Caldy’s first season in Championship ends with defeat to Hartpury

Caldy ended their first year in the Championship with a 35 – 13 defeat to Hartpury.

But, the team can feel aggrieved after a great second half performance with some good chances and the majority of the ball, but were on the wrong side of the 50/50 decisions by the officials on the day Caldy celebrated the 300th first team appearance of captain JJ Dickinson.

The game started well with both sides trying to work each other out with most of the play in the opening 10 minutes being played exclusively in the centre of the pitch.

After the quarter hour Hartpury took advantage of a poor Caldy kick with Alex Morgan finding gaps in the Caldy defence to go over the line.

Caldy thought they had parity just five minutes later when Elliott Gourlay went over the line after a great dab kick and to the surprise of the crowd a drop kick on the goal line was awarded to the home side.

The game then became scrappy with both sides unable to take the upper hand with a penalty kick for Caldy on the half hour mark being the only score in this period.

With seconds remaining before the half time break, Hartpury extended their lead after great offloads saw number 12 Harry Tarling touchdown.

Into the second half  there was optimism from those who had made the trip to Gloucester from the Wirral. However despite a bright start from the visitors Hartpury extended their lead three minutes after the restart.

Caldy were back in the game two minutes later after Dan Bibby and Lewis Barker interchanged well to allow Rhys Hayes go through the gap to score.

The celebrations did not last long as Jack Reeves finished off another Hartpury move.

Caldy took control of the game but were on the wrong side of some decisions although Hartpury were unable to capitalise or even get out of their half.

Alex Morgan took advantage after Caldy were penalised.  The winger took a quick tap and go and crashed over.

Dan Bibby scored a consolation try in the final minutes of the game after Mike Cartmill made an incredible run from Caldy’s 22 metre line finding Bibby 10 metres from the Hartpury try line.

Caldy can look back on a successful first season in the Championship and forward to the start of the new season in September with the beginning of the Premiership /Championship Cup campaign that will see some top teams visit Paton Field in September and early October.

Image: Beto Valderrama

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