Match Centre: Challenge Cup: Black Lion 10-15 Gloucester

Jonny May was part of the winning Gloucester side
Jonny May was part of the winning Gloucester side

Black Lion 10-15 Gloucester, Pool 3, Mikheil Meskhi Stadium

George Barton kicked all 15 points as Gloucester managed to hold off Black Lion in their opening game of the European Challenge Cup at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on Saturday.

Black Lion qualified for the Challenge Cup for the first time after winning the European Super Cup managed to remain in the contest but were eventually edged out by the Premiership club.

The game was eventually the battle of two fly halves and Barton kicked back to back penalties in the 11th and 17th minutes to get the scoreboard moving for the visitors.

Luka Matkava created his own scoring opportunity with a wistful dummy to break the Gloucester line and crashed under the posts. He also followed it with the conversion to make it 7-6 as the game entered the second quarter.

Barton with his third penalty kick around the half hour mark after the Georgians were penalised at scrum as they seized the lead back at 7-9. The home side thought they got their second try at the stroke of half time but a TMO intervention for a obstruction meant they were trailing by two points at the end of the opening half.

As Black Lion conceded another penalty at breakdown, Barton kicked it perfectly to extend the gap to five points and they exerted further pressure on the hosts when Harry Taylor fed Seb Atkinson but was stopped few metres before the scoring line.

As George McGuigan was penalised for not rolling away, Matkava landed a three-pointer in the 68th minute to make it a two point game before Barton with a penalty goal of his own in the 71st minute ensured Gloucester a five point victory.

Team line up:

Black Lion: Tsirekidze; Tabutsadze, Kveseladze, Sharikadze, Todua; Matkava, Peranidze; Abdushelishvili, Kvatadze, Chkhartishvili, Cheishvili, Babunashvili, Ivanishvili, Mamamtavrishvili, Spanderashvili.

Reserves: Mamrikashvili, Shamilishvili, Tchumbadze, Epremidz, Kervalishvili, Margalitadze, Kakhoidze,Modebadze.

Gloucester: Morris; Hearle, Hillman-Cooper, Atkinson, May; Barton, Young; Ford-Robinson, Blake, Gotovtsev, Clarke, Jordan, Thomas, Taylor, Donnell.

Reserves: McGuigan, Elrington, Knight, Clark, Ludlow, Chapman, Llewellyn, Hathaway.