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The Pats tore the league leaders apart with a sparkling second half performance scoring thirty points before a last minute consolation try to the Londoners gave the scoreline a degree of respectability they did not really deserve. Flyhalf Jon Steckbeck contributed 29 points to this comprehensive victory for the Cheltenham side as their very young team defended well during the first period and cut loose in the second half with strong forward play and excellent running by the threequarters.

Rosslyn Park opened the scoring with two penalties from flyhalf Sam Howard in the first ten minutes before Pats flyhalf Jon Steckbeck responded with a penalty. The Pats attacked up the wing in the thirteenth minute and as the ball was worked inside so Park wing James Justice intercepted and ran 50 metres to score. Howard converted to give the visitors a 10 point lead but Steckbeck kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit. Pats were under pressure in their own 22 for a ten minute spell but defended well and Steckbeck reduced the lead further with another penalty. Pats should have taken the lead when an Ed Crampton break left Barrie Davies and Neal Ainscow clear but Ainscow was caught just short of the line and the visitors cleared their lines for a 9-13 scoreline at the break.

The home forwards tore into their opposite numbers at the restart and drove them back 20 metres before being awarded a penalty duly converted by Steckbeck who then kicked his fifth shot at goal for a one point lead for the home side on the quarter hour. The midpoint of the half triggered a blitz by the Pats as they ran in three tries in 15 minutes as the Londoners had no answer to the strong running of forwards and backs. The first try came from Steckbeck as he took the ball at pace to sidestep his opposite number and crash over. He converted his own try and minutes later was successful for the extra points when Ainscow took the ball over after Crampton had made the initial break. Steckbeck kicked another penalty and with five minutes to go converted Cramptons try after he had been set clear by Ainscow. The Pats relaxed with the game won and with the last move of the match Park centre Dan Singer finished off a well worked move to score close to the posts. Howard missed with a drop goal conversion to end the game.


Report provided by Hugh Etheridge