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George Angell try completes impressive Gloucestershire win over Devon in county championship opener

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Author: Contributed, Posted: Tuesday, 8th May 2018, 11:50

George Angell on the way to scoring his try for Gloucestershire George Angell on the way to scoring his try for Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire survived some nervous moments in the final quarter before recording a deserved 38-26 victory over Devon in the Brixham sunshine in their county championship opener.

The visitors, for whom replacement Harry Hone had a towering game, scored four tries, plus a penalty try, while full-back James Moffat enjoyed a perfect afternoon from the kicking tee.

The home side looked more assured in the early stages. They were unlucky not to take the lead when outside-half Tom Putt’s penalty bounced wide off the right post after five minutes, but they made up for it three minutes later when scrum-half Ben Watts gave a scoring pass to full-back Charlie Briant. Putt converted from a simple position.

Gloucestershire turned down the chance of some early points when they elected to kick for touch from a penalty in front of the posts, and for a while some booming touch kicks from Putt kept them on the defensive.

However, they gradually settled into the game, and after dominating territory for 10 minutes they drew level when Briant and centre Charlie Gellert combined to send centre Will Mansfield over the line close to the posts. Moffat had no trouble adding the conversion.

The visitors took the lead just before the half hour mark when they were awarded a penalty try from a lineout drive.

This resulted in a yellow card for Devon skipper Nathan Hannay. While he was off the field, Gloucestershire added to their lead when flanker Will Keenan stole the ball and set up a try in the right corner for scrum-half James Dean.

Moffat’s superb conversion made the score 21-7, and towards the end of the half Putt was wide with another penalty attempt for Devon.

Gloucestershire were caught napping when play resumed, conceding two early second half tries.

First winger Jack Bond crossed the line in the left corner after just 80 seconds, and then impressive centre Rhys Palmer intercepted a pass from outside-half Danny Pointon and ran 70 metres to score a try under the posts. Putt converted the second try to reduce Gloucestershire’s lead to just two points.

Gloucestershire, with Hone soon making his presence felt, gradually settled down again and began to dominate territory once again.

They stretched their lead to 28-19 on the hour mark when winger Kai Little crossed in the right corner after a flowing move, Moffat again converting from close to touch. However, Devon were soon back in game again when hooker Ashlee Crouch touched down from a lineout drive, Putt adding an impressive conversion.

Suddenly, with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining, it was all Devon. Little did well to stop Bond just short of the line, while there was a let-off for the visitors when Hannay knocked on with the line beckoning.

Fortunately, Gloucestershire regained their composure after this, and with time almost up they put the result beyond Devon’s reach when replacement George Angell took Pointon’s pass to score under the posts. Moffat converted and added a penalty at the very end of the game.

Harry Hone had a fine game for Gloucestershire, while there were impressive performances from second rows Rich Hance and Rob Fuller, as well as from Dean and Keenan. An intriguing afternoon is in prospect on Saturday when Hertfordshire are the visitors to Lydney.

Gloucestershire: (Cinderford unless stated): J Moffat, S Hawley, W Mansfield (Newent), C Gellert (Newent), K Little, D Pointon, J Dean (Newent), J Smart (captain), M Addis (Newent), J Elliot, R Hance (Old Patesians), R Fuller (Hartpury), R Webb (Newent), W Keenan, M Bennett. Replacements (all used): S Evans (Thornbury), D Dalevalle, J Frost (Old Patesians), G Angell (Old Patesians), G Phelps (Newent), H Hone, T Webb (Newent)

Devon (Ivybridge unless stated): C Briant, M Crosscombe (Plymouth Albion), R Palmer (Okehampton), L Paterson, J Bond (Barnstaple), T Putt (Brixham), B Watts, G Snell (Bideford)l, A Crouch (Barnstaple), T White (Newton Abbot), N Hannay (captain, Honiton), G Wilson, W Sprangle (Tiverton), D Abrams (Okehampton), S Thomas (Brixham). Replacements (all used): A Hamilton (Taunton), A Taylor (Plymstock Albion Oaks), W Vermigle, T Coats (Plymstock Albion Oaks), B King, J Nash (Brixham), M Grieveson

Referee: H Lowis (RFU)

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