Team: Mitch Jordan, Jonny Hicks, Grant Cherrington, Ryan Hervey, Dave Burns,Tom Thie, Ashley Vailes, Bryan Largenton (c), Ben Allcock, Oliver Jones, Warren Taylor, William Trollope, Rory McGuigan, Toby Ford, Charlie Tucker. Replacements: Ben Mac, James Lugtig, Cain Myford-Gibson. Coaches: Nick Hill. Flag: Neil Tucker.
A young, new look Clevedon side, hampered with last minute changes, were unlucky to be left empty handed on their opening home league fixture.
On a sunny September afternoon at the vale, a good crowd saw Clevedon showing lots of spirit against a big physical Matson side. The Gloucester side started well, putting the home side under pressure at the first scrum, resulting in a converted try nil-7.
From the restart Matson used their big forwards to make inroads into the Clevedon half. This was met with dogged defence and some very physical exchanges.
Clevedon now found parity at scrum time, although the lineout didn't quite function, they never lacked endeavour with fine breaks from Tom Thie, Grant Cherrington and the fleet footed Mitch Jordan.
On the 60th minute the seasiders were awarded a penalty, duly converted by Tom Thie. Moments later, a fumbled ball at a Clevedon lineout saw Matson capitalise and score 3-12. The last 10 minutes of the half saw Clevedon playing with a man down in the bin.
The second half saw Clevedon taking the game to Matson and veteran Ashley Vailes used a quick tap penalty to go over, 8-12 .Matson replied with a try of their own to increase the lead 8-17.
The seasiders refused to lie down and hit back with some multi-phase play, finished off by the powerful skipper Brian Largenton and converted A Vailes 15-17.
With 20 minutes to go the game was finely balanced. Clevedon attacked down the openside, but lost the ball in contact and Matson used the ball well to increase their lead to 15-29.
From the restart a cruel bounce of the ball saw Matson further increase their lead 15-29.
Clevedon heads did not drop and with moments left Ollie Jones finished off a strong passage of play with a try. The conversion meant a bonus point, but it cruelly shaved the posts to deny the Seasiders a losing bonus point.