Narrow defeats for unlucky Ross

First published in Sport

Ross on Wye 15 pts Westbury 17

WESTBURY'S power in the scrum was sufficient to overcome a Ross side struggling to overcome the after-effects of a single-point defeat by Cinderford in the semi-final of the Forest Combination Cup three days previously.

Westbury, Gloucester 2's second-bottom club, began strongly but there were plenty of errors from both sides as rain began to fall.

The visitors set up a series of scrums near the Ross line and their pressure and significant weight advantage eventually paid off when the home side conceded a penalty try.

An exchange of penalties took the score to 10-3 at the interval.

A second penalty try early in the second half pushed Westbury further ahead but that finally stimulated Ross into action.

A neat score from Rhys Chandler, converted by Craig Boughton, cut the deficit which was reduced still further by an unconverted score by Chay Brine but Westbury held out despite almost constant pressure in the last five minutes.

Against Cinderford, the story was quite similar with Ross fighting back in the second period after trailing 20-0 at the interval.

Craig Smith raced through to score the opening Ross try and this was quickly followed by a well-timed offload by Gavin Oates which put Brine in under the posts.

Ross continued to dominate possession but, despite another score by man-of-the-match Chandler following a fine cross-field kick by Gareth Holdsworth, the south Herefordshire side fell agonisingly a single-point short.

Greyhound remain in relegation danger near the foot of Midlands Four West (North) after a 20-0 reverse at Cleobury Mortimer.

The city side held their own for the first 20 minutes but then fell behind to a penalty.

After this, Cleobury were able to press home their advantage and eased home with three tries, one of which was converted.

Greyhound remain outside the drop zone and can secure their position on Saturday with a home win over Five Ways Old Edwardians.

Warley, who currently occupy the second relegation spot, will need to win against visiting Bromyard if they are to have any hope of beating the drop.

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