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B&A RFC 15, Sidmouth RFC 6 (23/02/13)

| 11/04/2013

Bridgwater gained revenge for a defeat at Sidmouth earlier in the season and in the process denied the seasiders a bonus point. This was Bridgwater’s third four point win in successive weeks and is their best run for some time.

Bridgwater welcomed back two players, Ollie Dunn and Roger Drabble, now happily recovered from injuries, to the bench.

The game was never a spectacle as both sides made many mistakes but these kept the small crowd interested.

Bridgwater deserved their win by dominating much of the first half. The home side opened the scoring with a Stuart Heal penalty after 5 minutes.

Following a lineout on half way, a 25m driving maul set Bridgwater on the attack. They kept up the pressure and another driving maul after eleven minutes made it all the way to the Sidmouth line where James Bryant was credited with the try. Heal’s conversion was wide.

Bridgwater, for a change, kicked well out of hand in the first half but reverted to old bad habits in the second period.

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Sidmouth lost Dwight Pansegrouw to the sin bin but Bridgwater could not capitalise as they tended to over-complicate the game.

A scrum against the head put Bridgwater on the attack but a good move left was halted by an excellent Sidmouth tackle.

Sidmouth came back into the game but, on half an hour, a 40m Rob Allen run followed by a penalty to the corner set Bridgwater up for an attacking lineout. Doug Page-Symonds caught the ball and handed on to Rob Thompson who found a huge hole in the defence to cruise fully 5m for a try, converted by Heal.

Tom Whelan narrowed the gap with a penalty for Sidmouth to make the half time score 15-3.

Sidmouth were much livelier in the second period and when Bridgwater lost Christian Preece to a yellow card, Whelan reduced the home lead with his second penalty.

The game became rather unstructured with injuries and replacements fairly frequent occurrences.

Play flowed from end to end and twice Bridgwater were, quite correctly, called back by the referee when tries were on the cards.

Chawatama Lovejoy brought the crowd to life with a charge-down of a defensive kick in midfield that set Allen off on another of his trademark powerful runs. The upshot was a short-range penalty to Bridgwater. With Heal leaving the field with an in jury, the kick was entrusted to Will Kerry. Success would have sealed the game, but he hit the near post and the chance had gone.

Sidmouth attacked hard towards the end and it took a superb try-saving tackle from Ashley Honeywell to keep Bridgwater’s line intact. The pack played well again with evergreen Matt Hastie often to the fore as was Ollie Dunn during his cameo appearance in the second half.

One downside was somewhat loose handling and passing that could have been said to have cost Bridgwater at least a couple of tries but Bridgwater’s coach, Kevin Innalls, hobbling following an injury at work, will settle for four points a game.

Bridgwater’s four points for the win has given them a seven point cushion from the drop zone and put them within touching distance of mid-table security.

Next week, Bridgwater host Old Redcliffians who are in contention for promotion.

Bridgwater & Albion 
Tries: Bryant, Thompson 
Con: Heal 
Pen: Heal

Pens: Whelan (2)

Bridgwater Team: Ashley Honeywell, Joel Clark, Rob Allen, Will Kerry, Arg Saliarelis, Stuart Heal, Dominik Griffin, James Bryant, Matt Hastie, Christian Preece, Doug Page-Symonds, Rob Thompson, Tom King, Mitch Windsor, Dan Kemmish (Capt)
Replacements all used: Chawatama Lovejoy, Ollie Dunn, Roger Drabble

Referee: Chris Newton (Somerset Society)

Match report by Tony Pomeroy, Photographs by Ben Pomeroy

Category: 1st XV News, Previews / Reports -XV

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