Albion’s Dirtrackers buoyed by their excellent performance against Minehead Barbarians II the week before travelled the short distance to Chedzoy Lane, anticipating giving the revived home side a good run for their money. Things did not work out quite as intended.
Albion played with the stiff breeze in their favour in the first half but did not make enough use of it and often found themselves under pressure deep in their own half. However Albion started in good form gaining early ground and in the 5th minute Ward kicked an excellent 45 metre penalty downwind to give them the lead. Five minutes later Morganians attacked strongly up the left and from a penalty they kicked to touch. From the ensuing line-out they made ground towards Albion’s posts and a forward drive secured a try which was converted. Morganians then ran back Albion’s errant kick-off and when the ball went loose, the home scrum-half ran 60 metres to score a further try which was also converted. Five minutes later Ward reduced the arrears with his second penalty. In the 21st minute Morganians powered several scrums near Albion’s line and again their forwards bundled over to take the score to 19-6. Albion’s Norman was getting through a considerable amount of defensive work and produced a fine tackle to stop the Morganians wing in full flight. In the 35th minute Albion – gaining a rare glimpse of the Morganians’ line – gave the home side a dose of their own driving medicine when from a line-out the catch and drive saw Frost at the bottom of the pile to secure the try. Right on half-time Albion were again under pressure on their line and conceded a five metre scrum but Morganians knocked on the attempted push-over.
Albion’s best bet was to get on the scoreboard as quickly as possible in the second half but that was soon scuppered as in the 2nd minute, Albion’s backs mishandled, allowing the home side to run the ball to their left-wing who was held just short. From the next scrum Morganians picked up at the base and freed their scrum-half who went over for his second try. Albion were now losing the ball with some regularity, either from mishandling or poor passing and Morganians snapped up the ball to score another try. In the 57th minute with Albion under pressure, Page’s attempted clearance kick was charged down at a line-out and Morganians grabbed a further score. Albion emptied their bench and with some success as for a long period they then quelled Morganians’ progress and took the game to them, but without producing the vital score. In the 74th minute, Morganians found some space in midfield and their stand-off jinked his way over for the closing try which was converted.
A well-deserved victory for the home side and a good all-round performance justifying their recent good results. A good blend of experience allied to young exuberance. Albion will have been disappointed with this performance. They rarely used the elements to gain sufficient ground. The pack gave a good account of itself against heavier opponents with skipper Innalls always in the van and well supported by Frost and Gibson. Huntley and Norman produced some stalwart defensive work and the front row clearly held their own. However outside there was little momentum and as a result passing and handling became ragged, allowing the opposition to take full advantage.
Next week Albion entertain Somerton and will be looking to erase these errors. What a difference a week makes.
Team: Ward; Knott Rogers Rae McCarthy; Coates Page; Frost C Norman Huntley Innalls Gibson Ruddle Stone Harbour. Replacements: all used – Berry Buck Pearce Jones Goddard Dickinson Miller.
Scorers: Try – Frost. Penalties – Ward (2).