Alex Davidson’s last-gasp try handed Gloucestershire All Golds a narrow 38-34 victory over Hemel Stags in a thrilling encounter at Pennine Way.
The result was in the balance until the very end, with Hemel seemingly in total control after 40 minutes and looking to kill the game off, before the home side imploded and allowed the All Golds to come away with the spoils.
Stags coach Troy Perkins was clearly frustrated by the result, and said: “We beat ourselves again – we played well in the first half and said at the break to do the same again in the second but the players did not do that.
“If you concede 38 points in a game you don’t deserve to win.”
The All Golds were first to score when Davidson went over on 19 minutes, with Courtney Davies converting.
Hemel replied quickly through Matt Ross scoring in the corner and, although BJ Swindells missed the kick, they went on to build what seemed a comfortable lead.
A try by Alex Anthony was quickly followed by a superb score from Derrell Olpherts who gathered near his own line and passed to Simon Hrbek who broke the line before providing a pinpoint pass back to Olpherts to touch down.
Anthony got his second from a feed by Michael Brown, and the kick by Swindells took Hemel into a 14-points lead.
All Golds replied with a try before the break when Steve Parry went in after Parslow was held up. However, a penalty for Hemel meant a healthy 10-point lead at the hooter.
Gloucester came out and went straight into the attack after half-time. Some very slack Stags defending let Parry in for his second score with a 40 metre break, but a clever try from James Woodburn-Hall was converted by Swindells to improve the Stags score.
A bomb from Davies was initially caught deep by Olpherts but Jamie Murphy picked his pocket, turned and fed Graham O’Keefe who gratefully went in.
Still Hemel seemed on course for the win, with Brown crossing in the right corner and Woodbun-Hall making the difficult conversion to keep the lead at two converted tries.
However, more sloppy home defending let in Emmerson Whittel then some slick passing between Ryan Pywell, Davies and Murphy ended when the latter crossed in space.
When Bradley missed the kick and the score was 34-32, the home fans thought they had just got away with things, but Gloucester had other ideas when Hemel almost stood and watched as Alex Davidson gave them the lead. Bradley twisting the knife with a fine kick.
Next week the Stags face a difficult game when they travel to York.