U18s Team Match Reports
Midsomer Norton RFC v Dorchester RFC
Sunday 14 April 2019 at Dorchester.
Final: Dorchester RFC 12 - Midsomer Norton RFC 12.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s travelled to deepest Dorset last Sunday to take on Dorchester RFC in their latest Dorset & Wiltshire Under 18s Merit Table match. After a close encounter between the two sides at Norton in January, this match was always expected to be close and after a fierce competition, the game ended at 12 apiece.
The opening exchanges were as expected played out largely between the two 22 metre lines – with neither side really threatening to break free. It soon became clear that the breakdown would go largely unpoliced, which made it very difficult for either team to create any quick and clean ball to work from.
Dorchester eventually went ahead when some nice hands saw them create space on their left hand side for the player to cross and dot down under the posts. Norton responded well and set up attack after attack, but found the home side’s defence in no mood to allow them in. However, a kick through from Norton was cleverly kept in play by Harry Smith and the resulting phases of play saw Joe Derrick barge over to reduce the deficit.
The second half was a scrappy affair, but the home side went back ahead when they were adjudged to have scored despite the ball being grounded first by Norton. Norton went back on the attack, looking for a score of their own. After a lengthy spell in the opposition 22, they eventually crossed when Percy Francis burrowed under the Dorchester defence to score. Archie Graham added the extras to even the scores up with 15 minutes to play.
Despite much effort and endeavour from both teams, neither side came close to scoring again and the game was brought to a conclusion with the scores tied at 12 all.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Yeovil RFC
Sunday 07 April 2019 at Yeovil RFC.
Yeovil 12 - Midsomer Norton RFC 17.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s travelled to South Somerset last Sunday to take on old rivals Yeovil in the latest round of Dorset & Wiltshire Under 18s Merit Table fixture. In the third meeting between the two sides this season, it was the Norton boys that secured a clean sweep of victories.
The opening exchanges were fiercely competitive with both teams testing each other’s defences with strong carries and hard running with the ball. Both sides at times looked to threaten the try line, with Norton in particular, guilty of wasting some good opportunities.
Norton eventually went ahead when Gregor Morgan won a penalty for holding on in the ruck deep in Norton’s half. A quick tap, a strong kick through and some slick hands saw James Rawlings gallop over from 30 metres out, despite the close attention of two Yeovil defenders. Rawlings converted his own try.
Norton went further ahead when Kieron Humphries was on the end of a series of off loads to crash over in the right hand corner. Yeovil did respond, when Norton were guilty of reacting slowly to a sniping run and with the extras added, the scoreline was reduced to a five point advantage for the visitors.
Following a penalty awarded to Norton, the resulting lineout was driven close to the Yeovil line, before Josh Kelsey broke away to score unopposed to extend Norton’s lead further going into the break.
The second half was a tough battle, played largely in the middle portion of the field. Norton were unable to gain any real position, both through inaccuracy, indiscipline and a stream of penalties awarded to the hosts. Despite being reduced to 14 players through injury, the 15 players of Yeovil did pull a single try back with 15 minutes to play but Norton stood firm and secured their victory with a display of resolve, character and determination.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Chippenham RFC
Sunday 24 March 2019
Midsomer Norton RFC 43 – Chippenham RFC 0.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s hosted Chippenham RFC last Sunday at Norton Down, in the first fixture between these two sides at this age group for several seasons.
Unusually for Norton, they started the game brightly and went ahead when Patrick Howell forced his way over in the fourth minute, Archie Graham striking the bar with the conversion attempt. Norton extended their lead further when winger Max Howie was first to a kick through to dot down next to the posts, Kieron Beeho adding the extras. Howie, crossed for his second just before half time, when he was on the end of some good handling to score out wide, Graham adding a fine conversion.
Even with the slope in Norton’s favour in the second half, the opening 20 minutes were even, with the Chippenham side seeing some ball and territory, but unable to cross the Norton line. Indeed, Norton went further ahead when Josh Kelsey crossed to score under the posts, James Rawlings this time adding the extras. Norton started to dominate proceedings at this stage and with the Chippenham lads starting to tire, the game started to open up and full-back Kieron Beeho cut loose in the last seven minutes, running in three excellent tries to help Norton seal a comfortable win against spirited opposition.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Avonvale RFC
Sunday 17 March 2019 at Norton Down.
Midsomer Norton RFC 12 – Avonvale RFC 19.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s hosted Avonvale RFC in the latest round of the Dorset & Wiltshire Merit Table fixtures on Sunday at Norton Down.
Choosing to play into the teeth of a strong breeze and up the slope, Norton knew they would be in for a tough first half. That they restricted the highly fancied Bath side to one try was a testament to some resilient defence and teamwork.
Avonvale edged into the lead when they surprisingly opted to go for goal from two penalties awarded in the opposition half. Norton rallied well and were rewarded when a series of strong carries saw Number 8 Joe Derrick career over on the left hand corner. Avonvale again chose the got for the posts from a penalty to extend their lead, before finally crossing the whitewash deep into added time at the end of the first period.
Norton, as expected started to dominate possession and field position, with the visitors struggling to make any headway in the second half. Norton were camped in the Avonvale 22 for long periods but were unable to turn their superiority into points. Indeed, it was 20 minutes into the stanza before Patrick Howell burrowed over, Archie Graham adding a fine conversation in very challenging conditions.
Avonvale were gifted 3 points when Norton were harshly adjudged to be offside following a clearing kick from a rare Avonvale foray into the Norton 22. From here on in, Norton bashed away at the visitor’s line, but some resolute defence and a lack of composure at times from the Norton boys, saw Avonvale take the spoils in a fierce game of Colts rugby.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Warminster RFC
Sunday 10 March 2019 at Warminster RFC.
Warminster RFC 0 - Midsomer Norton RFC 46.
Midsomer Norton RFC travelled into Wiltshire last Sunday and came away with a great scoreline in their favour.
Norton started the match slowly, with the hosts seeing plenty of the ball and having the better of the territory as well. The Norton boys however stood firm and slowly began to get a foot hold into the game. Jo Derrick crossed for two quick fire tries, one a surging run from the base of a scrum, and then skipper Gregor Morgan showed great footwork and no little pace to score from the preceding scrum 22 metres out.
With Warminster being lent Norton players three at time, the hosts were certainly game, but a well worked backs move saw winger Harry Smith score in the left hand-corner to extend Norton’s lead further going into the half time break.
The second half saw Norton with the majority of the field position and possession. Archie Graham was next to cross before some great off-loading in the tackle eventually saw Kieron Humphries score in the right-hand corner. Warminster were certainly spirited, but in truth never really threatened the Norton line. Graham added his second of the match, surging over from the base of a ruck, before Humphries rounded off a fine display from the Norton boys, scoring his second and the teams eighth try with the last playoff the game.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Yeovil RFC
Sunday 3rd March 2019 at Norton Down.
Midsomer Norton RFC 30 – Yeovil 5.
Midsomer Norton RFC Colts returned to Dorset &Wiltshire Merit Table action last Sunday when they hosted old rivals Yeovil RFC at Norton Down.
Playing into the driving rain and up the slope, Norton started the game well, carrying the ball strongly in the opening exchanges. Some good tackling from the visitors and plenty of dropped ball in the challenging conditions, meant that the first 15 minutes of the game remained scoreless.
Norton did edge into the lead however when a strong carry from Pat Howell score him score the opening try. Howell was once again on hand to double the hosts advantage 10 minutes later, again barging over the Yeovil try line.
With the conditions now firmly in Norton’s favour, they opened up the second half camped in the opposition 22, and some good handling saw the ball worked wide for Max Howie to score in the left-hand corner. Yeovil were certainly competitive and committed and pounced on a knock on two minutes later to run in a try from 35 metres out.
Norton upped their efforts from here on in and from long periods of pressure in the visitors 22 scored further tries from Henry McLachlan (2) and James Robson to see the hosts secure a comfortable and well-earned victory against strong opposition
Midsomer Norton RFC v Bishopston RFC.
Sunday 24 February 2019 at Bishopston RFC.
Bishopston RFC 34 - Midsomer Norton RFC 24.
Midsomer Norton were grateful to Bishopston RFC for offering a game at short notice last weekend, after an enforced three week break from matches.
In beautiful spring like conditions, the hosts were first to cross the try line only for Norton to respond when a sniping break from the base of a scrum saw skipper Gregor Morgan cross to open Norton’s account. Further tries were traded, with Bishopston adding their second before Henry McLachlan barged over for Norton, Archie Graham adding the extras from the tee to even up the scoreboard.
The Bristol side crossed again just before the half time break, to edge into the lead, 17 points to 12, going into the interval.
The large and powerful backline of Bishopston started to cause Norton problems out wide and they extended their lead further with two tries. Norton however were certainly not out of the game, and Henry McLachlan again crashed over after some good work form the pack to reduce the deficit, Rawlings converting.
Another try from the Bishopston backline took the game out of Norton’s reach, but the visitors were duly rewarded for their effort and tenacity when McLachlan completed his hat-trick with the final play of the day, to round off a good game of rugby played in great spirit.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Walcot RFC
Sunday 20 January 2019 at Walcot RFC.
Walcot RFC 14 - Midsomer Norton RFC 22.
Midsomer Norton RFC Colts made the trip to Bath last Sunday to take on Walcot RFC. Despite travelling with the bare 15 players, they produced a performance full of determination and resolve to come away with the spoils, against a well-fancied Walcot side.
The opening exchanges were played out in the middle of the field, with both sides testing each other’s defences with strong carries around the fringes. Norton started to make some headway into the Walcot 22 and edged into the lead when James Robson barged over, Rawlings striking the post with the conversation attempt.
Walcot rallied and were gifted a converted try when Norton failed to take responsibility for a loose ball and compounded their error by repeatedly shipping the ball backwards. The Walcot player scooped up the ball to score under the posts.
Following a penalty awarded to Norton in front of the Walcot posts, Norton edged back into the lead when Rawlings coolly slotted the three-point attempt. Norton had their tails up now and went further ahead when a bullocking run from Joe Derrick saw him score at the base of the posts, Rawlings converting.
The second half started with Walcot fired up and pressing, but some resolute defence saw the hosts kept at bay. Indeed, it was Norton that scored again, when a driving maul from a lineout saw Robson score his second of the match. Archie Graham added a fine conversion from out wide to extend the visitors lead further.
With Walcot ringing the changes from their extensive bench, the Bath side pushed and pushed and were eventually rewarded with a well worked try under the posts. With the conversion added, it was a question of whether the 15 Norton boys would stand firm. That they did so with some comfort is a testament to their resilience, tenacity and camaraderie.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Dorchester RFC
Sunday 06 January 2019
Midsomer Norton RFC 19 - Dorchester RFC 7.
Following the festive break, Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s resumed their Dorset &Wiltshire Merit Table campaign last Sunday by hosting Dorchester RFC at Norton Down. In a game full endeavour and effort, it was the home side that eventually deserved to take the spoils.
In a rare fixture between these two clubs at junior level, it soon became apparent that there would not be much between the two sides. The opening exchanges were largely played out in the middle portion of the field with neither side really threatening to make a break through.
Norton did have the better of the possession though and did at times begin the pin the Dorset side into their own half. However, much as the Norton lads pressed forward, they could not find a way through, lacking patience and accuracy at times in their attack.
Following a scoreless first period, the second half started in much the same way, with the hosts on the front foot and camped in the opposition half. This pressure eventually told as simple hands across the back line saw Callum Cocks cross in the right-hand corner. From the restart, Norton were guilty of not clearing their lines and following a scrum penalty, the visitors forced their way over for a converted try to edge into the lead.
Norton however, rallied well and some good handling in the backs eventually saw Kieron Beeho cross to edge Norton back into the lead, Archie Graham adding a fine conversion from the right-hand touchline. Norton sealed the win when Patrick Howell was on hand to touch down following a scrappy line out close to the Dorchester try line, Graham again adding the extras.
This was another great advert for Colts rugby, watched by a healthy crowd at Norton Down. Both sides will no doubt improve, now the season is back underway and the first game is under the belt.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Yeovil RFC
Sunday 16 December 2018
Yeovil RFC 12 - Midsomer Norton RFC 17.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s travelled to South Somerset last Sunday to take on Yeovil RFC. In difficult conditions, a game of full commitment and no little skill, eventually saw the Norton boys travel back across the Mendips with the spoils.
The game started with a strong breeze and driving rain and those conditions set the tone of the first half. Whilst there was no shortage of endeavour, handling was difficult and so the ball tended to be kept tight amongst the forwards. Neither side really threatened the try line and the first half ended with the match scoreless.
The second half started with Yeovil finding some forward momentum and fine handling saw the hosts score close to the posts. This seemed to stir the Norton lads, who responded with three tries of their own in the space of the next 10 minutes. Flanker Patrick Howell was first to cross the line following a driving maul. From the ensuing restart, a searing run from Tom Wiltshire saw him put Josh Kelsey clear and he raced away to score under the posts, James Rawlings adding the extras
A bullocking carry from Joe Derrick saw him take the ball and several defenders close to the Yeovil line. From the ruck, some excellent handling down the backline saw Kieron Beeho cross out wide to extend the visitors lead further. Yeovil responded with a well worked try of their own in the left-hand corner to reduce the deficit, but Norton saw out the last 5 minutes of the match to take the win. Final score Yeovil RFC 12 - Midsomer Norton RFC 17.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Wells
Sunday 09 December 2018
Wells RFC 31 - Midsomer Norton RFC 40.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s travelled across the Mendips for a return fixture with Wells RFC last Sunday. In what proved to be an entertaining game of rugby, Norton came away with the spoils in a match between the two sides again played in great spirit.
Wells went ahead early only for Norton to respond with three tries of their own. Captain for the day James Stratford was first to cross the line, followed by a careering run from Henry MacLachlan to score under the posts. A fine mazy, jinking run from Kieron Beeho saw him add the third and with all three tries converted, it left Norton well ahead. Two tries from Wells ahead of the halftime saw the match finely poised going into the break.
A good finish from Max Howie saw Norton edge a little further ahead at th start of the second half, only for Wells to respond with a converted try of their own. A second score under the posts from MacLachlan was followed another quick break from Beeho, this time from a quickly taken tap penalty. Rawlings added a fine conversion from the touchline to add the extras.
To their credit, the hosts refused to lie down and responded with another converted try. The last five minutes saw Wells hammer away at the Norton defence, but it stood firm and helped see the visitors to a hard-fought victory.
Final score Wells RFC 31 – Midsomer Norton RFC 40.
Midsomer Norton RFC v North Dorset RFC.
Sunday 25 November 2018 at Norton Down.
Midsomer Norton RFC 27 – North Dorset RFC 0.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s welcomed North Dorset RFC to Norton Down last Sunday and came away with a comfortable win after a fine all-round performance.
Starting very much on the front foot, some strong carries followed by some slick handling saw captain Gregor Morgan cross in the left-hand corner after only three minutes. Further good work from the pack and impressive running lines from the backs eventually saw full back Kieron Beeho cross in the right-hand corner to extend Norton’s lead further. North Dorset did rally well and spent a good 10 minutes hammering away at the Norton line. But some resolute defence and a great tackle from Kieron Beeho to prevent a North Dorset player from grounding the ball, saw the hosts try line remain unbreeched at half time.
The second started well for Norton, with the pack making impressive metres around the fringes. Another burst saw Josh Kelsey score Norton’s third try, before a fine run from Archie Graham saw him leave several visiting players grasping at thin air to add a fourth. Norton rounded off a great team performance, when Archie Graham was on hand to gather a pop pass to score under the posts following a fine break from scrum half Gregor Morgan.
Graham himself added the extras to conclude another fine game of colts rugby at Norton Down on a Sunday afternoon. Final score Midsomer Norton RFC 27 – North Dorset 0.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Wells RFC
Sunday 18 November 2018 at Norton Down.
Midsomer Norton RFC 56 – Wells RFC 0.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s hosted local rivals Wells RFC in the latest Dorset & Wiltshire Merit Table fixture at Norton Down last Sunday. With Wells a little light on numbers, a 13 a side match was agreed and what ensued was a good game of rugby played in great spirit between the two sides.
Norton started brightly, carrying the ball strongly and making use of the extra space on the field to move the ball around nicely. Early scores from Archie Graham and skipper Gregor Morgan, saw the home side ease ahead. Further good play saw additional tries from Tom Sparkes and Harry Smith, both converted by James Rawlings to leave the home side 24 points clear at the break.
The second half played out in similar fashion, with Wells occasionally threatening the Norton try line. Norton continued to play some attractive rugby, off-loading in the tackle to keep the ball alive and the visitors defence scrambling. Further second half tries from Tom Sparkes, Tom Wiltshire (2), Archie Graham, Kieron Beeho and Gregor Morgan saw the Norton boys come away with a comfortable victory against a spirited Wells side.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Frome/Warminster RFC
Sunday 11th November 2018
Frome RFC 19 - Midsomer Norton RFC 10.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s made the short trip to Frome last Sunday to take on the combined might of Frome and Warminster. Following an impeccably observed 2 minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday, a well contested match ended with the home side taking the spoils.
Norton started the match brightly, carrying the ball strongly and it wasn’t long before they went ahead through Josh Kelsey. The visitors harried the home side constantly when they had the ball, forcing turnover after turnover and they deservedly extended their lead when Henry McLachlan crashed over from short range to lead 10 – 0.
From here, Norton seemed to ease off a little and the Frome/Warminster started to come into the game more and more. Some missed tackles and a strong carry saw them reduce the deficit with a converted try before half time.
That pattern of the match continued with the home side becoming more organised and penetrative with ball in hand. They edged ahead with a good try before sealing the win with a long range try. Norton were threatening the home sides line when the ball was lost in a ruck and some good passing and a fine run saw the hosts score a converted try under the posts, to seal a well-earned win.
This was a disjointed performance from Norton, who will look to bounce back when they entertain Wells RFC next Sunday at Norton Down.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Trowbridge
21st October 2018
Midsomer Norton RFC 22 - Trowbridge RFC 10
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s welcomed old rivals Trowbridge to Norton Down last Sunday and in near perfect autumnal conditions came away with a well-earned win.
The opening exchanges were scrappy with neither team able to gain any real control of either possession or territory. The opening score came from a scrum on the Norton 10 metre line, where centre James Rawlings was fed the ball and burst through the visitor’s defensive line, before leaving the full back on his heels to score under the posts. The conversion was missed. Norton extended their lead before half time, when Tom Wiltshire scrambled over the line in the left-hand corner.
After 5 minutes of the second half, Norton had the opportunity to clear their lines, but opted to try and run the ball from their own 22, but from the turnover the Wiltshire side crossed to reduce the deficit. Norton extended their lead when some powerful surges from the forwards allowed captain Gregor Morgan to scramble under the Trowbridge defenders to score.
Trowbridge reduced the deficit with a well worked try before Rawlings sealed the win for Norton with another fine run, this time ghosting through the Wiltshire’s defence to score from 30 metres out. This was a fine performance from the Norton boys against a well fancied Trowbridge outfit, showing great determination and resolve to come away with the spoils.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Keynsham RFC
30th September 2018.
Keynsham RFC 32 - Midsomer Norton RFC 12.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s travelled to Keynsham RFC last Sunday in the opening round of the Somerset Cup. After a hard-fought encounter it was the hosts that progressed into the next round.
The opening exchanges of the match were even with both teams looking to establish themselves into the game. Norton carried the ball strongly around the fringes of the Keynsham defence but were a little guilty of being too impatient when they did have the ball. Indeed, from a high kick inside the opposition 22, Keynsham collected the ball and their speedy winger ran a full 80 metres to score. Another turnover saw the hosts extend their lead further, before some good pressure and handling saw Kieron Humphries score out wide in his last appearance for the club.
Keynsham started the second half very much on the front foot crossing twice in quick succession to extend their lead. Norton twice crossed the hosts try line but were unable to touch the ball down. Keynsham added two further tries before Kieron Beeho jinked his way through the Keynsham defence to score under the posts, adding the extras as well.
Ultimately, Keynsham deserved the victory, although the score line probably flatters them. The Norton boys at times showed great rugby skills in the match. They just need to add some consistency and patience.
Midsomer Norton RFC v Melksham RFC
16th September 2018
Melksham RFC 0 - Midsomer Norton RFC 17.
Midsomer Norton RFC Under 18s began their Dorset & Wiltshire Merit Table season with a hard fought, but ultimately satisfying win at Melksham RFC last Sunday.
The opening exchanges were typical of an opening fixture, with lots of commitment and handling errors on display from both sides. Following an even opening period, Norton began to gain some ascendancy, notably in the scrum, and started to spend more time in the opponent’s half. It took 30 minutes though before Norton edged ahead when flanker Patrick Howell crashed over, Kieron Beeho adding the extras.
Despite playing with the advantage of the breeze behind their backs, Norton had to display some resilient defence to keep the Wiltshire from scoring in the second period, holding them up over the line on a couple of occasions. Norton extended their lead however, when Archie Graham was able to run in from 10 metres and eventually sealed the win when some good handling in the backs saw Kieron Williams cross in the corner.
This was a good start to the season for the Norton boys, with 12 players making their Colts debuts. The team showed great defensive resolve at times against a skilful and competitive Melksham side, before showing glimpses of attacking threat to secure a well-earned win.