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Bridgwater & Albion Dirtrackers 22, Wyvern 5 (08/12/12)

| 11/04/2013

Albion’s Dirtrackers, whose form has been somewhat inconsistent this season, bounced back from a disjointed performance at Burnham to convincingly beat Wyvern at College Way last Saturday.  Albion fielded several Colts, all of whom showed considerable promise. The side was also boosted by the 5th or 6th coming of Norman (D) who has been persuaded that retirement may not be such a good thing – all more to the advantage of the team.  

Wyvern were well led throughout this game by Richards, the veteran back row player. Playing formerly with Albion, Taunton, North Petherton and the Royal Navy, during the summer he throws in his lot with the Somerset RL Vikings.  In reality Wyvern’s much bigger pack should have taken hold of this game and indeed at the start they threatened to do so but gradually Albion’s eight got the better of them and disrupted both their line-out and scrummage – in the latter taking three strikes against the head – old fashioned but effective.  

Wyvern’s early skills included some good off-loading in close situations and twice early on Burrows was called in to make some stunning and required tackles to prevent the visitors’ progress.  He excelled himself in this direction throughout the game.  After overcoming Wyvern’s lively start, Albion gradually settled the game down and a typical Frost burst up the side looked like producing a try but he slipped when in sight of the line.  

Albion however were awarded a penalty and the ever alert Norman rumbled over.  Albion were now piling through Wyvern’s line-out and making life difficult for the visitors’ half-backs.  Albion were also now wheeling the Wyvern scrum with some success.  Frost was kicking Albion into some good positions and a good drive was held by the visitors.  After 22 minutes, Hicks burst through but was just tackled short.  

Wyvern however hit back from this with a great 50 metre drive and when the ball came out to their backs it took a great tackle by Taylor to prevent a score. Just before half time Albion almost freed Willis but he spilled the ball after some intricate switching between Frost and Coates.  Wyvern retaliated and took play back to Albion’s 22.  Then a great run out of defence by Frost took Albion away from danger. Richards put in a typical burst for Wyvern and kicked tactically for his wing but the ball rolled into touch.  Taylor covered well to keep the Albion line intact and half time arrived with just the one score.  

Immediately after the second half whistle Richards again burst through for the visitors and when Wyvern moved the ball through their backs this time they found space to score in the corner.  A great clearance by Frost took Albion back deep into Wyvern territory.  From a line-out Frost sized up and then nonchalantly dropped a goal to regain the lead. Wyvern immediately fired back and pressed hard and their pack drove over but not to the referee’s satisfaction. 

Albion took the ball against the head in the scrum to relieve pressure as Hicks burst away.  Hicks was also getting himself dirty on the ground making some important saves.  In the 66th minute, Wyvern being rather adventurous in midfield, lost the ball and Page seized on it and hacked ahead and was able to keep the momentum going to get the favourable bounce to score at the posts for Frost to convert.  Albion were now looking for more scores and hopefully the bonus point.  In the 76th minute after the introduction of the veteran Berry, Hicks burst up the short side, Berry recycled to Gibson who battled his way over for Frost again to convert.  Despite further pressing, Albion just could not clinch the fourth score.  

This was a much improved performance and the two starting Colts Cornelius and Lipscombe (son of Darren) did themselves proud, as did the later Colt replacements Barnett, Clements and Pear.  Walford made a welcome return at the back to provide some security and Burrows, Taylor, Frost and Hicks all had undoubtedly their best games of the season.

On 15 December the Dirtrackers will be seeking to avenge a heavy defeat in their opening game at Cheddar Valley on the back pitch.  

Team:  Walford;  Burrows  Coates  Willis  Taylor;  Frost  Page;  Hicks  Cornelius  Hobbs Lipscombe  Gibson  Harbour  Norman  Ruddle.  Replacements: Berry Lloyd Pearce Pike Barnett  Clements  Pear.

Scorers:  Tries:  Norman  Page  Gibson.  Conversions:  Frost (2).  Dropped Goal (Frost).
H-T 5-0.

Category: 3rd Previews / Reports -XV, 3rd XV News

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