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BARFC 34, Ivybridge RFC 28 (22/11/14)

| 22/11/2014 | Reply

Nov14-7970This was a superb game of rugby that kept the crowd on its toes throughout. Bridgwater had to make a last minute change when former skipper, Dan Kemmish, was injured at the end of the warm up. George Sluman replaced him with Dave Norman being drafted onto the bench from the 3rd XV match on the adjoining pitch.

Ivybridge sensed that Bridgwater would take time to adjust – and so it proved. The visitors were much the livelier in the opening stages and they quickly took the lead through a Matt Grieveson penalty followed by an unconverted try for centre Lewis Paterson.

From the kick off, Bridgwater attacked. The visitors were penalised and Bridgwater, scorning three points, took the kick quickly. Patient recycling saw the ball in the hands of skipper, Ollie Dunn, who crashed over near the posts. Stu Heal converted.

A good Bridgwater move between James Martin and Nick Francis saw the latter tackled heavily near the line and he was forced to retire with a shoulder injury. Jervis Manupenu replaced him and as a consequence, the back line was reorganised with Manupenu at 10, Heal at 12, Ashwin at 13 and Basson at 14.

The visitors increased their lead when full back, Tim Scoles ran a loose Bridgwater kick back at them. He re-gathered his own chip ahead and a quick pass put hooker Jay Geraty in for a try in the corner converted superbly by Grieveson., who also added a penalty.
Almost immediately a very loose Bridgwater pass was intercepted on half way by Billy Pinkus who cruised 50m for an unconverted try.

Bridgwater then lost centre Chris Ashwin and skipper Dunn to the bin in separate incidents and for about eight minutes were down to thirteen men.

The losses seemed to inspire Bridgwater who got close to scoring following a great move between Nick Spellissy, Taylor Buller and Joe Bussell. The visitors could not add to their tally before the interval to leave the score at 7-23.

The home side tore out of the blocks in the second half and scored a short-handed try. Home pressure saw the ball recycled and then moved right where Martin took it some 35m out and scythed through for a try at the posts, converted by Heal.

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The home crowd roared their disapproval when an apparent dump tackle was not penalised but saw visiting flanker Joe Walker binned a few minutes later.

Bridgwater crossed the line but could not ground the ball and from the resulting scrum, Spellissy drove over for an unconverted try. It was then the visitors’ turn for a short-handed try when Scoles finished off a good move with an unconverted try.

Further Bridgwater pressure saw the home side take the lead when a driving maul drive saw Bussell gain the touchdown. Heal’s conversion from the touchline hit the post.

From the kick off came a contender for try of the season. Bridgwater drove forward on gathering the ball and it reached Martin, just inside his own half and near the left hand touch line. Somehow he wriggled out of a couple of intended tackles and found himself in the clear. He tore to the line and scored his second try of the day, this time unconverted.Nov14-7721

Inside the final few minutes, Paterson was sin-binned and Bridgwater attacked again. Once more the ball was held up over the line. From the scrum, Spellissy again broke right and then the ball was switched left where Heal scored the sixth Bridgwater try. His conversion again hit the post leaving Bridgwater, gaining 5 points, the victors for the fourth week running and inflicting a fourth narrow defeat in a row on Ivybridge who had to be content with 2 points.

Bridgwater today showed great character to come back from their situation mid way through the first half. Early on, the home side were not making enough first time tackles but by not conceding points when missing two players the home side began to believe in themselves. Their play in the second half was some of the best seen for some time. To score six tries against one of the best sides in the league is a great achievement and will give them confidence for the remainder of the league season as well as for next Saturday’s Somerset Cup match at Weston-super-Mare.

Bridgwater & Albion
Tries: Martin (2), Heal, Bussell, Dunn, Spellissy
Cons: Heal (2)

Tries: Scoles, Paterson, Geraty, Pinkus
Con: Grieveson
Pens: Grieveson (2)

Bridgwater Team:
James Martin, Nick Francis (rep Jervis Manupenu 13), Garryn Basson, Chris Ashwin, Oscar Tregenna, Stu Heal, Roger Drabble, James Bryant, Matt Hastie, Joe Bussell, Ali Blundell, Taylor Buller, George Sluman, Ollie Dunn (Capt), Nick Spellissy.
Reps not used: Adrian Tew, Dave Norman.

Referee : Michael Gallagher (Buckinghamshire)

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

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