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UCS Old Boys suffer setback with defeat in Middlesex Bowl semi-finals

16:03 18 March 2014

UCS Old Boys' Tom Bamford kicks for goal. Pic: Paolo Minoli

UCS Old Boys' Tom Bamford kicks for goal. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Archant

UCS suffered disappointment at the weekend as they were defeated in the semi-finals of the Middlesex Bowl away at Grasshoppers, losing 43-17.

The Old Boys went into the game in good form, having won four of their last six league games as they bid to avoid the drop – and they were facing a side who play in the division below them, having been relegated from London Division Two North West last season.

However, Grasshoppers currently top their league and it was the hosts who took the lead against the run of play as poor tackling gifted them a converted try.

UCS came back strongly and Tom Bamford kicked two penalties but, as has been the story all season, that momentum was undermined by an opposition score which gave the hosts a 10-6 half-time lead.

UCS were dominating in the scrum and the line-out, but poor play enabled Grasshoppers’ backs to run at them and, again, sloppy tackling resulted in another try soon after the break.

The Old Boys redoubled their efforts and, after camping out on the Grasshoppers’ line, Mert Zabci wrestled the ball over for a try which was converted by Bamford.

The tide was beginning to turn and it looked like UCS might be able to maintain their winning form and reach the final – but more missed tackles allowed their opponents to run in a flurry of tries and eventually triumph by 26 points.

“After a good run of victories this was not the type of performance we expected and is not the right build-up for our final three games,” said UCS coach Gideon Bard. “If we want to stay in the division we can’t perform like that again.”

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