MARCEL GARVEY struck twice in the last three minutes of last night's Guinness A League encounter to fire Gloucester to a convincing victory over Saracens.
The Kingsholm winger showed a glimpse of his blistering pace with two expert finishes in the last three minutes of Gloucester's 36-13 victory at Kingsholm.
His first came in the 78th minute when James Merriman broke up a Saracens attack with a steal and powerful break forward before Rob Thirlby gave Garvey the scoring pass 50 metres out. He had enough pace to get round the cover and add the bonus point score to Gloucester's effort.
And his second came two minutes later when, with Saracens plotting one last attack, Gloucester turned possession over. Quinton Davids found Brad Davies in midfield, Anthony Allen came into support before Narraway added his weight to the attack before setting Garvey free for another excellent try.
It was a good overall performance from Gloucester. Narraway, Merriman and Dean Miller were excellent in the back row, Mark Cornwell marshalled his troops effectively at lock and there was plenty of threat in the backs.
Scrum-half James Donovan and winger Matthew Nuttall, both from Wales, impressed with their work-rate and effort throughout as Gloucester slowly built up a commanding lead.
Saracens, who included Richard Haughton, Dan Scarbrough, Kevin Yates, Matt Cairns and Ben Broster were a handful, particulalry when stand-off Ben J Russell was allowed to get to his hands on the ball, so this was a good victory for Gloucester.
Russell kicked a second minute penalty to give Saracens the lead and after Ryan Lamb had missed two shots at goal, landed his third to level the scores after 20 minutes.
Five minutes later Gloucester got their first try. Donovan fed out from a scrum 10 metres from the line, Lamb and Anthony Allen combined before Garvey came in off his wing to put Thirlby in for a well-worked try. The conversion made it 10-3.
Russell cut the gap to 10-6 with a penalty but right on half-time, Gloucester scored again. Narraway was on hand to intercept a wayward Saracens pass in midfield and show good pace to score from 40 metres.
However, Saracens started the second half strongly and scored a very neat try themselves after 42 minutes. Nnamdi Obi hit the line at pace off his wing and combined with Billy O'Driscoll who fed Scarbrough to score from short range.
Saracens dominated territory thereafter for a considerable period of time but were unable to find their way across the line again, despite the promptings of Russell.
Gloucester weathered the storm and hit Sarries with three tries in the last 19 minutes. The third was a second for Narraway, who again picked a lovely angle in midfield following long passes from Donovan and Lamb to score to the left of the sticks.
The try put Gloucester 22-13 ahead and Garvey's late show added a comfortable feel to another excellent night of rugby.
Gloucester will field a reshuffled side against the Ospreys in the LV= Cup this weekend, but Backs & Attack Coach Nick Walshe stressed that it's a great opportunity for everyone on duty on Saturday and that maintaining the recent winning run is very important.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Gloucester Rugby and the Ospreys shared seven tries and 57 points in the LV= Cup at Kingsholm on Saturday. The Cherry and Whites came out on top and the club photographer captured the best of the action.