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Home > News > South West County Championship Round 4 News
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Your News South West County Championship Round 4 News
17
MAY

Gloucestershire are flying the flag for the South West this weekend as the only unbeaten side from the region in the Bill Beaumont Cup.

Following a 44-22 win over Cornwall and a 33-26 victory against Kent last weekend, Gloucestershire will now face Hertfordshire on Saturday at Old Albanians RFC, kick off 3pm, to play off for a place in the cup final at Twickenham Stadium on May 29th.

Hertfordshire have also maintained their fine form this season with the county’s record win over Kent, 48-7, at Westcombe Park RFC last Saturday and a first ever win in Cornwall two weeks ago.

Gloucestershire Team Manager Mike Rafter said: “We are very happy to be in this position. The squad have gelled well. The first game is always a bit hit and miss because of the lack of preparation time and there were a few rough edges. However, we threw out those issues in last week’s training session and our performance against Kent last Saturday was first class. It was a close game after half time after making a good start but we were pleased with the response from the players in the last 20 minutes and we powered away.

“We are now in the position where this is the cup final before the cup final with the winner taking all. We have a few injuries but we hope we can select a side similar to the last two games.

“Hertfordshire have a good coach in Paul Turner who has a great pedigree as former coach of Newport Gwent Dragons and Bedford so there is no doubt his players will be in good shape. They have beaten both Kent and Cornwall in style also.

“However, I know that we have got what it takes to get to the final. We have had some sticky moments this season but have shown the resolve to get through it so I have every confidence in this side.”

In the North pool, Lancashire will play Cheshire on Saturday for a place in the cup final.

In the Bill Beaumont Cup Division Two, North Midlands have already clinched promotion to the First Division following a hard-earned 27-17 win over Devon last weekend.

Devon and Somerset, however, still have pride to play for this weekend when they meet in the final round at Tiverton RFC, kick off 230pm. Both sides may have missed out on the chance of promotion into the top tier of the Bill Beaumont Cup but Somerset coach Kevin Moggridge is keen to end their county championship campaign this season on a high.

Moggridge said: “Going to Devon is always a massive challenge but we want to end this season on a positive note. Their county side is steeped in history and they will have a lot of support there, but so will we so we are feeling confident.

“They are facing a new challenge this season, rebuilding with new coaches and that is exactly where we are at too. For us we have been rebuilding as we want to develop players within the county and give local players a real chance to play for Somerset. Certainly I think this will be a good game with close rivalries between the two sides as well.”

Dorset and Wilts meanwhile are through to the semi finals of the County Championship Shield after their 54-12 defeat of Oxfordshire last weekend. Now only

Essex stand between the Twin Counties and a second successive Twickenham final.

County coach Simon Culley said: “We are delighted to be in the semi finals. It was a tough group and who ever won it was going to take some momentum into the semi. We have started to gel as a team and a few injuries have cleared up so selection is going to be very tough.

“We last played Essex two years ago at Bournemouth and won a nail biter in the closing minutes so I am sure they will be out to reverse that. I know they will be bringing a strong pack and look to come at us hard. We must keep our discipline and concentration and carry on where we left off last Saturday.”

Dorset & Wilts will play Essex at Bournemouth RFC on Saturday, kick off 230pm.

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