Kingsbridge Colts wearing the 125 years pink change strip played host to Avonvale Colts in Round 3 of the National Colts Plate Competition. Things were thrown into turmoil at 12-30 when the call came through that Avonvales coach had broken down just off the A38. Eventually after some fine work by Patrick Robinson a minibus and other vehicles were sent off to pick up the stranded team and fans. Kick-off eventually happened at 4pm rather than the original time of 2pm! Luckily with the new lights on High House the game was well illuminated.
Kings kicked off and with a well judged chase from James Kenny he caught it and charged into Avon’s 22. Forced into touch Kings then spoiled Avons lineout and with great defence put pressure on Avon deep in their own 22. George Jones soon left the paddock with a knee injury to be replaced by James Baker. Kingsbridge entered a period of possession but were guilty of trying to force passes a phase to early and were letting Avon off. More lineout steals from Alvie Aubrey were keeping pressure on Avon but they eventually broke and ended up with a scrum on Kings 5m line. Kings had the put in but poor decision making cost them dearly with a pick and go that was turned over for Avon to go over under the posts and convert(0-7).
Kings came back strongly but were still forcing offloads and passes when retention was the better way. A strong scrum from Kings had the ball whistling down the backline only for a forward pass to end the move with the tryline calling. A free kick soon followed with several phases and Avon under pressure conceding a penalty, a quick one was taken and Olie Beattie went over(5-7). Marvin Jones making his first start of the year received the kickoff and made good ground linking with Kenny and Josh Morgan. Again Kings were guilty of trying to force things as after multiple phases they were turned over. From the scrum Kings pack put pressure on the Avon pack and with the 9 having to deal with dodgy ball his pass failed to hit the 10 correctly and he knocked on a low pass. Mathews from the openside was on it and bounced over the tryline under the posts, Baker converted(12-7).
Halftime soon came after this.
The 2nd-half started with a bullocking run from Marvin Jones after an offload from Kenny, resembling a charging bull elephant Jones offloaded to Beattie who had run a great support line to go over for his second of the game converted again by Baker(19-7).
Avon came back firing as Kings appeared to take the foot off the throat of Avon and in quick succession Avon scored 2 tries fortunately for Kings both conversions were missed which was to prove costly for Avon. Kings discipline was starting to get a bit loose and Kenny was awarded a yellow. Matt Adams having had a strong game in defence and carrying in attack then showed another string to his bow as he took over the clearance kicks for Kings and was able to pin Avon deep in their own half with kicks from Kings half into Avons 22. The game was entering the final stages and with both teams giving no quarter things were starting to get strained on the pitch as both teams threw everything at each other. Jack Way was held up over the tryline and the following scrum took several attempts to finish. Kenny knocked on near the tryline. Avon then broke away and Seb Dickens who had a fine game put in a huge tackle which unfortunately resulted in a yellow as the oppo winger went past the horizontal. With 2 minutes left Avon kept banging away at Kings but no ground was conceded. Near full time a scuffle broke as both teams showed what it meant to them.
Like scenes from days of old it was soon calmed down and shortly after the referee blew for full time. The referee who had already reffed the Kings U15 match in the morning has to be complimented on his control of the game and fitness! Hard luck to Avonvale who were great opponents and a credit to their club. Many Kings players had fine games but man of the match went to Alvie Aubrey who spoilt a lot of Avon lineout ball and put his body on the line all afternoon. Next sunday Kings travel to Old Patesians in Cheltenham for the next round of the cup.