Albion’s Dirtrackers travelled to Yeovil with some anticipation following their improved showing against Hornets in the previous week when they came back late into the game to snatch a well deserved draw. Once again there were several changes to the line up from last weeks teams including some positional changes. Rogers was making his first appearance of the Season; former Colt Dickinson came into the centre with Taylor moving to the wing; Coates took up the scrum half berth and Stone appeared at number 8. Burrows moved from the wing to the second row. Gerald Knight was on the bench awaiting his first appearance for seven years.
Albion played with the slope in their favour in the first half and Smith immediately kicked his team to a considerable advantage and as a result Albion had the better of the earlier exchanges. Albions pack scrummaged well throughout the game and this advantage kept Albion in Ivel territory. After 10 minutes Ivel broke free for the first time with their centre twice bursting through. A minute later Ivel took the play well into Albion’s half and their second row ran in from 30 metres for a try at the posts which was duly converted. This did not appear to upset Albion as they immediately returned to the attack and Frost was brought down just short of the line and injured in the process. Norman was making good headway both with the ball and defended sternly when Ivel had it. Ward produced a fine long weaving run which caused the Ivel defence some concern. Following further pressure Stone attempted to dive over a ruck for a try but was denied. Later Smith’s chip ahead was just too strong for him and others to touch down before the ball went dead. Albion were being well lead by Innalls who carried the ball well throughout. Further excellent footwork from Ward made headway but halftime arrived with Albion having most of the play but not able to score and finding themselves 0-7 in arrears.
Ivel also quickly used the slope to gain early second half advantage and in the 50th minute from a quick throw in the home side were able to spread the ball across the field and their centre scored to increase the lead. Five minutes later Albion hit back in some style with a fine individual try from Norman who collected a loose ball and chipped it over the opposition to collect and score. Albion now pressurised Ivel and sought the equalising score and Dickinson, Coates and Ward made good ground up the hill. McCarthy then burst through but Albion were losing the ball at vital times. In the 66th minute Ivel forwards made ground and the scorer burst 22 metres to score at the post.
Albion again came back and should of scored but their forwards were too upright in going for the line and were easily repelled by the Ivel defence. In the closing minutes Ivel ran in two more tries both of which were converted to give them an apparently convincing victory but one which Albion will rue as they certainly did not deserve to concede 33 points as well acknowledged by the home side.
Albion point to a much better forward performance particularly in the scrummage but the line outs were still variable with too many lost balls. The backs also contrived some good moves but the ball was lost at important times allowing the home side to scramble away. There was a lot of pressure in the opening 40 minutes but to no avail. There was some bright individual performances particularly from Ward and Norman who were outstanding throughout.
Team: Ward; McCarthy Dickinson Rogers Taylor; Smith Coates; Stone C Norman Frost Innalls Burrows Moulding Walker Ruddle. Replacements – All used: Berry Gerald Knight Harbour Knott.
Scorer: C Norman – Try H-T 0-7
Category: 3rd Previews / Reports -XV