A View From The Terraces: Doncaster Knights
Blackthorn Pete hails Bristol's Pool A win at Old Deer Park
Prior to last week’s game against London Welsh, Liam Middleton backed his players to rise to the challenge at Old Deer Park. And they didn’t disappoint.
Bristol won the game thanks to a combination of superior forward play and, admittedly, a number of unforced errors from the Exiles during the first period.
Two penalty tries proved to be decisive and we held off a second half fightback, much to the delight of the huge travelling band of Bristol supporters.
It wasn’t pretty, but at this stage the important thing is the result and Middleton hailed the ‘back to basics’ approach that delivered our first victory at Old Deer Park since the 2009/10 season.
In the weekend’s other Pool A encounter, Nottingham comprehensively defeated Doncaster Knights at Castle Park, but the result was not enough to prevent Bristol and Welsh progressing to the semi-finals.
In Pool B, Bedford, who had already secured their passage to the next phase, surrendered their unbeaten record succumbing 21-20 to Cornish Pirates. That result was enough to secure the remaining semi final spot for the Mennaye Field outfit.
In Pool C, Esher kept their hopes of avoiding the drop alive with a 42-17 bonus point win at home to Plymouth Albion.
With Moseley and Albion both safe for another season, Esher’s victory sets up a winner-takes-all encounter at Richmond when they visit their relegation rivals London Scottish on Saturday afternoon.
So, the quartet that finished in the top four during Phase One of the competition have reached the knockout stages. Now, the focus shifts to who can secure top spot.
Today we face Doncaster Knights – our final game in Pool A. Although we recorded a thumping away victory against Brett Davey’s men in the play-offs opener, we have learnt that there are no easy games in this season’s competition.
So let’s get behind the boys and make the Mem a cauldron to roar the Blue and white hoops to victory.
I’m backing Bris; I hope you are too!
See you on the Blackthorn.