U18s Team Match Reports
2020 -2021 Season
Dorchester 17 v MNRFC 15
23rd Feb 2020
A long old drive and a frustrating game of rugby to watch from a Midsomer Norton supporters point of view, in the Quarter finals of the Dorset and Wilts cup.
The home team put the pressure on from the start with the elements in their favour and were more aggressive at the breakdown turning over Norton’s ball at critical times of the game. But resilient defence, Especially from Tom Wiltshire and Zack who never missed a tackle all game kept Dorchester from scoring until the quarter of an hour mark.
Norton’s scrum was put under immense pressure from the start, resulting in poor ball at the base for the backs to use. And a missed tackle allowed a converted try for the hosts to extend their lead. On the rare visit to their opponents twenty two, Cormac drove over to cut the arrears to 12-5 at the break after a good period of pressure.
The second half was a bit brighter but it was only the last quarter of the game that the visitors seemed to up the intensity, but not before the lead was extended after a strong forward run by Dorchester.
Then a change in positioning led to turn around and all of a sudden Nor were on the front foot and this came from Zack stealing his opponents line out ball and Deadly at flyhalf changing the direction of play and making a strong fifty meter run deep into Dorchester’s half. A few phases later a good pass from Jake K put Deadly in the corner and with five mins to go he scored his second from an identical position to pull the game back to within two points.
Then a neck injury to Harry with three minutes left, meant the teams had to change pitches and Dorchester closed the game out well to run out deserved winners.
Speedy recovery to Harry who received some ligament damage and will be out for six weeks.
Next week Norton Colts are home against Wiveliscombe.
Combe Down 0 Midsomer Norton 34
2nd Feb 2020
Back to friendly action for Norton colts this week as they travelled to Combe down. Young Nathan Beales took on the captaincy as Zack was injured.
A bright start and quick hands enabled Noah and Kieran to score quick tries.
Then a training ground move was just held up on the line and quick thinking by prop Jamie Day, as he pounced on the loose ball to score, converted by Finn.
Max then extended the lead with a good finish out wide to take a 22-0 lead at the break.
The second half turned into a bit of a hard slog and it wasn’t until the last ten minutes that Norton got their act back together. With tries from Henry and Zack, one converted by Archie to finish the game at 34-0. Good game from Norton’s Cormac Engledow and thanks to Harry and Elliot for filling in for the opposition team when they went short.
Next week the colts travel to Dorchester in the quarterfinals of the D&W cup.
North Petherton 13 v Midsomer Norton 10
25th Jan 202
Norton travelled to North Petherton for a rare colts Saturday match in the Q final of the Somerset Cup, and what a great cup match it was with both teams giving their all. Both teams had plenty of chances to score more points but great a defensive efforts stopped this happening.
Petherton were the first to score after five minutes after getting the ball out wide, their quick winger going over in the corner.
Norto then came back into the game and squandered a couple of chances to hit back. Their scrum was super dominant and ball retention into contact good.
Turning around at the interval, Henry pulled the scores level after a strong drive from close range.
The home team then broke away against the run of play and one missed tackle at the back of a lineout allowed their backs to break clear and retake the lead.
With ten minutes left a typical Finn try levelled the scores.
And five minutes from the end North Petherton kicked a penalty to lead 13-10. Even though the visitors bombarded the home defence in the remaining time, they were unable to get over the line.
A great performance by both teams.
Norton travel to Combe Down next Sunday for a friendly match.
Wells 5 v Midsomer Norton 6
19th Jan 2020
The long awaited clash of the Mendips finally happened in the deciding game in the Dorset & Wilts merit table (North).
Midsomer Norton needing a win to stay undefeated and thus win the league by a point.
And that’s exactly what they done in a victory by a single point.
Both teams defensive effort was to take no prisoners, and after only a few chances to each team, the score remained scoreless at half time, even though Norton had a player sin binned for the last minutes of the half. Nor couldn’t get going offensively, especially out wide where they looked slightly sharper. Wells defence shut the channel down well, to stop the ball carrier in midfield.
Norton dominated the scrum with Gregory, Maclaclan Maggs and Williams getting the better of their opposite numbers and but for the one and a half metre pushing rule, would of sucked all the energy out of the home pack. Captain Zack again disrupted his opponent’s ball and this led to the Wells lineout being ineffective.
Norton were first to score with a penalty kick by Finn from thirty metres out.
Wells got back after some good pressure and defensive numbers ran out and the wells number seven touched down out wide, to take the lead.
The visitors kept their discipline and with five minutes left, earned a penalty. Finn fancied his chances even though on this occasion it was forty metres away from the posts.
He struck the ball beautifully and cleared the posts by some distance.
Norton then played out the rest of the time to win a hard fought match and the league title All season the lads have worked hard and deserve the accolade of being champions.
Next Saturday the colts travel to North Petherton in the Somerset cup Quarter final 2:30 pm ko
MNRFC 26 v Sherborne 5
Sherborne visited Norton down for a friendly fixture. With both teams being able to experiment with players in different positions and different combinations.
Sherborne took a 5-0 lead into the second half, after a resolute defensive shift from the home team and probably should’ve scored a couple themselves too.
Norton then turned around in the second half and used the strong breeze to their advantage, and after a few minutes Noah sprinted down the right wing to score.
Jake Kilburn, hitting a bit of form scored next, breaking through a couple of tackles to get over the line.
Finn was next up after a typical abrasive run from close range to score out wide after a great line run by Deadly in the midfield. Finn converted his own try and the two tries either side of his to round off a good half for him.
Finally after good interaction between forwards and backs the home teams No 8 Nathan Beales charged over the line to score in Ashton style.
Solid all round 23 man squad performance.
Next week, hopefully away to Wells in Norton’s final merit league match.
Marlborough 17 v MNRFC 22
5th Jan 2020
After three weeks without a game, over indulgence at Christmas and the lurgy within the team. Norton’s colts traveled the long old trek to Marlborough.
With the opposition not having a front row, the game turned out to be a bit of a flop.
Jake Kilburn touched down first for Nor after good hands spread the ball wide and with a few yards to go wasn’t going to be stopped.
The home team hit straight back with a score before Finn regained the lead with a strong run from within the 22 meter line. Once again the home team hit back to level the scores going into the break level. Norton should have been a couple of scores up though if chances had been taken.
Captain Zack with his non stop work turned the ball over close to Marlborough’s line and dived over to retake the lead.
Kieran then added another to make up for dropping the ball over the line in the first half converted by Luke to take a 22-10 lead and looking on control. But the home team came back well with a converted try of their own and put late pressure on the visitors near the end, but wasn’t enough to stop Norton winning the game
Man of the match was Charlie Gumbleton who made some great tackles during the game.
Next weekend the colts travel to Wells knowing a win would clinch the Dorset and Wilts North Division Merit Table by a point , but this will be a very hard game and could go either way.
MNRFC 12 v Frome Academy 0
8th Dec 2019
Frome Academy travelled to play Midsomer Norton U18s, in what turned out to be a proper old local derby with no one wanting to give an inch of ground. Strong running and trench like tackling were the theme for the day in what was a well disciplined game.
On a very cold and blustery day with the ball being wet from a hail storm minutes before ko, Norton played up hill and into the strong elements.
The order of the day was to keep the score down the first half and work hard to get points the second half.
In a nut shell that’s what the home team did, not only keeping the score down but turning around at half time holding Frome to 0-0.
Fantastic tackling and disruption thwarted attack after attack, earning a moral lead going into the break.
Frome did the same to Norton at the beginning of the half but real pressure at scrum and lineout time gradually wore the visitors down The big difference was Norton’s kicking for territory, using the wind to great effect Kieran, Finn and Tom all kicked well.
Ten minutes into the half Jacob Hobbs-Simpson pounced on a loose ball from the back of an under pressure scrum, to score, this was converted by Archie.
It took another ten minutes for the next score, again Jacob was on the end of a great kick and chase by Tom and the now more energetic Norton players. Hassling the Frome full back turned the ball over and two quick off loads enabling the final score.
The rest of the match was played in the Frome half where the wind and Norton’s dogged determination not to let Frome score won the day.
Fantastic game of Rugby and both clubs should be proud of the efforts all players put in.
The only negative was a fractured collar bone for Norton’s hooker James Stratford suffered in the last ten minutes.
Midsomer Norton 50 v Old Bristolians17
1st Dec 2019
Old Bristolians visited Norton for the first meeting between these two age groups.
Once again the home team had to lend their opponents some players to make up the numbers and those that did put in a sterling effort.
It was Old Bristolians who scored first, after a couple of missed tackles and lack of concentration from the home side, early doors.
This kicked started Norton’s game and from a break off the back of a scrum Henry drove over, minutes later Luke ran a good line to score under the posts. This was followed by a Noah try, two were converted by Kieran to take the half time score to 19 -5.
Noah continued where he left off and ran in two tries early in the half, to complete his hat trick,after some good interaction between forwards and backs. Old Bristolians then had a purple patch and it was two Norton players that scored for them, from close range, Haydn and Cormac, one converted to pull the score line back.
Good hands and a big overlap allowed Luke to score his second try, after Archie selflessly give him a walk in score.
Henry then got his second with an abrasive drive from a few meters out.
Deadly got his third try, after running a strong line, he received a nicely weighted pass from Zack. This was converted by Henry with the last play of the game.
Over all a good performance though not for the whole seventy minutes. Pluses were good inter play between forwards and backs and strong running from man of the match Tom Wiltshire, who had a good all round performance.
Next week Norton host local rivals Frome in the Dorset and Wilts Merit table match 2:00 pm ko
Corsham 14 v Midsomer Norton 22
24th Nov 2019
Midsomer Norton colts travelled to Corsham to help out their hosts who only had 11 players and who hadn’t had any game time for a while.
Lending them different players to make up a fifteen aside game. And playing over three thirds rather than two halves.
Along way from an attractive match to watch Norton ended up victors by 22-14 with tries by Harry Smith, Cormac Engledow and two from the inform Kieran Beeho, who also played twenty minutes for Corsham.
Thanks to All the Norton boys who put in 100% playing for the opposition. The only positive being extended game time for all.
Kingswood 2nds 29 v Midsomer Norton 3rds 22
16th Nov 2019
A very different looking Norton thirds travelled to Kingswood in a prearranged game to introduce the under 18s colts players into the senior game.
This transition game took half a dozen senior players and twelve colts from Norton to play a squad of six colts plus twenty two seniors from Kingswood in what was billed as a friendly fixture. Both teams put in 100% and turned out to be very competitive until the final whistle.
From the kick off the home team used their massive weight and size advantage to run at Norton, and looked set to score after five minutes, until Charlie Gumbleton set the tone for the match by cutting his opponent in half with a fantastic tackle near the try line. His much larger opponent was winded and looked totally shocked. Minutes later Charlie again tackled another monster, his opposite winger to thwart the move.
After 10 minutes Kingswood opened the scoring but hit the post with the conversion to take the lead.
Almost instantly Norton hit back and with old and young linking well it was uncle Tim Sheppard who made the space and popped the ball to his nephew Tom Wiltshire, who scored under the posts. Archie converting to take the lead. Second row Swifty was next to go over the try line as he received an offload and sprinted in from ten metres out.
Two tries from the home team regained the lead for them going into the break.
Another family debut at the start of the second half for Nor as Deadly senior came on to play with his son and nephew in their first senior game for the club together. Swift got his second try after some good Norton pressure, a good catch from Zack at the front of the lineout enabled Swift to join the driving maule and flop over the line.
A quiet 10 minutes from the visitors led to two more home tries, and what would of ended up a score line that didn’t reflect the tightness of the game. But with ten colts on the pitch now and minutes left. Norton clawed a try back after good hands, saw winger Maclaclan touch down in the corner. With one last roll of the dice, again the ball got spun wide, unfortunately being knocked on when it looked like the game was going to end up a draw.
A disappointing weekend result wise for the seniors but the commitment of all the young colts against much bigger men and the confidence shown by the backs in attack was a massive positive for the clubs future.
Thanks to all of them and the oldies too for a great days rugby.
Man of the match for Norton was no7 Zack Neilson
Devizes 27 v Midsomer Norton 32
10th Nov 2019
Well this game was eventually turned around with no time left on the clock as the home team had romped into a 17-0 lead within ten minutes of the kickoff
. The first try was after a strong passage of play, pressure told and the try was scored with a long conversion a Bonus. Norton responded well but after a deflection from a kick through the ball popped up in to a Devizes hand for an interception try. With the conversion and a penalty kick the home team looked comfortable with their lead.
Eventually Nor started to claw their way back and Henry scored from a good catch and drive five metres out. A strong bustling run from Haon got the second back before Luke scored to bring the game within two points.
Devizes then scored a try after a silly off load from Norton who were in the ascendancy by this time. Again the try was converted and another penalty kick gave them a commanding lead with ten minutes remaining.
Then after a good talking to Nor responded with strong running rugby and hard clearing out of the ruck and this led to tries from Jacob HS out wide and Charlie who did very well to ground the ball with two men on his back.
Two points behind into the last play and after strong runs from Alfie, Haydn and deadly, the ball eventually came along the line for Archie to score, he also added the conversion to steal a victory at the final whistle.
This was a merit table game brought forward as original opponents Taunton couldn’t raise a team for the Somerset cup match.
At the moment Norton U18s are on top of the Dorset and wilts table after half of their fixtures have now been completed.
Midsomer Norton 34 v Combe Down 0
3rd Nov 2019
After all the previous two days rain it was doubtful this fixture would be going ahead. But the sun came out and the game was played in glorious sunshine Norton playing down the slope started well and with in the first ten minutes scored two good tries.
Henry driving over from close range followed by Kieran scoring out wide after a gutsy run.
A quiet middle part of the half led to a stalemate as both teams made yards but then lost the ball at the break down, before the try of the game came from a strong burst through the middle from Luke and Archie was on hand to receive the off load and score under the posts.
And within minutes scored his second as his good line speed enabled him to intercept a pass and run in unopposed from the twenty two metre line. Kieran converted both tries to turn around at the break 24-0 up.
Norton made hard work of the second half even though they played some decent rugby, left quite a few points on the pitch.
Finn scored next for Nor, before Cormac took a good crash ball and drove over from close range in the last play of the game.
Final score being 34-0 In Norton’s favour.
Man of the match was Kieran Beeho.
Thanks to the 6 Norton players who helped Combe Down out to make up the numbers during the game.
Frome 22 v Midsomer Norton 22
18th Oct 2019
Midsomer Norton traveled to Frome for a Friday night under the lights game in a friendly fixture being played in the memory of Lauren Rose Mead a young family member and friend of Frome RFC and it’s players.
A massive crowd of well over two hundred supporters and friends turned up to watch a really competitive match played in good spirit by two committed teams.
Before the game both teams lined up and marked their respects with a minutes applause.
Norton came out of the blocks the quicker and ten minutes in, captain Henry Maclaclan drove over with a powerful drive.
And shortly after more good forward play, scrum half Jacob Hobbs Simpson burrowed underneath the big boys to increase the lead to ten - nil Then the combination of Norton letting their foot of the gas and Frome getting their tails up with the help of their massive support, it was Frome who took control of the game and in quick succession scored three tries all out wide with one converted to take a well deserved lead.
Haydn Ridewood got one back for the visitors just before the break converted by Harry Smith to level the scores at 17-17 at half time.
A very competitive second half saw Frome regain the lead before Tom Sparey equalised midway through the half. A lot of Norton pressure at the end wasn’t converted into points and the scores ended up level, which was an apt result for the occasion.
Great effort and respect from all involved on the night.
Midsomer Norton 38 v Walcot 10
6th Oct 2019
What a difference a week makes. After last weekends disappointing performance the boys stood up to be counted in their latest merit table fixture against Walcot.
Walcot had the slope and the wind in the first half and for the first twenty minutes pegged Norton deep inside their half but great defensive work kept their visitors down to a solitary penalty kick. Deadly scored and converted Norton’s opening try with ten minutes of the half left.
Before the only sloppy defence of the game allowed Walcot’s strong centre to burst through and score a try which was converted.
And the last play of the half Kieran Beeho touched down with Deadly converting to take a 14-10 lead into the second half.
Noah watts came off the bench at the start of the half and his direct running earned him an instant try.
Deadly then got his second. Before Noah got his second too, both converted by Kieran.
As the half went on the determination to keep a zero point half was impressive as Norton’s defence stayed strong.
And after his best game in a colts team so far Jake Kilburn made the space for Jason Cockerill to score his first colts try out wide.
A good bounce back this week with all players putting in a great shift.
Next week a tough trip to Wells for the U18s next merit game
Midsomer Norton 12 v Trowbridge 31
29th Sept 2019
After an impressive away victory two weeks previous in the league against Trowbridge. It was Norton’s turn to host them in a friendly fixture on a blustery Norton down afternoon, and this was far from an impressive performance, physically or mentally.
Trowbridge with the elements in the first half hardly let Norton out of their own half. With the strong wind against them the home side made basic errors and poor decisions, which ultimately led to the visitors first try after a lofty pass was intercepted by the flyhalf from ten meters out.
The positive for the home team was their effort in the tackle. Which kept the score to seven points before Trowbridge increased their lead to 14-0 at the break.
Not a bad turn around score considering the conditions but both tries had come from Nors mistakes.
So second half game plan, use the wind and play in the far corner.
And that’s what they did within a minute of the restart with Finn putting a great kick in to touch, Norton won the ensuing lineout and it was Charlie Gumbleton who scored from the back of a maul.
Game on or so you would think but that was the last time this tactic was used all game.
Trowbridge then went on to score two more tries before Kieran scored after a five metre scrum, Luke kicking a good conversation from way out wide into the wind.
Norton’s scrum was dominant and Trowbridge elected to go uncontested to avoid injury.
With minutes left Trow sealed a good victory for them by 31-12.
Back to merit league action next week when Walcot visit Norton Down
Midsomer Norton 72 North Dorset 5
22nd Sept 2019
North Dorset from the southern half of the Dorset and Wilts league were the visitors to Norton Down Sunday for a friendly fixture.
With a changed starting lineup and four debuts for the colts, Norton were a little slow to get in to the game plan and after some wayward off loads put themselves under unnecessary pressure.
This enabled the visitors to poach the ball from the back of a ruck and score the opening try and for the next five minutes looked the stronger team.
Starting to get their act together Norton then took control of the game and it was Callum Bell who used his pace to score Nors opener. Next up was the try of the match after strong running and great support from no 8 Nathan Beales who ran in under the posts.
Then good hands saw the ball reach the wing and Tom Sparey increased the lead.
Coming off the bench captain Henry made a powerful run from Dorset’s twenty two metre line and drove over the line with tries converted by Harry and Kieran,the home team took a 24-5 lead into the break.
The second half turned out to be one way traffic, but never the less Norton still played some good rugby. Alfie Gregory scored a good props try pumping his legs over the line. Deadly (2) Noah (2) Kieran ,Jacob Simms and Jake Kilburn all added tries, two converted by Harry to take the final score to 72-5 and the game finished ten minutes early.
Really good all round performance for the colts and a positive of three debutants scoring tries and it was Alfie Gregory and Nathan Beales who were men of the match.
Next week Trowbridge are the visitors to Norton Down for another friendly fixture.
Trowbridge 19 Midsomer Norton 24
15th Sept 2019
New teammates and new combinations for the new season ahead. Midsomer Norton Colts started off their Dorset and wilts merit campaign with a tough trip to Trowbridge in the strong sunshine.
Norton started off well and denied Trowbridge the ball for the opening exchanges.
But it was the hosts who scored first midway through the half after a strong run from their tall second row.
Tom Wiltshire levelled the scores minutes later after good driving play from the forwards from a lineout on the twenty two line, and after multiple drives the ball came out to the fly half who nipped back inside to score.
Trowbridge then regained the lead after a few missed tackles allowed a soft score.
With two minutes of the half left Noah watts ran a superb line and burst through the gap to score, Kieran converting to level the scores at 12-12 at the break.
Both teams battled hard for the first part of the second half, with not a lot between the two sides.
Once again Trowbridge regained the lead with a converted try after their prop drove over from close range which was converted to take a seven point lead into the last fifteen minutes.
The visitors fitness then started to show through and again a great line from Noah allowed him to score his second try.
With the momentum now in Nors favour it was again down to Noah to show his pace and leave would be tacklers in his wake to round off a great performance and complete his hat trick and seal a hard fought victory. The try converted by Harry Smith.
Plenty to work on but a great first outing.
Man of the match was Zack Neilson who stole plenty of opponents ball at the line out and tackled his heart out.
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.