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B&A RFC 27, Old Redcliffians 40 (02/03/13)

| 11/04/2013

Conditions were perfect for Rugby in this afternoons match at College Way for what was always going to be a very tough match for the home side. Bridgwater & Albion did very well to come away with a 4-try bonus point and put to bed memories of the 44-5 defeat suffered at the hands of Old Reds earlier in the season.

The match started as a very one-sided affair with Old Reds having most of the possession in the first 25 minutes of the game. The visitors managed to put in 5 unanswered tries (James Wilmott 2, Saul Nelson, Dave Harris, Matt Coles) in the first half-hour, with Ashley Groves kicking superbly and missing only one conversion, thus leaving the score at 0-33 and Old Reds gaining their bonus after just 28 minutes. The match really looked like it was going to be a rout and the home crowd were virtually silent as they feared the worst. 

Bridgwater however were not finished, they didn’t let their heads drop and kept pressing on. Bridgwater’s persistence was rewarded after 37 minutes with a short burst through at least four defenders from 15m out to give Bridgwater’s first try to Arg Saliarelis.

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Five minutes later and into first-half injury time, a quickly taken penalty on Bridgwater’s 22 by Matt Hastie got the ball out to James Kerry who had a 60m sprint down wing where he was just tagged by the chasing defence. The ball was brilliantly off-loaded to Joel Clark who swiftly got the ball to Nick Spellissy and he easily ran over the line to touch the ball down near to the posts – the kick was converted by Will Kerry. This left the half-time score at 12-33. 

The second-half started in a similar fashion to the first with Old Reds putting in an early score when James Wilmott went over the line again for his third try of the match – this was again converted skilfully by Ashley Groves.

This was however to be Old Reds last score of the game as Bridgwater dominated from here on in. 

After 20 minutes, Nick Spellissy was fed the ball from a line-out and after going to ground just managed to reach the ball over the opposition’s line.

Seven minutes later, a quickly taken penalty by Old Reds went horribly wrong when Bridgwater stole the ball at the following ruck. Roger Drabble made a clearance kick up field where the ball went loose at the subsequent ruck on the Bridgwater 10 metre line. It was swept up by Dominik Griffin and swiftly passed to Joel Clark who avoided two tacklers before running from the half-way line to score a fantastic try in the corner and gain the 4-try bonus point for his team which was thoroughly appreciated by the home supporters. Kicks from both tries were however missed. 

At 36 minutes, former International Referee Tony Spreadbury awarded a penalty try to Bridgwater for deliberate pulling down of a driving maul as Bridgwater were just short of the Old Reds line. Bridgwater’s kicking, being what it was; Will Kerry managed to miss the quickly taken conversion from right in front of the posts!

Bridgwater will rue their mistakes in the first 25 minutes and their missed kicks as this match could so easily have gone the way of the home team – or at the very least Bridgwater could also have gained a losing bonus point to join their 4-try bonus point. 

With other teams behind them in the league table not making ground, Bridgwater remain 7 points clear of the relegation zone, but also 7 points behind the next above them.

Next week, Bridgwater travel away to take on Chard and will be looking to secure more valuable points to assist them in their fight for survival in their current division. 

Bridgwater & Albion: 
Tries: Spellissy (2), Saliarelis, Clark 
Conversion: Kerry

Old Redcliffians: 
Tries: Wilmott (3), Harris, Nelson, Coles 
Conversions: Groves (5)

Bridgwater Team: Joel Clark, James Kerry, Garry Basson, Will Kerry, Arg Saliarelis, Stu Heal, Dom Griffin, Nick Spellissy, Ollie Dunn, Tom King, Rob Thompson, Dan Kemmish, Dave Norman, Matt Hastie, James Bryant 
Replacements Used: Mitch Windsor, Roger Drabble 
Replacements Not Used: Simon Martin

Referee: Tony Spreadbury (Somerset Society)

Match report by David Pomeroy, Photographs by Ben Pomeroy

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

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