U16s Somerset Cup semi final and it is broken hearts for the Frome side

By Matt Warnock

5th Feb 2024 | All Sports

This Sunday, Frome hosted Bristol side Gordano, in the Semi-Final of the Somerset Cup. 

The game began with a break away from the away team, before Ben Freeman caught the attacker with a textbook tackle. It would not be his last. In the next few minutes, Gordano attacked well. Only a turnover from flanker Rufus Phelps and a defensive set Kieran Stacey and Ewan Cox prevented a try. 

From the resulting line out, a clever box kick from scrum-half Alfie Newbery eased the pressure, to the halfway line. 

After ten minutes, a clean scrummage led to front foot ball and fly-half Archie Pearn fed Aelfric Bidder, who carried well. But it was Gordano who took the lead, with a well taken breakaway try - to make the game 0 - 7. The lead was nearly doubled, but two heroic tackles from Zach Sibley denied the away team. 

Pearn turned defence into attacked, when after 20 minutes he beat two defenders and unleashed winger Jonas Mills, who ran at pace, but was tackled into touch in the Gordano 22. 

The next few minutes were played on halfway, with Phelps and captain Oscar Stickley turning over the ball twice in two minutes. 

In an increasingly tense first half, Gordano kicked through. Newbery gathered the bouncing ball, dummied and then flicked the ball to Harry Greenwood, who ran then found Stickely in space. 

The prop beat two defenders for pace, before darting under the posts. With the extra's added - the crowd had a 7 - 7 score line to cheer on. But Gordano finished the half with a well taken try, for a 7 - 12 half time score. 

With three minutes on the clock, Stickley stole loose ball. Newbery ran blind and put Phelps into space. The flanker was supported by Cox, who romped home brilliantly to level the scores. 

After ten minutes, hooker Freddie Corp hooked a ball from the opposition. From that scrum Pearn spotted a gap and kicked deep, which led to another attacking scrum. Greenwood and Bidder combined well of the scrum and full back Freeman ran powerfully down the wing. 

But Gordano took the lead again, when they found space out wide to score. The score was 12 - 19 and a tense final ten minutes was set up. 

In the final acts of the half, and the game, Josh Clarke carried well, setting up a line out. Stacey stole the line out. Frome attacked in waves and the ball was somehow held up over the line twice. 

With 34 minutes on the second half clock, Stacey stole another line out and Phelps was in space. He streaked excellently down the wing to score. Showing nerves of steel, Greenwood slotted the extra's to make the score all tied up at 19 - 19. 

Frome hearts would break seconds later.

At the final whistle, the 19 - 19 score meant that Gordano moved to the final, based on a Cup rule, with the scores even the Bristol team went through, having scored the first try. 

Good luck to Gordano in the final and a huge thank you for the brilliant support from friends and family.

Photos by Larraine Lawrence-Greenwood


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