Both teams started well, with good periods of possession and the ball being moved freely around the pitch on a good day for running rugby. Imperial were first on the score sheet with a well taken penalty. From the restart Imperial infringed at the first breakdown following a good tackle by Barnett and excellent groundwork by Ranson Jnr.
Soon afterwards, Imperial crossed the whitewash for a try out wide, well taken by the winger, but also assisted by a mix-up with the Bridgy defence. Their second try followed another mix-up by Albion. A lineout 10m from the Bridgy line was won, however not cleanly and an Imperial man pounced on the ball and ran in unopposed from 5m.
Albion then scored their only try of the day. The forwards carried the ball up well through several phases before it came out to fly-half Jon Hill the elder, who moved it along the line to Stradling. Two defenders were sucked in, allowing Hill to loop around and retake the ball. There was still some work to be done, and Hill was up to the task. Beating two defenders with some nifty dance moves to score a fine try. The conversion was missed.
The second half started with Albion still very much in competition, and both teams were out to win the game. Bridgwater had the upper hand to begin with but couldn’t quite perform in the opposition 22. Following an attempted quick lineout, a slight difference of opinions became apparent, resulting in the Imperial hooker and Tim Hill being sin binned. This resulted in a slight readjustment of the backline for Albion, with Sluman stepping up for a brief yet successful stint at centre. He was making his welcome return following a knock to his elbow sustained several weeks earlier. He had replaced Satchell earlier in the game following an injury to his knee.
Some weak tackling let Imperial in for their third try and the bonus point was secured not long after. Both teams ended the game with 14 men after Stradling and the opposition 12 were binned following another difference of opinions.
Bridgy were clearly disappointed with result, especially with their dominance in the scrum and lineout areas, but some lapses in concentration and poor decision making in key areas, cost them the result. Bridgwater travel to Wellington on Thursday night for their final game of the season, hoping to finish on a high after a difficult season.
Team: Ward, Barnett, Owens, Smith, Lang, J. Hill (the Elder), T.Hill, Ball, Sturdy, Woolford, S. Ranson, Northey (Capt), M. Ranson, Stradling, Satchell.
Reps: (All used) Walker, J. Hill (the Younger), Sluman