National Leagues: Rams maintain perfect start, Bournville come back to beat Harrogate and Barnstaple shake off heavy loss

James Weaver started for Bournville after being named on the bench originally
©Lee Sullivan

To back up a scintillating first round of action last weekend, round two has offered even more drama from start to finish.

Have a read below as we recount every game that took place over the weekend.

National One

It was Jack Jolly’s late conversion that handed Birmingham Moseley a late 22-20 win over Blackheath at Billesley Common.

Scoring was opened by the home side in the opening exchanges, with a try from Ryan Roach before a Marcus Kershaw try and five points from Sam Evans’ boot gave Blackheath the lead.

Evans would slot another penalty before the break, that three-pointer giving the Londoners a one-point lead following Sam Pointon’s converted try. Ben Palmer briefly kicked Birmingham ahead, but Stephen Leonard’s 69th minute try put the game in the balance with 10 minutes left.

Ultimately it was Aquile Smith’s try and Jolly’s conversion that handed Moseley a well earnt win in front of 971 of their supporters.

Following their 18-18 draw last weekend, Bishops Stortford have got their first win of the season after trailing 19-3 at half-time in their clash with Plymouth Albion.

Albion got to the races quickly, scoring a try through Alex Ducker, the resulting conversion from Tom Putt missed, but the fly-half got off the mark with a penalty not long after. Jack Clemson added another try, whilst Putt kicked another two penalties heading into the half.

Dan Cole’s penalty had been the only moment of real joy for the Silver Leys regulars, but by the close of the 80 minutes there would be sheer delight for those in blue and white.

Sam Winter added the first try for BSRFC, giving Cole an easy conversion in the process. Cole had his kicking tee out again for Chris Smith’s effort, whilst a penalty try and an unconverted Seb Brownhill score allowing for the game to finish 32-19.

Cinderford’s encounter with Caldy in Gloucestershire certainly wasn’t short of drama, with five yellow cards across the game, as well as three penalty tries having been awarded.

Tim Andrew scored the opening try before two penalty tries were awarded to Caldy and one to the home side heading into the break, the scores level with 40 minutes left to play.

It would be Andrew again to opening the scoring, Reece Broughton once more adding the extras. Scores would be level once more as a result of Lucas Titherington’s try, but the game was clinched by Harry Hone’s effort and a further penalty from Broughton to round off the 29-21 victory.

Nine tries were scored in this game as Taunton carried on their adjustment to life in National 1 with an impressive 32-38 victory over Darlington Mowden Park. Scores came from Charlie Wright, Harry Tarling, Francisco Diaz Dart, George Gosling and Jack Walsh for the visitors, whilst tries for the hosts came from Shaun McCartney, Euan McKirdy and Carl Guest in an enthralling match-up in the north-east.

Having been pinned back late on by Bishops Stortford, Tonbridge Juddians fell short again, this time at the hands of Rams in a 24-13 loss. Seb Reynolds’ team led at the break after being awarded a penalty try 10 minutes in, as well as scores from Ben Henderson and Oliver Cole.

James Baker makes a carry for Seb Reynolds' Rams
©Paul Clark

TJ’s only points in that opening period came from Tom White and Harvey Young, with the former only getting one more opportunity with the tee as a result of Murray Galbraith-Lowe’s effort.

Unfortunately, those scores were in vain as a result of Rams’ lead having been extended by Connor Hayhow’s earlier unconverted score.

It was a day to forget for Leeds Tykes in London as they succumbed 60-10 at the hands of Rosslyn Park. Park registered nine tries in this game, Ben Howard scoring a hat-trick, Henry Robinson scoring twice, with Arthur Ellis, Brandon Jackson, Lewis Jones and Owen Waters all scoring once. Leeds’ points came from the boots of Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley and Charlie Venables, as well as a try from Will Hardwick.

All the points were scored in the second half of Sale FC’s 15-7 win over Cambridge at Heywood Road. Nicholas Gray a try just after the break, Chris Johnson unable to convert that effort, but would kick a penalty just five minutes later.

Thomas Walsh’s converted try for Sale concluded the hosts’ scoring for the day, whilst Kieran Duffin’s converted try accounted for the Blood and Sands’ only points on the day.

National Two North

Huddersfield got off the mark after losing out to Bournville last weekend with a 29-11 win on the road at Blaydon. Whilst the host’s Ryan Foreman got scoring underway with an early penalty, it was the visitors who raced into an early lead.

By the break Liam Stapley’s converted try and further penalty from Will Milner put them in control of the game, even if John Clarkson’s penalty meant there was only four points in the game with 40 minutes left to play.

The scrum-half would add another penalty in the second period, but converted scores for Liam Parfitt, Jonathan Mason and Lewis Bradley meant that it was Huddersfield who headed home the happiest.

The National League Rugby Review Show’s featured game for round two couldn’t have been more dramatic if it tried. Bournville ultimately won the game 47-29 at Avery Fields, despite Harrogate having started so strongly in the game.

Sam Fox opened the scoring with a superb individual effort, before adding the conversion and a penalty shortly after. Last week’s National 2 North player of the week then got in on the action to claw his side back into the game, Callum Thompson charging over the line to allow player-coach Mitch McGahan his first shot at the posts.

Player/coach Mitch McGahan scored a try for Bournville
©Lee Sullivan

Conor Miller added another try for the visitors, Fox adding the subsequent conversion and another penalty to keep the home side at bay. To close out a rather forgettable first half for them, Bournville registered two unconverted tries through Ollie Dawkins and James Weaver.

It was a maroon onslaught in the second period with tries for McGahan, Dawkins, Thompson and Ethan Walker, as well as a couple of penalties, helping the newly promoted West Midlander’s carry on their perfect start to life in the fourth division.

With both sides having picked up wins last weekend, only one of Loughborough Students and Fylde could take a 100% record heading into the third round and it was the latter who would do so on Saturday afternoon.

Taking an early lead thanks to two Ben Gregory tries, Fylde were soon overrun by their opponents in purple. Sam Kildunne scored a double of his own either side of the break, each of the scores converted and a further three points came from the boot of Charlie Titcombe.

Naturally, the crowd at Woodlands would have not been thrilled with what they had seen up to that point and their support no doubt pushed the home side to the lead. Gregory completed his hat-trick, whilst Tom Carleton and Greg Smith both registered scores to confirm victory.

A 10-try affair at Brantingham Park, Hull Ionians raced to a 50-14 win over Tynedale. Early on the I’s dominance was made abundant thanks to tries from Sam Wilson, James Sanderson, Benjamin Stephenson and Lewis Minikin.

Tynedale would get on the board thanks to a converted Guy Pike try after the break, however Ionians could barely be stopped after half-time. Whilst ‘Dale’s Jack Outson would register a score, Hull brought up their half-century of points through Chris Morton, Minikin, William Edwards and Paul Evison’s tries.

Sedgley Park and Rotherham Titans shared the spoils in Manchester with a 22-all draw. Much of the scoring was done in the first half, Jonathan West kicking a penalty in the fourth minute, before Park scored converted tries through Bob Birtwell, Matt Gallagher and a Stephen Collins penalty.

Before the halfway mark, Matt Williams crossed the whitewash twice to keep Titans within two. Harry Dunne’s converted try stretched the visitors ahead briefly, prior to Danny Openshaw’s 64th minute score tying the game up.

Sheffield Tigers scored 20 unanswered second-half points to secure a win over Wharfedale in South Yorkshire in order to pick up a 23-15 win. Two tries from Matt Speres and the boot of Jack Blakeney-Edwards put the men in green ahead, with a sole Mark Ireland penalty the only return for Sheffield.

Ireland had an influence on things after the break, converting Tony Gelsthorpe’s try, another penalty before dotting down himself. Curtis Wilson’s unconverted try concluded scoring in the game and a win for the hosts.

A tight affair at Stourton Park, it was ultimately the hosts that were victorious thanks to a 19-17 score line. Jack Lea registered a double, while Mark Harrison scored Stourbridge’s other try, with scores for Hull coming thanks to Latu Makaafi, Michael Jobling and the boot of Simon Humberstone.

Luctonians’ visit from Chester was postponed as a result of a Covid-19 outbreak in Herefordshire club’s senior playing group.

National Two South

Just over 200 people made their way to Barn Elms to watch as Redruth overcame Barnes 24-10 in London. Fraser Honey scored seven points on the day, kicking a penalty and two conversions, Ben Fox, Matthew Blee and a penalty try accounting for the rest of the team’s points. Barnes’ 10 points came courtesy of the boot of Josh Hammett and Jack Garrett’s late try.

After a 71-0 loss at the hands of Clifton last weekend, Barnstaple have picked up their first win of the season with a 35-17 win over Westcliff. The win was largely thanks to the clinical nature of Jacob Murphy from the kicking tee, the outside centre kicking penalties.

Also converting his own try, as well the efforts of Flynn Elworthy and William Topps, all of Wescliff’s points came thanks to Gregory Bannister.

Jacob Murphy was instrumental in Barnstaple's win over Westcliff
©Bob Collins

Esher backed up their opening weekend victory over Rochford Hundred with a 45-19 win on the road at Dings Crusaders. It was a dominant performance from the road side, the boot of Sam Morley and Rhodri Adamson doing most of the damage for Peter Winterbottom’s side.

A penalty try, as well as scores from Sam Bullock, Luke Peters, Thomas James, Joseph Vajner and Jack Lavin put the icing on the cake, whilst two tries for Tom Gollop and one for Thomas Foot offered some consolation for the home supporters.

Clifton made their way to Leicester Lions on Saturday in the hope of building on their demolition job of Barnstaple the week prior. Picking up a close 34-21 win against their hosts, the Bristolians surviving a late scare to pick up a bonus point win.

Ben Young struck two early penalties for Leicester, but a converted Henry Harper try and an unconverted try for Marcus Nel put the visitors briefly ahead. With a minute left of the first period, Lions took a lead into half-time with Isaac Thompson’s converted effort.

Like in the first half, a Young penalty opened the scoring again, but what followed was a sequence of concerted pressure from Clifton. Three penalties from Luke Cozens and tries from Harry Bate and Niall Gibbons gave their team a strong lead, a lead that would be challenged by an unconverted Daniel Martin try and a Young penalty.

Old Albanian picked up their second win of the season with this tightly contested match-up with Canterbury. Ultimately winning 29-21 at Woollams Fields, it was the home side that opened the scoring with a penalty from Watt nearly 20 minutes in as each side tried to work one another out in the opening exhanges.

That score opened things up, with each side crossing the whitewash prior to heading back into the changing rooms for a team talk. Canterbury scored twice, with converted tries for Thomas Williams and Kyan Braithwaite sandwiching an Alessandro Ricci effort.

Tries were on the agenda in the second period, with OA’s registering three to Canterbury’s one. The visitors’ try came from King, whilst the win was secured by Old Albanians’ Tom Mills, Morgan Thompson and Ben Charnock.

Both of Rochford Hundred and Guernsey Raiders were beaten on the opening weekend and it is Rochford who are still on the hunt for a maiden win in National 2 South after a 24-42 loss.

Guernsey were dominant from start to finish, registering six tries in Essex before heading back home. Owen Thomas picked up 17 of the away team’s points, converting three tries, scoring one of his own and slotting a drop goal.

The final match of the weekend saw Worthing Raiders pick up a 29-21 win over Bury St Edmunds. Much of the work was done by Jordan Turner-Hall’s men in the opening 40 minutes, as tries from Jack Forrest, Mathew McLean and Connor Slevin allowed for a large advantage and task for BSE to overcome.

Getting on the board thanks to a converted Shaq Meyers try, but the visitors’ momentum was halted by a penalty from McLean.

Nearly 1000 had made their way to The Rugby Park, and would have been thoroughly enjoying themselves, particularly after Meyers got over the try line again. Harrison Sims’ try closed scoring for the home team, whilst Michael Stanway’s converted try only added intrigue as the game reached its end.

Following the passing away of David Hyde, Henley Hawks' game with Hinckley was called off. If you wish to support David's wife, Katherine, and their son, Tore, you can donate to the club's GoFundMe.

2019-20 National League 1 Points Table

 

National League Rugby