GLOUCESTER Magpies were on the road to Tea Gardens for the first and last Sunday rugby league game of the season.
As has been the case for some years, Sundays and Magpies don't seem to mix and as the first 17 minutes showed with the home side skipping to a 10-0 lead with the first try to the centre. The second was an intercept as Gloucester were attacking Tea Gardens line. Their sneaky winger popped up from behind the corner post just as it seemed Gloucester were to score and intercepted to run the length of the field to score a converted try.
The message from coach Allardice was simple. So with a bit of water splashed on the faces of the Magpies to wake them up, our fearless halfback Riley Collins took the ball up as all good halfbacks do and crashed over next to the posts to open up Gloucester`s account.
Darcy Allardice's conversion made it 10-6 to Tea Gardens. With 10 minutes left Gloucester were getting on a bit of a roll and a backline movement saw winger Dave Kemp score and with Darcy`s radar on it was 12-10 to the Magpies.
From the re-start the the two sides went set for set. With seven minutes to go little hooker Cordel found space 20 metres out and scampered in between defenders to score another converted try to make it 18-10 to Gloucester. Thinking the half was over the Gloucester boys had a bit of a lapse and Tea Gardens were attacking only to drop the ball over the line to make the half time score 18-10.
The second half started well for Gloucester but we just couldn`t get the points. Kyle Predebon and Johny Cornelius were both denied tries. As is the case a lot of times when a side misses a chance to score the opposition capitalise and their halfback sure did this. Lucky he left his goal kicking boot at home and didn`t convert making the score 18-14 to Gloucester.
Riley`s kickoff was a beauty and found the sideline to give Gloucester the ball back. The home side was giving away more penalties for high shots. Kyle Predebon had had enough and took it to the Gardens defence and stormed his way over for a much-deserved try.
Darcy`s conversion gave the Magpies a 24-14 lead. As was the case all game Tea Gardens wouldn`t go away and were next to score after throwing the ball from one side to the other, then a flick pass from their big front rower enabled their five-eighth to score a converted try bring it to 24-20 to Gloucester.
So with 13 minutes left and our old war horse Andrew Middlebrook came off with a leg injury, leaving our bench a little thin, so things were getting a little nervy on the sideline. Gloucester gave away a penalty, only their third of the game and this gave Tea Gardens field position and they looked to have locked it up when scoring in the corner, only to be called back for a forward pass. Gloucester were out on their feet but with great charges from Kyle Predebon, Matty Thomas and Sammy Murray made some room for Todd Ritter to find a hole and cross with seven minutes to go. Darcy missed the conversion, Gloucester now ahead 28-20 but still not home.
A mistake from the Magpies gave Tea Gardens one last crack, but to Gloucester`s credit they held firm and wound the clock down to get the two points. Best for Gloucester were Kyle Predebon and Darcy Allardice who stood up in Hayden Tull's absence. Riley Collins led the side well. Sam Murray was everywhere in attack and defence. Jack Wamsley was solid while Johny Cornelius hadn`t played fullback for a while but he did his job.
Next week we are away again, travelling to Patterson for 2pm kick off. Bus will be leaving at 11am from Avon Valley Inn carpark. Don`t forget the July 9 home game against our neighbours Stroud and with a few players coming back should be a beauty.
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