DIRTRACKERS SHOW CONSIDERABLE IMPROVEMENT
BUT STILL GO DOWN
Albion’s Dirtrackers have endured a difficult season and whilst the scoreline problems continued against a strong Taunton outfit, there was some marked improvement in effort and determination. Once again, a much rejigged side with several players playing out of position probably did not help the cause. Norman returned but in the back row before switching to the front later; Stone normally in the front row started in the back row; Page switched to stand-off partnered by the vintage Berry; and Pearce made an unexpected appearance in the centre with skipper Innalls initially on the wing.
The early play was even with Albion taking the ball to the opposition and attacking strongly. They also defended well when the occasion demanded. Taunton sought to move the ball quickly through their younger and swifter backs. Albion took an early lead when Page, taking up the kicking duties, duly kicked a penalty from in front after seven minutes. It was a while before Taunton clicked into action and once their loose forwards had secured the ball, the ball was whipped away to their three-quarters and they ran in three converted tries in relatively quick succession. This knocked back Albion’s spirited efforts but they were not to be denied and just before half-time from a wild flap from a line-out Page caught the ball in no-man’s- land and proceeded to jink through a somewhat bemused Taunton defence for a fine try near the posts and he added the conversion.
Albion’s recovery boosted them for the second half but Taunton regularly ran in further scores to take the score to 33-10 in their favour before Albion’s forwards rumbled and Gibson crashed over. Page again converted. However that was the end of Albion’s scoring and Taunton took full advantage of several wrong options taken by Albion and ran in a few long-range tries towards the end.
This was a much more spirited performance by Albion although they gave up the ball too readily on several occasions which cost them points. Perhaps the beacon which shone through the afternoon was Page’s fine display in the unfamiliar No. 10 spot. He kicked well both from the hand and off the ground and scored a fine try. Gibson, Norman, Hobbs and Buck ran well in the loose whenever possible whilst Knott had a fine defensive game assisted by Taylor and Walford.
Albion still have six matches to go and will surely be seeking to add to their two victories only this season in these last remaining weeks.
Team: Walford; Knott Pearce Taylor Innalls; Page Berry; Gibson Norman Stone Hobbs Buck Moulding T Walker Ruddle. Replacements – all played – Goddard Millburn Harbour.
Scorers: Page – Penalty Try and two conversions. Gibson – try.