Leaders Chew Valley claim first-ever win at Bristol Harlequins
MATCH REPORT: Bristol Harlequins RFC 23 Chew Valley RFC 33
Chew Valley RFC remain top of Western Counties North by one point thanks to their first-ever away victory over Bristol Harlequins.
The hosts were their usual abrasive selves, with an experienced pack playing a spoiling game throughout, but they suffered through a lack of creativity and precision close to the line in the first half as scoring chances went begging.
Centre Chris Page missed a couple of penalties but Chew full-back Tom Bryan was on target with one and also converted a try from number eight Alex Cox as the visitors forged ahead.
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Harlequins hit back with a Page penalty after second row Richard Light was adjudged offside, then full-back Scott Manning’s speculative kick took a wicked bounce to deceive winger Silas Cox and allow Manning to gather and race over from 40 metres out.
Page converted and added another penalty with the last kick of the half to edge the hosts in front.
The game swung on an incident 15 minutes into the second half when Harlequins second row James Lewis saw yellow for a reckless kick at a loose ball which connected with Alex Cox.
During his absence Chew skipper Tom Waddington scored a try from a driving maul and Bryan added a conversion and two penalties to put the visitors clear.
Veteran Harlequins scrum-half Danny Phillips was yellow carded for punching opposite number Alex Cameron and while he was away, hooker Tristan Davis was driven over by the pack from a lineout. Bryan added the conversion and a penalty to put the game to bed.
A further flare-up saw Chew Valley centre Charles Shallcross and Harleguins number eight Dwayne Wilcox take an enforced rest.
Mike Coulson and Manning scored consolation tries for the hosts but Danny Gatton ensured Chew had the last word when he slotted over another drop goal.