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Sat. 8th September. Wadworth 6X Southern Counties South Sherborne 1st 29 Frome RFC 1st 17

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After a fantastic preseason build up, Frome RFC 1st travelled in high spirits to an always-tough Sherborne RFC 1st, for their first league match of the season.

Sherborne RFC  won the toss and opted to face the strong wind for the first half, with Frome RFC kicking of proceedings. The visitors were immediately faced by the home side’s attacking threat and shortly after, a build up of pressure in the defence conceded a penalty which saw Sherborne kick for the line. A catch and drive 10 metres out saw the home side go over for the first score of the day.  

However with the wind behind them, Frome pressed forward and after some concerted pressure, new 1st XV Captain John Benstead was able to break through the Sherborne line and touch down for a Try which was Converted by James Howard to give Frome a slender lead. 

The visitors continued to apply pressure and after a build up of phases attacking the Sherborne 22 – a break saw Second Row James Howard dive over from close range to score, which he duly converted. 

The home side continued to look threatening with ball in hand and came back into the game with a break by the opposition Winger wide, a last ditch attempt tackle by the covering Frome defence was deemed to be high and a Penalty Try was given. Frome were able to get on the score card again before half time and increased the lead to 17-12 at half time with a  Howard penalty after Sherborne infringed at the breakdown. 

Sherborne restarted the game from the kick off and with the wind now behind them, were able to apply pressure immediately after keeping deep and causing an error by a Frome player. The hosts were able to build on this and set up a driving maul and drive over the line to level the scores. 

The home side would continue to take advantage of the wind, with some intelligent kicking from both the Full Back and Fly half kept Frome pinned back in their own 22. With Frome struggling to clear their lines and the  continuous pressure, a further 2 tries were scored by Sherborne. However Frome dug deep and  nearly rescued a bonus point with the last play of the match, but were unsuccessful.

Head Coach Toby Culff said, “At the set piece and in the loose, we were 2nd best. We couldn’t match Sherborne’s physicality, pace and intensity, and the 2nd half was spent almost entirely on the back foot. The loss was not as disappointing as the performance, and it was our failure to execute basic skills which was most discouraging. Still, we cannot be despondent after a single fixture, and I’m certain there will be a reaction from the team next Saturday. We remain confident and excited about the season ahead, and my belief in the players is undiminished.”

Next week Frome RFC 1st welcome Swindon College Old Boys RFC 1st to Gypsy Lane with the side aiming for the first win of the league campaign.


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