This match was eagerly awaited and boosted the local derby effect with the 1st XV at home to North Petherton on the adjoining pitch later. Albion had suffered an agonising 7-8 defeat at Chedzoy Lane earlier in the season and were intent on avenging that. Morganians have thrust themselves into the upper reaches of Somerset II South and in contention for the title and could not afford to slip up.
Albion, with a squad of 25, knew what to expect with the visitors hoping to use the strength of their pack to release their eager backs. Albion therefore applied their tactics excellently, denying Morganians the forward advantage by effectively taking them on at their own game. As a result a somewhat dour encounter ensued but certainly one for the connoisseur if tactical appreciation is your forte. Albion used Coates in the middle of the front row where he contributed well to Albion’s forward power. Add to that some typical scrimmaging from Modrzynski, Norman, Buck and Worgan added to the mobility of Windsor and Frost meant that Albion were generally on the front foot. This allowed Albion’s outsides to make good ground where Kerry and Johnson were always prominent in the middle and everyone else did a sound job.
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Coates opened the scoring for Albion with a try which rocked Morganians. Despite the visitors’ efforts to get back into the game, Windsor then crossed for Albion’s second try. With the wind dictating play, it was important that these scores were in the bag as Albion resisted Morganians’ challenges.
In an even second half, neither side could take full advantage until Habberfield dropped an opportunist goal to put the home side in command. Morganians had earlier kicked a penalty in response.
Albion gave one of their best displays of the season in these attritional circumstances. Morganians were seeking victory to maintain their substantial league progress but will have seen that one of their rivals Wiveliscombe II also lost so they will remain in contention. For Albion this evens the record – 7-7 and plenty more to play for. Next up is the visit to Wells where the Dirtrackers seek the double, having won 12-7 at home earlier. On February 14th the earlier postponed match at Somerton will be played thus giving the Dirtrackers a full month of fixtures.
Team: Denovan; Willis Johnson J Kerry Waters; Habberfield Page; Modrzynski Frost Windsor Worgan Buck Moulding Coates Norman. Replacements: Used – Ruddle Trunks Clarke Higginson Ward Ball. Unused – Pearce Croker Walker Burrows.