Deceptive Winning Scoreline in Hard Fought Match
By Steve Bird
Avon were made to work hard by a Bristol Harlequins team whose first half performance belied their lowly league position.
Things started well for Avon as they took an early lead when man-of-the-match Chaz Meddick crashed over wide out to open the scoring. Quins then hit back to take the lead with a converted try shortly after and then dominated the rest of the half as their efficient pack controlled proceedings down the slope. They extended their lead with a penalty and only some excellent Avon defence and a few moments of good fortune prevented any further Quins scores. Eventually Avon weathered the storm and started to exert some control, going into half time 2 points up against the run of play after Ben Hurd went straight though the middle of a breakdown to score a vital try.
Having spent most of the first half in an arm-wrestle with the Quins pack, Coach Kai Harwood changed the tactics and told his players to open the game up. This worked instantly as Avon started to spread the ball wide, allowing Hurd pick up his second try before winger James Leeming out-paced the defence to open up a two score lead. Then, with 10 minutes remaining, Avon’s tactics paid dividends as they exposed a tiring Quins defence with 3 more converted tries to put an added gloss on their win.
Firstly, Leeming added his second with another scorching run, then Alex Gapper touched down before Ollie Flight celebrated his birthday with the final try. Jonny Batchelor added 4 conversions before leaving the field through injury with 2nd row forward Xander Davis nonchalantly slotting the final conversion. This late surge resulted in a 45 – 10 final score line which seemed harsh on the battling performance of the Quins side and which keeps Avon in the mix in the top 4 of Somerset Premier.
Avon's commitment to the cause was no more evident than in enthusiastic replacement louis belsten who was so eager to join in the action that he ran onto the pitch having forgotten to put his shorts on!