1XV v Berry Hill (away) 26 Aug 2017

26-7 Win

A host of players, young and old, together with many supporters descended on Berry Hill RFC last Saturday to revel in the Holiday sunshine whilst remembering a dear friend of both the clubs in both playing and coaching capacities, Ian 'Sedge' Seymour and raising money for Prostate Cancer Research.

The veterans gave of their best with some still remarkably sprightly and with much skill on display with somewhat understandably less stamina. Predictably the earlier stages were the speedier and Monmouth were first to score with a well engineered move with Sedge's son Adam in the vanguard and full back Dave Brace finishing off with a fine try which he also converted,

KIckable penalties were ignored in the general desire to play rugby and score tries and both sides came close but without a further first half score despite very open play helped by a very tolerant referee.

Berry Hill came out in the second half determined to redress things pressing the Monmouth line on several occasions but continued to be rebuffed by a doughty defence. There was now much more kicking for position as legs wearied, that is, until one of their less old talents at fly half, Greg Wilding, showed a lovely eye for a gap and sharp turn of speed to score a try under the posts for Monmouth's 0 -12 win.

Having set the scene, the trial proper now began and the desire to score through the hands rather than the boot continued. Camped in the corner ruck after ruck led to further penalties with kicks ignored and after ten minutes play it paid off with a move covering some 60m, finished off in style by full back Nuove far out but converted nevertheless by wing Parsons.

With five minutes to go to the break, Monmouth attacked but dropped the ball in their opponents' 22. The ball was picked up and Berry Hill countered at pace stopped only by a grabbed collar which although instinctive and even spectacular was adjudged dangerous resulting in a sin-binning of a Monmouth defender.

The home team took their chances and were soon pressing within the opposite 22 when scrum half Davies stopped a move from an off-side position and was similarly side-lined for ten minutes.

Tensions were now apparent and Monmouth in desperation put in an excellent high and deep kick to relieve things only to see the opposing right wing set off on a superb swerving run, wrong footing Nuove twice but it was he, as the last line of defence, who did not give up, catching the player as he crossed the line and punching the ball out of his grasp to prevent a score.

But Monmouth were not finished with Nuove again excelling with a try scoring run which broke through three tackles just before half-time!

The momentum was still with Monmouth as Green and Phillips combined to drive forcibly upfield for a rich from which the ball was spread wide left and Nuove (again) drew his man cleverly to put Parsons over for another converted try.

Nineteen points adrift now, Berry Hill ground their way back through their strong pack with a converted try which prefaced a period where Monmouth were repeatedly required to defend doggedly.

Fly half Emmanuelli needed to use his intelligent kicking well with clever kicks from deep to contain the pressure but then the game swung definitely in Monmouth's favour as a Berry Hill player was sent off more for intending to use the boot illegally rather than doing so.

With ten minutes more to play there was time for flanker Rhys Carleton to seize an opportunity from a quick penalty to dart over the line and dab the ball down leading to a 7-26 win.

A good result with some fine open play and strong defence but the real winner was the money raised in memory of a super guy. Things will potentially be much tougher when league fixtures commence with an away game at Fleur de Lys, k.o. 2.30p.m.

Tries: A.Nuove (3), R.Carlton
Conv: S.Parsons (3)

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