Clifton emerge victorious over Old Reds 

The Rugby Football Union’s National 2 West league features local sides Clifton, Dings Crusaders, Old Redclffians and Weston Hornets, who compete against opponents stretching from Camborne in the far South West to Chester in the North West.    

It is however the local derby games which create competitive and sometimes feisty occasions with partisan support !  

Clifton 38    Old Redcliffians 24  

By half time Clifton looked to be coasting to a comfortable win having secured a try bonus point and scored twenty-six unanswered points. They made good use of a strong wind to maximise possession and territory, forcing the visitors to incur a high penalty count.  

The return of popular second row Henry Harper after a lengthy absence through injury was welcomed by the lavender and blacks.   There was a strong comeback by a revitalised Redcliffians after the interval which began to challenge Clifton in an encounter that had its feisty moments, which were well controlled by the referee.  However, the home team had more than sufficient reserves to counter any real threat.

Clifton’s early dominance led to powerful number eight Brad Talbot scoring with fly half Luke Cozens landing the first of four successful conversions.  Soon after, scrum half Mitch Spencer scampered through a gap from a five-metre scrum to go under the posts.  Following a similar scrum, centre Will Owen, whose strong runs were a feature all game, ran through tackles to touch down. A clever kick ahead by AJ Kilbane led to a chase by fellow winger Zak Hamid who sped into the corner to claim the try bonus point.

Improved accuracy and control after the break by Old Reds led to two  tries with firstly replacement Charlie Brabham scoring followed by more pressure sending flanker Jalen Curry in with Jack Gapper converting both efforts. 

 A strong run  by full back Alex Howman, who had gained ground throughout the encounter, found  space to run in a fine try. A further trademark Talbot try endorsed the Clifton victory.

Player coach Luke Cozens, pleased to get the win, commented : “We controlled the first half, did the basic stuff well and just needed to keep doing it. We survived their comeback in the second half and completed the job with two good tries.” 

Roger Opie