Albion’s Dirtrackers – inspired by their previous week’s showing at Martock where they obtained a draw – maintained their form in a very even encounter against Minehead Barbarians on Saturday. Once again, there was a considerable change of personnel, but this time Albion started excellently. In the opening minute Frost chipped ahead and the ball bounced up for Richards to latch on to it and to cross for a try.
Once again Albion were up against a side with a heavy pack but this time coped manfully and not only did the solid front row of James, Stone and Longman hold their own in the tight, there was also time for some penetrating runs by James and Longman in particular. This, backed with the thrust of Buck continually and Darren Miller, allowed the back row of Stanley (guesting from Taunton), Frost and Paisey to assert their superiority on the loose ball.
For most of the first half, Albion were camped well inside the Minehead half but the visitors were dangerous on breaks out and on two occasions hacking the ball down field.
Here their stand-off was adept, creating some space and it was he who almost scored when the ball bounced up but an excellent tackle by Richards – not for the first time in the match – saved the line and the score. Taylor was bouncing around well in the midfield and Bowen also had some good moments on the wing. Page and Coates combined neatly at half-back with the latter always having the eye for the gap. Despite their territorial superiority, Albion could only score the one try in the first half.
In the second half, Albion’s ascendancy continued but constant errors denied them any earlier scores and Minehead, prompted by their stand-off, still caused some panic in Albion’s defence. Buck now took on the mantle of leading the charge for Albion and it was from one of his bursts near the line that Stanley finally broke the stalemate when he dived over. Frost duly converted and Albion now had some breathing space.
The Dirtrackers, pepped up by the further score, looked for another but squandered several chances. Two minutes from the end, Minehead got their reward for their spirit and endeavour with a close range try but Albion saw out the remaining few moments.
A draw and now a win in two weeks will have considerably assisted the Dirtrackers’ confidence and put them in good spirits for this week’s encounter at Morganians. Albion, having conceded a match earlier, are now positive in terms of points in the league and will be seeking to expand the improvement.
Team: Burrows; S Kerry Richards Taylor Bowen; Coates Page; Stanley Frost Paisey
D Miller Buck James Stone Longman. Replacements: (all used) Berry Harbour R Miller.
Scorers: Tries: Richards Stanley. Conversions: Frost.