Hartpury College RFC fall short at
John Barnes’ first game in charge of Hartpury College RFC ended in defeat against Clifton, the club where he spent 10 years as a player and coach, as Benedict Roberts kicked the Bristolians to a 24-20 victory.
Roberts kicked the home side ahead on 19 minutes after Hartpury’s Graham Speirs had missed a shot at goal.
Lock Will Waldron finished off a sniping Brad Field break two minutes later grabbing the first try of the day for the visitors, with Speirs adding the conversion.
Two penalties from Roberts, the second following a yellow card for second row Phil Hoy, edged Clifton back in front and they extended their lead five minutes before the interval when replacement George Karayiannis released Will Pomphrey down the left wing for a try converted by Roberts.
Speirs reduced the deficit to six points with a penalty before the break and, although he missed with another strike shortly after the restart, Field’s converted try from a quickly taken free kick after a sustained period of Hartpury pressure regained the students’ lead.
Speirs then scored one of two attempts at three points to give his side a 20-16 advantage.
But Clifton centre James Golledge scored the crucial try on 66 minutes after his midfield partner Jack Gadd broke through, with Roberts kicking a penalty four minutes later to seal the win.
Hartpury College RFC would like to thank Clifton for their excellent hospitality and wish them luck for the rest of the season.
Hartpury’s next match is at home to sixth-placed Redruth on Saturday 28th January.
Squad: 15 Lewis 14 Brend 13 Speirs (2P, 2C) 12 Rodwell 11 Clark 10 Gasson 9 Field (1T) 1 Barrington (sin bin 76’-80’) 2 Collins 3 Morris 4 Waldron (1T) 5 Hoy (sin bin 29’-39’) 6 Evans 7 Langley 8 Thomas (capt.) 16 Townsend 17 Thorne 18 Lawler 19 Craven 20 Dempsey
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