Upton-upon-Severn RFC

Burntwood RFC Colts -v- Upton RFC Colts

Sunday 24th March 2024

Score:  Burntwood RFC Colts 33 – 35 Upton RFC Colts

Upton Colts went into the final weekend of the North Midlands Colts League season knowing a win would be enough to win the league.

Alcester have pushed Upton all season and went into their last game on a strong winning streak and just 3 points behind, so Upton knew only a win would be good enough to be champions of the division.

Away fixtures, especially the ‘long distance’ away fixtures, have put pressure on the number of available players all season and this crucial final league fixture was no different – for a variety of reasons Upton only had 16 players at Burntwood.

With all the recent rain, the pitch was very heavy, and had a steep slope….the ‘bottom’ end of the pitch was VERY soft, which made playing from that half uphill a big challenge.

Captain for the day, Eze Jonathan, decided to play uphill for the 1st half, hoping the benefit of playing downhill in the 2nd half would pay dividends…

Burntwood started well, using the slope and conditions to their benefit.  After 10mins their pressure told and they scored an unconverted try to go 5-0 up.

Despite the constant Burntwood pressure, Upton still had their moments playing uphill – none more so that the try of the season contender from Ethan Palmer.  Playing full back on the day (he’s played most of the season in the second row!), he fielded a clearance kick in his own half and scythed through the defence beating countless defenders to crash over.  A strong conversion from Lewis Jugessur (playing out of position at Hooker for day!) put Upton into the lead 5-7.

This proved to be the highlight for Upton in the first half, as Burntwood continued to apply pressure using the conditions to their advantage….Upton just couldn’t consistently clear their lines from the heavy bottom of the pitch.  Despite some heroic defence, Burntwood scored 3 converted tries to put the score out to 26-7 at halftime.

With just 16 players in total on a heavy pitch, and staring at a 26-7 deficit at halftime….it really was backs against the wall time for Upton Colts and some frank and honest conversations were had at halftime.  The players were out on their feet after a half of almost constant defence, but knew the success of the whole season depended on the next 35 minutes, and they challenged themselves to make it happen.

The second half started well, with Upton beginning to use the conditions to apply pressure.  A try from Jacob Powles, typically bursting through multiple tackles before driving over closed the gap slightly – another good conversion from Lewis Jugessur made the score 26-14.

The next 10 minutes were nervy….good pressure from Upton, but a combination of the odd mistake in attack, and strong defence from Burntwood meant there were no scores….and the scoreboard pressure of needing to close the gap was beginning to build. 20 minutes left and Upton were still 26-14 down.

Thankfully, two tries in 5 minutes quickly turned the game on its head into Upton’s favour.  Tom Pryce-Jones finished a good team try, beating a few defenders as he cut back inside to score.  Rupert Woodley then crashed over after a period of concerted Upton pressure.  Lewis Jugessur cooly converted both tries, to put Upton into a slender lead of 26-28.

The game’s crucial try came 10 minutes later and with just a few minutes left on the clock.  A great team move put back rower Rupert Woodley free ‘on the edge’….he sprinted towards the corner, and used the wet and soggy ground to his advantage sliding into the corner with a finish international wingers would be proud of!  The conversion was right from the touchline – but Lewis Jugessur was nerveless and struck it perfectly to hit the ‘middle of the middle’.  That conversion proved to be absolutely crucial as it put Upton 9 points clear (or two scores) with just a few minutes left.

To be fair to Burntwood, they rallied right at the end of the game, and despite playing the 2nd half uphill in the soggy conditions, managed to find the reserves from somewhere to apply pressure and score with the last play of the match.  But with the crucial 9 point gap Upton had meant a final score of 33 – 35, and a nail biting final win for Upton.

The herculean effort and never say die attitude of the 16 Upton players on the pitch that day epitomised the league season – a total of 13 wins from 14 games, 10 try bonus points and 1 losing bonus point.

It’s been a pleasure to be involved in the North Midlands Colts League this season and special thanks must go to all the volunteer organisers who put countless hours of effort in to make the league of 4 divisions a possibility.

A special mention also to Alcester and their coaching team – they missed out on the league by just a few points in the end.  Beating such a worthy team into second place highlights what an achievement it has been for Upton to win the league this season.

Owain Jugessur

Head Coach – Upton RFC Colts

Upton RFC Colts -v- Alcester RFC Colts

Sunday 28th January 2024

Score:  Upton 21 -17 Alcester

It was a ‘top of the table’ clash at Banwell Park, when Upton Colts hosted Alcester in the North Midland Colts League.

Before kick-off Upton were top of the division with 9 wins from 9, but Alcester were just 3 points behind with a record of 8 wins and 1 loss (against Upton in the first game of the season).  With up to 5 points available in this game, there was a lot at stake!

The game started with some good Upton pressure, that culminated in a penalty in the Alcester half.  Upton went for the posts and Lewis Jugessur was successful to put Upton into an early 3-0 lead.

Almost immediately from the kick-off, Alcester managed to turn Upton over, and raced away for a try, which was converted, putting Alcester 7-3 up….with less than 5 minutes on the clock.

The breakneck pace continued, with Alcester kicking a penalty to go 10-3 up.

Alcester scored another try after stealing a lineout in the Upton half, which was converted to put Alcester out to a scary 17-3 lead, with still only 18 minutes on the clock.

Upton were applying lots of pressure, but a combination of good Alcester defence and the odd handling error / choosing the wrong option were keeping Upton from getting a foothold in the game.

Thankfully, with just a minute to go before halftime, Upton managed to get a try with Rupert Woodley barrelling over.  The conversion from Lewis Jugessur made the score Upton 10 – 17 Alcester at halftime.

The second half was as competitive as the first, but Upton began to slowly get the better of the territory and possession….and their pressure finally told with a try by Jason Bodenham near the corner. The conversion was missed, so Alcester kept the lead with the score Upton 15 – 17 Alcester.

The game entered the last 15 minutes, with Alcester holding a 2 point lead.

After another period of Upton pressure a penalty was awarded about 25 meters out, and Upton went for goal, which Lewis Jugessur slotted over, to put Upton into a narrow 1 point lead.

With 4 minutes left, another penalty to Upton allowed Lewis Jugessur to stretch the lead to 4 points with another successful kick, Upton 21 – 17 Alcester.

The final few minutes were frantic, with Alcester pushing for the try that would win them the game.  With the clock in the red, Alcester were within 5 meters of the Upton tryline, but a penalty for ‘holding on’ was won by Adam Nions contesting for the ball – which allowed Upton to kick the ball out and win a nail-biting finish.

It was a great occasion – the sun was shining, the pitch was in remarkably good condition despite the recent flooding and there was a great crowd to support both teams.  The game was in the balance until the very last kick and was befitting of a ‘top of the table’ clash.  Credit must go to Alcester who travelled over and made a game of it….the result really could have gone either way in different circumstances.

Photo credit: Simon Lampitt

Upton RFC Colts -v- Burntwood RFC U17s

Sunday 26th November 2023

Score:  Upton RFC Colts 53 – 03 Burntwood RFC U17s

Upton Colts hosted Burntwood U17 in the seventh game of the North Midlands Colts League, with the game marking the halfway point in the league season.

The initial 5 minutes of the game was mostly Burntwood pressure – two early mistakes in possession from Upton gifted Burntwood the ball, and only a good defensive set kept Upton from going behind early.

But after seven minutes a nice move involving Rupert Gittins put Ryan Cooke through the defence on a powerful run. He was tracked by Ethan Palmer on a lovely support arc, and Ryan timed his pass nicely to allow Ethan to sprint away and score first for Upton. Conversion by Lewis Jugessur put the scores 7-0 Upton.

Upton then had a ‘purple patch’ taking the scores out to 31-0 by the 19th minute.

A great break and kick chase from Will Hooper put him in line to score, before a tackle off the ball denied a clear try scoring opportunity. The referee awarded a penalty try to Upton, making the score 14-0.

Upton were awarded a penalty in the Burntwood half, and Captain Eze Jonathan pointed to the posts.  Lewis Jugessur calmly slotted the penalty to make the scores 17-0 Upton.

Just 1 minute later Adam Nions crossed for another Upton try, converted by Lewis Jugessur, making the scores 24-0 to Upton

Will Hooper then got his try, with a score after 19mins, converted by Lewis Jugessur to make the score 31-0, and confirm the 4 tries bonus point for Upton.

Burntwood then had a period of pressure that culminated in a penalty just outside the Upton 22 – they went for goal and slotted it over to go 31-3.

Upton had the last word of the half, with a try by Jack Goodyear – Lewis Jugessur missed his first kick of the day, so the score at half time was 36-3 to Upton.

Initially, the second half was far more competitive.  All credit to Burntwood, they really dug in and made things difficult for Upton.

There was no score until the 61st minute, when Jay Elwell burst over.  Lewis Jugessur converted again to put the score at 43-3

Adam Nions scored his second with a lovely break 2 minutes later, again converted from wide out by Lewis Jugessur putting Upton 50-3 up.

Upton were awarded a penalty with the clock in the red, and sensing the opportunity to make the most of any points difference in a very tight league, Eze Jonathan decided to go for goal, attempting to take the maximum allotted 50 points difference allowed under league rules.  Another successful attempt from Lewis Jugessur who had a great day from the tee made the final score 53-3 to Upton.

Seven wins from seven league games, puts Upton at the top of the NMCL Div 4 at the halfway stage.

The next fixture is the 10th Dec, when Upton welcome Alcester in a return of the opening league game of the season.

Upton came away with a 32-22 away win on that occasion, but a very good Alcester team have since gone unbeaten – sitting ominously just behind Upton in the league table.

Hopefully we can see as many supporters as possible on the sidelines for this eagerly awaited ‘top of the table’ clash!

Huge thank you to Simon Lampitt for the photos.

Telford Hornets RFC Colts -v- Upton RFC Colts

Sunday 12th November 2023

Score:  Telford Hornets RFC Colts 13 – 32 Upton RFC Colts

Upton’s sixth game of the NMCL season was a long away to trip to Telford to play Telford Hornets Colts, with Upton looking to maintain their unbeaten run in the league so far this season.

Upton opened the scoring with a nice try in the corner after 5mins…Charlie Phillips doing really well to chase down a lovely chip across from Ollie Dobbin.

But the opening section of the game was tightly contested, and Upton could not extend their lead….in fact Telford were the next to score after 25mins, scoring an unconverted try to level the scores at 5-5.

Ethan Palmer then popped up with an opportunist score for Upton, intercepting from the tail of a line out, and racing to the try line from 40meters out.  This made the score 10-5, which it remained until halftime.

The second half was equally tightly contested, with no scoring for the first 15minutes, until Jacob Powles broke through for Upton scoring an unconverted try to make it 15-5.

But again, Telford would not go away and within five minutes Telford scored another try in reply, making the score 15-10.

As the game entered the final quarter, the result was in the balance with Upton leading by only 5 points.

A penalty in the Telford half was converted by Lewis Jugessur to make the score 18-10 and give Upton a ‘2 score lead’, but this was quickly negated by a penalty for Telford in reply making the score 18-13.

The game’s crucial moment came with ten minutes left.  Some good kick chase pressure from Upton funnelled the Telford fullback towards the touchline, where a perfectly timed intercept from Lewis Farrell allowed him to race 60 meters to the tryline to score the 4th try and seal a bonus point for Upton.  The conversion from Lewis Jugessur put the scores out to 25-13.

A late try from Tom Pryce-Jones, where he beat what seemed like the whole Telford team on his own before crashing over really put the icing on the cake.  The conversion from Lewis Jugessur made the final score 32-13.

The 2 late scores made the scoreline seem comfortable for Upton, but in reality that didn’t reflect the majority of the game.  Telford gave a very good account of themselves and will be a tough opponent in the reverse fixture.

That’s six wins from six league games so far this season, keeping Upton top of Division 4.

Next league fixture is a home game vs Burntwood, Sunday 26th November.

 

Upton RFC Colts -v- Veseyans RFC Colts

Sunday 1st October 2023

Score:  Upton RFC Colts 37 – 12 Veseyans Colts

Upton’s 3rd game of the NMCL season was a home fixture vs Veseyans Colts on Sunday 1st October.

One of the positives of being involved in the North Midlands Colts League is playing new teams and clubs that we as a squad haven’t met before.  It was a pleasure to welcome Veseyans Colts from Walsall to Banwell Park.

Like Upton, Veseyans play in Black & White, so it was an opportunity for Upton to play in their new change strip of Lime green!

Upton were the first to score after 10 minutes, with a try by centre Ryan Cook. Veseyans quickly hit back with a try and conversion, that put them ahead 7-5.

Conceding the try and going behind seemed to be just the motivation Upton needed, with quick fire tries from Will Hooper and Tom Pryce-Jones, both converted by Lewis Jugessur, followed by a penalty goal from Lewis Jugessur – making the score 22-7 to Upton at half time.

Veseyans came out strong at the start of the second half and scored an unconverted try to make the score 22-12….but this was to be the last point Upton conceded as they took control of the game.  Three second half tries from Aaron Jackson, Tom Elliott and Ryan Cook made the final score 37 – 12 to Upton.  Special mention to Tom Elliott, scoring his 1st try for Upton!

That’s three wins from three league games so far this season, putting Upton at the top of Division 4.

The next league fixture is another Home game vs Oswestry Senior U18 Colts, Sunday 15th Oct.

Upton Colts -v- Old Halesonians Colts

Sunday 17th September 2023

Score:  Upton upon Severn Colts 15 – 12 Old Halesonians Colts

Upton hosted Old Hales Colts in the North Midlands Colts League (NMCL) on Sunday 17th September.

This was the first home game for a Colts team at Upton for a few years, and with Upton sporting new kit (kindly sponsored by Airband), and RWC games on the clubhouse – it was a great occasion.

Upton got off to the worst possible start, with Old Hales racing into a 0-12 lead with 2 x tries in the first 7 minutes.

After a slow start, Upton slowly grew into the game, culminating in a score for Jed Daffin, converted by Lewis Jugessur. This was followed by a second try for Upton, scored by Jacob Powles…the conversion was missed, and the scores were level at 12-12 at half-time.

Conditions deteriorated significantly as the game went on, with heavy rain making for an error strewn second period.  Both teams defended resolutely, but attacking play was at a premium, meaning the scores were still level at 12-12 with 5 minutes to play.

Upton were awarded a penalty in the Old Hales half, approx. 35 meters out, and in such a tight game they decided to go for the 3 points.  Lewis Jugessur composed himself, and despite the difficult conditions hit the penalty straight through the posts, to give Upton a 15-12 lead with less than 5mins remaining.

The end of the game was tense and exciting, but Upton managed to hold on for a 15-12 win.

Two wins to start the NMCL is a great return for Upton Colts, who now look forward to round 3 on the 1st October.

 

Alcester Colts -v- Upton RFC Colts 

Sunday 10th September 2023

Alcester Colts 22– v – Upton RFC Colts 32

 

Upton Colts played their first North Midlands Colts League game on Sun 10th Sept, away to Alcester.

With no Colts team at Upton last season, excitement was high ahead of the new season, and the 1st Sunday did not disappoint!

A great away win over a very good Alcester team is a great start, and hopefully we can carry this momentum into the rest of the season.

Upton had a great start, racing into a 22-0 lead in the 1st 20 minutes, with tries from Adam Nions, Ryan Cooke (converted by Lewis Jugessur), Charlie Phillips and Adam Nions again.   

The game started in humid & wet conditions, with a little drizzle making the ball very difficult to handle. Upton managed the conditions well and used the slight slope in their favour to race into a 22-0 lead.

Due to the unseasonably hot temperatures over the weekend, the RFU mandated water breaks halfway through each half…..the 1st water break gave Alcester a chance to re-set, and they came back a different team in the period before halftime, and the half finished 22-5 to Upton.

The 2nd half was again very competitive.

Upton struck 1st to go 27-5 with a try by Jed Daffin, but Alcester hit back almost immediately to make the score 27-10.

A lovely finish by Charlie Phillips (his 2nd of the day) pushed Upton out to 32-10 by the time of the 2nd half water break.

Again, the break seemed to help Alcester re-set – by now conditions were sunny & hot, and they scored 2 tries to get to 32-22, and kept the result pretty much in the balance until the end.  Some great defensive work from Upton near the end kept them out and sealed the win.

Alcester were great hosts, and the game was exciting, competitive but played in a good spirit.  The return league fixture (scheduled for the 10th Dec at Upton) will be eagerly anticipated by both teams!

The NMCL league continues next week Sun 17th Sep, with a home game vs Old Halesonians Colts.  Hopefully see some of you there…..!