Cup fates to be sealed before Christmas
GOOD news for rugby players and supporters looking for an excuse to escape last-minute Christmas shopping on December 22.
Hornets, Chew Valley and St Bernadettes Old Boys will all be in action in RFU Cup games against Gloucestershire qualifiers, bidding to move a step closer to finals at Twickenham.
Berry Hill entertain Hornets in the Intermediate Cup; Chew Valley will be at home to Drybrook in the Senior Vase; and Saints welcome Newent in the Junior Vase.
At least a dozen league matches have also been rescheduled for the same day following recent postponements because of wet weather.
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For a full rundown of games and a list of other fixtures over the festive period, see next Friday's rugby page.
St Mary's Old Boys host two Gloucestershire under-18 league finals on Sunday. Thornbury face Cinderford in the plate play-off at noon, while Hornets take on Dursley for the cup trophy at 2pm.
Tries from Dan Chidgey, man-of-the-match Lee Davis, Lee Chidgey, Nick Campbell and Steve Billingham – who collided with a post in the act of scoring and injured himself – helped Bristol Barbarians 2nds to a 35-26 home friendly win over St Bernadette's 3rds, Josh Briggs landed all five conversions.
Paddy O'Keef's second-half touchdown was all St Bernadettes 2nds had to show for their efforts in a 36-5 friendly reverse against Keynsham.
Matt Bowden's try was a consolation for North Bristol 3rds in a 25-5 reverse against Bristol Saracens in South Three of the Gloucester Reserve League.
Bristol Telephones found themselves without a game for a second successive weekend after another late cry-off by the opposition.
The resurgent Stockwood-based club are hoping it's a case of third time lucky tomorrow when they entertain second-placed Gordano 3rds in South Four of the Reserve League ahead of hosting their first-ever Christmas dinner-dance.
Two tries from acting captain Ben Newman could not save Keynsham from a 28-15 setback at Burnham in Western Counties North.
Ben Bolster added a conversion and a penalty for Keynsham, who were back in action after successive home games were cancelled because of waterlogging at the Crown Field.
The club's 2nds went down 30-8 at home to Nailsea & Backwell in Somerset Premier, Gareth Jones claiming a try and Rob Breckon booting a penalty.
Bristol Academy Under-18s, a squad made up of Elite Player Development Group Gold members drawn from the city's partner schools, are away to London Irish tomorrow (2pm).
North Bristol will host a clash with Exeter on January 13 (1.30pm), with further games against London Wasps, at Cleve on February 2, and Saracens, at Clifton, on February 17.