Midsomer Norton RFC captain's column: Two more wins have closed the gap
In my last update we had won both of our two league games in the past fortnight and had taken nine out of ten possible points, and we have repeated that record over the last two weeks.
We travelled to Brislington a fortnight ago to face Old Redcliffians, a place I hadn't played for a long time. Their first team are a few leagues higher than us and their 2nd XV have come up to the Somerset Premier this season, although I do remember making my senior debut for Norton in the thirds against Reds 3rd XV a fair few years ago.
I can't remember the result in that particular game but this one saw us win 25-10, just missing out on that all-important bonus point having only scored three of the required four tries.
We started the game well, scoring two early tries, but switched off shortly afterwards and clearly thought the game was going to be easily won.
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We cruised through the next phase and in the final ten minutes of the half were having to defend our tryline. By half-time we had done just enough to be in the lead by two tries to nil.
The second half saw Old Reds pick up their game, as did we a little. Unfortunately, we still did not perform to our full potential. We scored a further try in the second half but Bristolians got two.
Last weekend we entertained Gordano at Norton Down and were looking to keep our unbeaten home record – a challenge we rose to.
When we travelled to Gordano earlier in the season, we were in a tightly fought match where we narrowly came away winners. This game could not have been more different, with Norton scoring 60 unanswered points.
The first five minutes saw both teams playing in the centre of the pitch due to silly handling errors. After notching our first try we took control of the game, scoring nine tries in total, and even more pleasingly kept a clean sheet for the first time this season.
While we were winning at Old Reds, title challengers Chew Valley lost at Weston-super-Mare 2nd XV, bringing us to within five points of them at the top of the table.
Looking forward, it is important that we play to our full potential and collect as many points as possible to try to leapfrog Chew Valley when we entertain them in the penultimate game of the season.
To achieve this, we need all players to be available every weekend. Embarrassingly, the last two weeks have seen various players unavailable for numerous reasons – holidays with their mummy and daddy, and trips to London to see Phantom of the Opera among some of the excuses.
Valentine's night saw only eight players turn up for training. Surely all us rugby players aren't that romantic – my fiancée was just happy I remembered to get her a card!