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BARFC 39, Bideford RFC 30 (27/09/14)

| 27/09/2014 | Reply

Written by Tony Pomeroy

BARFC2What a superb game of rugby. With both sides prepared to throw the ball about, and a referee with enough experience and common sense to let them, the sizable crowd were treated some fine entertainment. There were ten tries in all and both teams deservedly received a four-try bonus point.

Bridgwater made one change from the side who lost at Avonmouth last week. Man of the Match, Rob Allen broke his nose in training and was replaced by Jay Owens. Jonathon Hill came in on the bench.

Bridgwater were first on the scoreboard with a Stu Heal penalty but this was quickly nullified by one from Ollie Wickett. Heal then missed an easier kick.

Home winger, Oscar Tregenna, who caught the eye all afternoon, made a run deep into visiting territory. The ball was recycled right by Bridgwater giving James Brakes an easy run to the corner for an unconverted try.

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Bideford made inroads into Bridgwater territory and an unstoppable driving maul saw skipper Simon Bright score an unconverted try to level the scores again.

Some of Bridgwater’s handling bordered on the sublime – reminding the older spectators of the French team in years past. When Bridgwater stole a Bideford line-out, Tregenna’s initial break was taken on by James Bryant, who, showing remarkable speed and skill for a prop, drew the last defender and passed inside to Bryan Webb who cruised over for an excellent try converted by Heal.

Minutes later, at a line-out on the visitors 22, Matt Hastie seized on a loose ball and romped unopposed to the line for the third try, again unconverted, and a 20-8 lead.

BARFC4Bridgwater lost Nick Spellissy to a yellow card as the home side struggled to cope with incessant Bideford pressure, but with the aid of tremendous tackling from Hastie, skipper Ollie Dunn, James Martin and Tregenna, they held out until half time.

Bideford had all of the early pressure after the break but could not break the resolute home defence. Eventually, Wickett narrowed the gap with his second penalty.

When Bridgwater, now restored to fifteen men, eventually got their hands on the ball. They produced an unstoppable rolling maul from a lineout that followed a penalty to 12m and Hastie grabbed his second try and his side’s fourth to ensure a bonus point.

A scintillating break by Heal again put Bridgwater on the offensive and yet another bout of intricate passing after a lineout saw Dunn romp over under the posts giving Heal an easy conversion.

To their credit, Bideford hit back hard and a period of pressure culminated in a good move that saw prop Paul Thomas get an unconverted try.

Play flowed from end to end and eventually, Bridgwater moved the ball right and Martin made a clean break and scored the sixth try. Heal’s conversion made the score 39-16 with less than 5 minutes to go.

Bideford threw everything into attack and a great move saw left wing Josh King score in the corner. Wickett converted very quickly with a magnificent drop kick.

From the kick off, visiting full back, Sam Olde, who had proved to be a dangerous runner all afternoon, scythed through the home defence, kicked ahead, won the chase and touched the ball down at the base of the posts for a brilliant individual try and a four-try bonus point. Wickett’s drop kick conversion was the final act of a scintillating game that was a credit to all who took part.

Bridgwater now face two away matches. Next week they travel to Wells who lost their first game last week following a hat-trick of wins before the short trip to North Petherton.

Bridgwater & Albion BARFC1
Tries: Hastie (2), Brakes, Webb, Dunn, Martin
Cons: Heal (3)
Pen: Heal

Tries: Bright, Thomas, King, Olde
Cons: Wickett (2)
Pens: Wickett (2)

Bridgwater Team
James Martin, Oscar Tregenna, Jay Owens, Stu Heal, James Brakes, Jervis Manupenu, Roger Drabble (rep Jonathon Hill), James Bryant, Matt Hastie, Joe Bussell (rep Scott Woolford), Tayler Buller, Dan Kemmish, Bryan Webb (rep George Sluman), Ollie Dunn (Capt), Nick Spellissy

Referee: Andrew Beckett (East Mids)

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

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