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Quarter final played in memory of teacher

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The Frome RFC Academy welcomed Royal Wootton Bassett RFC U18s to Gypsy Lane for The Dorset & Wilts Cup Quarter Final which was being played in honour of Anna Kirsopp-Lewis, a teacher to many of the Frome players at Frome College. Anna and her unborn son lost their lives following a traffic collision in December and, along with the minute’s silence prior to kick off, the academy wore the alternate Blue strip in respect for Anna’s unborn baby boy.

On a cold, grey Sunday afternoon. With strong, vocal support for both teams and the going soft underfoot, this was to be a game of old fashioned rugby with plenty of mud.

Royal Wootton Bassett sowed their intent from the off and opened their account with a try just a few minutes in, but were unable to convert. Frome continued to press and were awarded a penalty shortly after, unfortunately the kick bouncing off the posts for the Frome kicker Jack Stickley. 

Just minutes later, the Fly Half  lined up for another shot at the sticks after an offside by the visitors and was rewarded with Frome’s first points on the scoreboard at the 15 minute marker.  This flurry of points was then put on hold for the next 10 minutes or so as both teams battled in a game that was regularly punctuated by the referee’s whistle and subsequent set pieces. 

The Frome pack were solid, notably Prop Alex Twigger, digging deep against Royal Wootton Bassett who had considerably more weight on their side.  The back line were well structured, running some great lines, but were halted at the last by a solid defence and unable to take the ball over the line.  

Great tackles were too numerous to count, with Flanker Joe Wildman just into double figures at half time. There was some fierce defence by the Winger, Simon Finch, and the whole defensive effort underpinned by hardworking Cory Plumridge at Fullback who made the metres and brought the ball back towards the half way line time and again. 

The counter attack was determined and the jackals successful in turning over the ball more often than not, however Frome were unable to keep hold of the ball, which ultimately resulted in a second try for the visitors which was converted just before half time. 

Half Time: Frome RFC Academy 3 – 12 Royal Wootton Bassett RFC Colts

The second half continued in much the same fashion with both sides finding it difficult to produce any free flowing rugby.  George Bridle, Kyle Williams and Ben Eley all came on to reinforce the Frome team, while those who retired to the bench joined Alex Chalmers, currently sidelined by injury.

10 minutes into the second half, Frome came within a whisker of scoring their first try but soon after conceded a free kick to Royal Wootton Bassett, following foul play at the line out.  The opposition quickly used this to their advantage and scored their second try with a successful conversion, bringing the score to 19-3 in their favour.

Frome remained dogged in both defence and attack, suffering the referee’s decision to disallow a try on the grounds of being ‘held up,’ much to the obvious disappointment of the Frome supporters. The last few plays continued to be testing for both sides with few opportunities for breaking through either gain line but finally, with good team support, Louis Roberts was able to cross over for Frome, with Stickley succeeding in adding the extras. Final score; Frome RFC Academy 10 – 19 Royal Wootton Bassett RFC Colts. Congratulations to Royal Wootton Bassett Colts who proved the better team on the day. Frome’s men of the match were Alex Twigger and Simon Finch. 

Final Score: Frome RFC Academy 10 – 19 Royal Wootton Bassett RFC Colts

Photos by Mark & Morgan Sangster.

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