a half century of points this season and, but for some incredible goal-line defence that denied Hammersmith at least three more scores, it could have been much worse.
The home side had few chances in the game but took two of them clinically, with Joe Uren marking a rare appearance with a brace of well-taken scores.
For the visitors, second row Greg Lingard was outstanding, scoring a try and creating a number of others. Centre Charlie Beatty crossed for four tries and full back Joel Strasser grabbed a hat-trick as Hammersmith ran in ten tries in a performance that showed they are well capable of lifting the title at the end of the season.
The match started in pouring rain and Hammersmith recovered their short kick off to immediately put pressure on the home side and would have had a try on their first possession but for an obstruction.
However, it wasn’t long before the visitors took the lead. After five minutes’ play, swift hands sent Beatty racing over for his first score.
Despite struggling with their handling, which was quite poor at times, Hammersmith created chances.
Kade Breen dropped the ball over the line in a heavy tackle and scrum half Luke Morrissey was held-u pover the line as the All Golds’ goal-line defence stood up to the pressure.
However, that good work was undone as Strasser was able to coast over the line to score immediately afterwards.
The All Golds were unable to get into the game as errors early in the tackle count gifted Hammersmith field position and meant that the home defence was worked hard.
Just before the half hour, an interception turned defence into attack for the visitors and Beatty was on hand to score. Blaise Lomax added the goal for a 16-0 lead.
Right on half time, Craig Kruger was somehow prevented from scoring by a superb tackle from Connor Massey. However, in assisting Massey, Connor Kendall slid in with his knees and was shown a yellow card.
After the break Hammersmith continued to play with pace, but their handling was much more secure and playing against 12 men, they took full advantage. Three tries in the opening ten minutes of the half, doubled their score as the All Golds, without captain Jack Uren who was on his way to hospital suffering from concussion, were all over theplace defensively.
Strasser weaved through for the first score of the half with barely a minute played. Lingard then ran through a huge gap for the second and then Tom Condon supported a break by Joe Roberts for a third. Lomax added two goals and all of a sudden the lead was 32-0 and the result all but decided.
Kendall returned to the field just as the All Golds had the ball in their hands for the first time in the half and they began to put together some threat to the visitors’ line.
After a six-again call and back-to-back penalties, a superb pass from Darrion Ball gave Joe Uren just enough space to squeeze in at the corner for an unconverted try.
They then won a goal-line dropout but lost possession after a crunching tackle dislodged the ball. From the scrum Beatty raced over for his hat-trick, Lomax adding the straightforward goal from in front.
There is an adage that a wise conjuror never repeats a trick and Ball found out the truth behind that saying in the All Golds’ next attack when he tried a lofted ball to the wing again but it was snapped up by Tevita Ruhen who ran 70 metres to score.
The All Golds were still managing to nick possession but then lose it cheaply and then concede a try. This was succinctly encompassed with ten minutes left as good defence only conceded a goal-line drop-out. The well-placed kick found touch, earning the All Golds possession.
However, they lost the ball on the second tackle and swift hands across the field put Beatty in for his fourth touchdown. From the restart, Hammersmith clocked up the half century, Lingard’s break being expertly finished by Strasser, Lomax adding the goal.
However, the All Golds had the last word, as Hammersmith made a mess of the kick off and Ball went back to the play that brought the All Golds’ only try and conjured a second as Joe Uren had space and time to score in the corner.
The conversion attempt went wide and the game ended with Hammersmith looking forward to hosting London Chargers and securing at least second spot in the table, and the All Golds heading for a winner-takes-all shoot-out with Brentwood Eels for fourth place and a spot in the semi-finals.
ALL GOLDS: Michael Holden; Connor Kendall, Connor Massey, Nathan Tucker, Rohan Chatterjee; Owen Priest, Darrion Ball; Matt Blacker, Adam Turner, Dylan Thomas; Morgan Lewis, Billy Hooper; Jack Uren (Capt); INTERCHANGE: Greg Hamilton, Joe Uren, Jay Woodley, Mackenzie Cumming.
Tries: Joe Uren (55, 76)
Goals: Ball 0 from 2.
HILLS HOISTS: Joel Strasser; Daniel Murphy, Charlie Beatty, Blaise Lomax, Tevita Ruhen; Tom West, Luke Morrissey; Craig Kruger, Tom Condon (Capt); Kade Breen; Robert Cooper, Greg Lingard; Joe Roberts; INTERCHANGE: Troy Carter, Josh Pawley, Jai Prevett, Darren Ackroyd.
Tries: Beatty (5, 28, 61, 70), Strasser (20, 41, 73), Lingard (43), Condon (46), Ruhen (65)
Goals: Lomax 6 from 10.
All Golds player of the Match: Full back Mike Holden had a sound game at the back. Safe under the high ball and making some strong carries to get his side on the front foot.
Scoring sequence: 0-6, 0-10, 0-16, (HT), 0-22, 0-26, 0-32, 4-32, 4-38, 4-42, 4-46, 4-52, 8-52, (FT)
Penalty Count: 5-3
Referee: Malcolm Holmes