AVON OLD PLAYERS REUNION – SAT 12th APRIL
We are holding a get together for past Avon players during the double header final home matches for the Firsts and Seconds this season.
This will take place on Saturday 12th April, with a pre-match buffet and drinks at 1:30pm, followed by 3pm kick offs for the 1st team against Winscombe and the 2nd team against Oldfield, with the post match entertainment continuing in the Clubhouse afterwards.
You are invited to come along to watch the rugby, enjoy the camaraderie, renew some old friendships and no doubt have a drink or two along the way.
Message from Bill Mutlow – President
I was honoured and privileged to be offered the club Presidency at the 2007 A G M.
My first involvement with Avon extends back to 1967-68 season under the captaincy of Roger Symonds. In those distant days, all matches were “friendlies” with some fixtures, mainly the local derbies, less friendly than others. Our playing record in those days was not the most successful but traditionally the club’s reputation on a social level was second to none.
Memories of Cheese and Wine parties where, at the end of the evening if you were able to distinguish the difference, you had not had enough wine. With hind sight, I do not know why they were not called wine and wine parties. The other big functions were the Barn Dances where cider drinking was compulsory.
Such events, added to some memorable tours and coach trips to Twickenham in the days when we could get enough tickets to fill a coach, were occasions to behold. Even on match days the singing would prevail. Not that we were the Treorchy Male Voice Choir but we used to work at it and were pleased with our standard.
I was fortunate to captain the club from 1979-80-81 and those 2 seasons were very successful with the emergence of some very promising colts coming through to the 1st fifteen. We were unbeaten against other Bath clubs, including Walcot who were also strong.
I would like to add that the life blood of the club is the young players coming through from colts and youth sides and I would like to believe that our current young players will consider Avon to be “their” club and feed through to the senior sides for many years to come.
My early years saw Avon playing at the Monument Field at Rainbow Wood and at Landsdown on the Council pitches until the eventual purchase of Hicks Field. In my later years with the club, I have been Bar Chairman, Buildings Chairman and Club Chairman and appreciate how hard the present committee work now, although as President one falls into the “old farts” category.
May I take this opportunity to wish all players, coaches, officials and volunteer helpers associated with the club the very best of luck and success in their pursuits.
Avon Lose out in Somerset Vase final
Avon were let to console themselves with their achievement in reaching the Somerset vase final as they came off second best to a very good Wells team who were in inspired form and ended up in total control with this comprehensive win.
Although the half time score was close, with Wells holding a narrow 17 – 13 lead, the damage had already been done as Avon had the benefit of a strong wind at their backs but could not capitalise on the scoreboard. For much of the first half, it was nip and tuck as Wells opened the scoring with an early try but then conceded a penalty kicked by Shaun Wynes.
Avon then had their best spell of the game, as quick ball off the top of a line out from Ben Dilloway was swiftly transferred between Matt Sutherland and Kai Harwood before Danny Bowden powered over the line for a try under the posts, converted by Wynes. Sadly for Avon, their lead was short lived as Wells scored their second try through the centre from a quickly taken tap penalty.
Another Wynes penalty regained the lead for Avon but Wells closed the half in front after their man of the match flyhalf Aaron Cook dummied through for their third try.
Avon had a disastrous restart to the second half as some missed tackles opened up the gap for Wells to extend their lead with a converted try, shortly followed by a drop goal.
Although Kai Harwood clawed Avon back into the game with a try in the corner from a clever front line out peel, Wells opened up an unassailable lead as they sucked in the Avon defence on the left before quickly spreading the ball wide to score from the overlap on the opposite wing.
To their credit, Avon stuck to their task and tried to chase the game but, as often seen in these situations, mistakes crept in which Wells who were now in full flow turned to their advantage with some excellent interpassing to add another three converted tries to seal their win and spark their celebrations.
Avon U15 through to Somerset Cup Final Spot
Avon under 15s continued their march to a possible grand slam by clinching a place in the Somerset Cup final, narrowly beating Keynsham in a closely fought semi played out in beautiful spring sunshine on the Crown Field ground.
In a game that saw many of the B&NES County team facing up against one another the early points went to Avon with skipper Brad Barnes landing a penalty after only 5 minutes. Although the rain had vanished overnight after a miserable Saturday, the ground was still very heavy and both teams made full use of their talented forward packs, keeping the ball tight and playing 10 man rugby. Even though Avon enjoyed much of the early possession, it was the Keynsham backs who showed moments of adventure with some scything early forays into the Avon half; the game kept flowing through some excellent refereeing by the young Somerset official taking charge of his second match of the weekend, much to the gratitude of both sides.
With so much riding on the result it seemed at times that both teams were restrained from trying anything too risky and the contest, although played at full intensity, stayed firmly entrenched between the twenty two metre lines. Not that this kept the crowds of supporters for both sides from expressing their support; the fierce rivalry between these two sides has always fulfilled the promise of a keenly contested and entertaining game of the highest calibre.
Despite all the hard yards gained by both sides the score stayed at 3 – 0 at the break and the half time talk must have been all about keeping the defensive lines tight but being ever on the lookout for the slightest chance of a breakout. And it was Keynsham who did just that barely two minutes into the second spell when a quick passage of play down the right hand touchline and a couple of broken tackles resulted in a score in the corner for the elated home side. Although the conversion was unsuccessful the two point lead was crucial for morale and Keynsham retreated to the halfway line with a spring in their step. But Avon responded in kind and the pace of the game went up a notch. The warm weather and frenetic pace of the game was starting to tell but both teams kept up the tempo, both acutely aware now that one slip-up could put the game out of sight.
Avon missed a penalty ten minutes from the end and then Keynsham got to within a metre of the Avon touchline before the ball was cleared.
The winning points went to Avon after a scrum on the halfway line was followed by a strong run deep into the Keynsham half by Harry Godwin. Fast presentation of the ball after being tackled just two metres short of the line allowed Brad Barnes to do a quick pick and drive to touch the ball down for the crucial five points, Keynsham now needing a try to win the match, a draw being not enough for the home side.
A tense two minutes were played out with Avon retaining possession long enough to run the clock down, thereby securing a chance to play on the Recreation Ground against Bath on Saturday the 19th of April. A win there would mean that Avon become holders of both the Bristol Junior Combination and Somerset Cups in the same season.