Looking at the scoreline, one would be forgiven in thinking that Bridgwater dominated this game. For much of the game this would be correct but the home side had a couple of purple passages in the second half that put the senior side under some pressure.
For the second week running, Bridgwater scored six tries and were worthy winners. However, one worrying statistic for Bridgwater will be the penalty count against them which reached silly figures before the end of the game.
With Nick Francis carrying a slight injury, Stuart Heal came in for his first game of the season. Ollie Dunn was ill so Joe Stradling started at No 7. Dan Kemmish moved to No 6 as Nick Spellissy was not available with Doug Page-Symonds joining the powerhouse.
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The game was over as a contest after only seven minutes. Two Rob Allen breaks set up a brace of tries for scrum half Roger Drabble. The first from short range and the second ending with a 35m sprint. Will Kerry’s two conversions rubbed salt in the wound. Minutes later Drabble avoided ‘a jug’ by slipping when clear near the home line.
A yellow card for Rob Thompson allowed Burnham back into the game but they had to be content with a penalty by Tim Piper as their only reward.
Bridgwater ended the half as they started it – with a brace of tries. Firstly, following good work by Joe Stradling, an outrageous dummy by Doug Page-Symonds put Chris Webber under the posts and then Allen gathered a loose ball on his own 22 and outpaced the home defence for the fourth try. Kerry’s two conversions made it 3-28 at half time.
Burnham started the second half by putting Bridgwater under enormous pressure and scored a deserved try through Mike Hocking, converted by Piper. Both sides had yellow cards, Webber for Bridgwater and Bryan Webb for Burnham.
However, Bridgwater extended their lead when Drabble broke blind from halfway to set up an unconverted try for Stradling.
With both sides using replacements, play became very unstructured. Bridgwater managed one more try when Drabble again broke clear, handed on to Matt Hastie who put Webber in for his second try, this time unconverted.
Bridgwater ensured that league honour was maintained and progress to the Quarter Final of this competition.
Bridgwater will be delighted to have won this game but will be concerned that they were almost whistled out of the game. The backs always looked dangerous running with the ball in hand with Roger Drabble at the heart of much of the action. The pack looked strong although they did contrive to lose one scrum against the head.
These last two victories – with twelve tries against two – will give the club heart for the long trip to Camborne next Saturday before a home game with Cleve at 3-00pm on Nov 24th.
Burnham on Sea
Bridgwater & Albion
Tries: Drabble (2), Webber (2), Allen, Stradling
Cons: W. Kerry (4)
Bridgwater Starting Team:
Stuart Heal, Garryn Basson, Rob Allen, Will Kerry, Matt House, Dominik Griffin, Roger Drabble, James Bryant, Gavin Knight, Christian Preece, Rob Thompson, Doug Page-Symonds, Dan Kemmish (Capt), Joe Stradling, Chris Webber
Replacements Used: Matt Hastie, Matt Northey, Sam Russel, Dan Steward, Rhys Owen, James Kerry
Replacement not used: Simon Martin
Referee: Paul Eke (Somerset Referees Society)
Match report by Tony Pomeroy