COVENTRY Bears head coach Tom Tsang admits it is a great feeling to have picked up a first win of the season after a last minute drop goal from Joel James saw them snatch the points from Gloucestershire All Golds.
The Bears found themselves 16-6 behind at the break but they fought back to level the match at 28-28 before James round-off an assured performance by holding his nerve and kicking the crucial one-pointer to earn his side a first league win of the season.
“It’s a great feeling to get our first win of the season,” said Tsang.
“We have started off playing two of the top sides of the competition in Toulouse and Rochdale and found it tough despite glimpses of positives.
“The lads have really worked hard the last two weeks in training – and the elements we have been focusing were implemented in the game, and that hard work was rewarded.
“The most pleasing part of the game was the grit and resilience we showed when we went behind early in the game. We never stopped working for each other and importantly didn’t stop believing we could win the game.
“We now have a benchmark performance and will be hoping to build from here.”
Early tries from Courtney Davies and Steve Parry saw the All Golds take a 10-0 lead before Jack Morrison powered over for a try on 22 minutes which was converted by James.
The visitors extended their lead further through Lamont Bryan shortly after the half-hour mark but they were pegged back again when Eddie Medforth fought hard to touch down in the corner five minutes after the break and James piloted over the sideline conversion.
The All Golds lost their with Joe McClean being sin-binned for two consecutive high tackles and the Bears grabbed the initiative.
Davies nudged over a penalty to put a converted try between the sides but just as McClean was preparing to come back, James Redman’s high kick to the corner eluded Chris Barlow and Hayden Freeman grounded the ball before it went dead.
James levelled the score with the conversion but missed the extras when Matt Reid powered over four minutes later.
The game became something of a cup tie in the final quarter. Davis scored a try before the Bears edged ahad once more through Richie Hughes with eight minutes remaining.
Parry ploughed over for his second of the evening and Davies tied the score with the goal via a post but James kicked a well struck drop goal to dent the All Gold’s hopes of a top eight finish.