Cleve set for crucial month in push for promotion

Published on: 04 Feb 2015

Action from the recent game versus Avonmouth OB Picture by Gordon Lindsay

CLEVE are preparing for a crucial series of matches this month after enjoying a tremendous first half of the rugby season, writes Steve Hill

The Mangotsfield-based club went into the Christmas and New Year break with a healthy lead at the start of the South West One West division.

But despite also producing an encouraging run of results when league action resumed, Cleve are taking nothing for granted in their bid to win promotion.

Director of rugby Rich Pool said: “We’ve got some really big games coming up and we’ve got to keep working hard. There’s a very long way to go.”

The club are home on February 7 to Bridgwater & Albion, where Cleve squeezed in 28-27 back in October, away to unpredictable North Petherton on February 21 and then home again to Wells on February 28.

Pool said: “Christmas came at the wrong time for us. On the last Saturday before the holidays we went down to Camborne and had an excellent 25-23 win, but first game back we had a scruffy win at home to St Austell and then had a match at Thornbury called off.

“We lost a bit of momentum, but then played really well at home against Avonmouth for a very important win.

“We were beaten over there and we were behind at home with 25 minutes to go before (head coach) Ryan Davis made some subtle changes and we ended up scoring three tries to eventually win with a little bit to spare.”

Davis, a Cleve product who went on to play professionally for Bath, Exeter and London Welsh before injury cut short his career, has made a big impact as a coach.

Pool said: “Ryan’s a nice guy with a big winning attitude which the players here have really bought into, the lads really respond to what he’s trying to do.”

These are exciting times for Cleve who last month, January managed to host for the first time all four senior teams at the Hayfields on one Saturday which coincided with a well-attended reunion of former players.

The club’s excellent facilities have also been recognising with the chance to host Gloucestershire’s County Championship clash with Kent on Saturday May 16.


Picture by Gordon Lindsay

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