Colerne RFC celebrate monthly award with perfect ten
TEAM OF THE MONTH Colerne made it a perfect ten for the season as they celebrated being crowned as the Greensward Sports Consultancy/ Bath Chronicle Team of the Month for November last Saturday.
The Dorset & Wilts 3 North pace-setters maintained their 10 per cent record with a 24-0 success at Higgins Field and scooped the accolade ahead of fellow shortlisted sides Oldfield and Bradford on Avon after picking up three wins out of three last month.
Boasting a 14-point lead at the top of the standings ahead of the festive break, the Black Army look well set to deliver captain Mike Gardiner- Catlow's pre-season promotion aim and a return to the second tier of twin counties rugby in 2013.
"After finishing last season in fourth place, I was asked at a players meeting what my ambitions were for the club," said Gardiner-Catlow, who followed in the footsteps of father-in-law and club chairman Eddie Gardiner when he took the reins in the summer.
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"I responded by saying I firmly believed we had a squad capable of challenging for the title and wanted people in the village to start talking about the club again.
"At the halfway stage of the season, we have more than matched these aspirations and there is a real feel-good factor around the club.
"The majority of last season's squad have remained and been added to with five new and talented players. Training has been well attended, with up to 25 at some sessions, and player/coach Ryan Willcox has got the team playing a high tempo and attractive game of rugby.
"November was a tough month for the team but, fearing no-one, we came away with three great results and were delighted to hear that we had been nominated to be the team of the month," he added.
"To go on and win the award has been a massive boost to the club but one that I feel was fully deserved.
"A big thank-you has not only got to go to the players but also to the supporters and committee of the club, who back the team in whatever we have asked for."
Visitors Trowbridge played with 13 men for the vast majority of Saturday's game after losing their scrum-half to injury in the second minute but the game was far from straightforward for Colerne.
The Trowbridge defence stood up manfully against an onslaught and it took Colerne 20 minutes to put the game's first points on the board as the dynamic Ed Ross found a gap and scored out wide.
Further try-scoring chances went begging but Gardiner- Catlow's pop pass gave Willcox the chance to score under the posts and he added the conversion himself.
Colerne's third and best try arrived before the break when Ed Ross dummied and then passed to Marc Pritchard, who raced down the blindside to score in the corner.
The hosts were disjointed in the second half but finally broke through a rugged Trowbridge defence again with eight minutes to go.
Big second-row Jae Binnie barged his way over from close in and Willcox added the conversion.
The Chronicle's local rugby coverage is sponsored by Greensward Sports Consultancy, a Bath-based company specialising in a high standard of construction and maintenance of schools and sportsground facilities. For more information, contact 07972 630518, info@greensward sports.co.uk or visit www. greenswardsports.co.uk.