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BARFC 8, Clevedon RFC 25 (21/02/15)

| 21/02/2015 | Reply

Match report by Tony Pomeroy

Feb157019This was a day Bridgwater players and supporters will want to forget. Clevedon continued their fine, unbeaten run with this comprehensive victory over a very lack-lustre Bridgwater & Albion who lost at home for only the second time this season.
Clevedon dominated the game as they outthought, outmuscled and outplayed the home side. Bridgwater were their own worst enemies as they failed with even the most basic drills. Four touch-finding penalties were missed, there was much aimless kicking whilst handling and tackling were below par throughout the game. From the Bridgwater perspective, the afternoon was simply a catalogue of errors such had not been seen at College Way for some time. However, a team can only play as well the opposition allow and Clevedon harried Bridgwater into making mistakes.
With Chris Ashwin making a fantastic recovery from his shoulder injury in the previous game at Cleve, he took a seat on the bench.
The writing was on the wall for Bridgwater as early as the fourth minute when visiting centre Dean Ashfield, who proved a handful to the home defence all afternoon, scythed through a non-existent defence to score under the posts. Somehow, Mike Taylor managed to miss the conversion – the ball fell over as he approached it, he picked it up for a snap drop kick but hit it under the bar.Feb157383
After 13 minutes, Clevedon broke clear from their own half and a good passing move saw flanker Chris Warren score an unconverted try in the corner.
Having earlier spurned a much easier penalty in favour of looking for a try, Bridgwater through centre, Stuart Heal, narrowed the gap with a 25m penalty but almost immediately a Bridgwater loose pass was intercepted. Clevedon patiently recycled the ball near the home line and eventually Harley Foley crossed for the third unconverted try to leave the half time score 3-15.
Ashwin showed his versatility by replacing McGeown at scrum half for the second period with Rob Thompson replacing Ali Blundell early in the second half.
Clevedon were denied a try early in the second period – the referee indicating obstruction but their lead was shortly increased with a Taylor penalty.
Bridgwater came briefly to life and a rare clean handling move saw Matt Hastie get an unconverted try in the corner.
The final score was yet another interception this time by former Bridgwater player, Tom Thie, who picked off another loose pass to give himself a clear run to the line. Taylor’s conversion made the score 8-25.
With the clock ticking down, Bridgwater made a concerted effort to narrow the gap but could not and for the second successive game took no league points.
With the top four teams in the league all losing, Bridgwater remain in third place on 63 points whilst Clevedon are in 11th place with 44 points.
Next week, Bridgwater visit bottom of the table, Cullompton, and will be looking to bounce back with the sort of rugby their supporters have grown to love this season before Drybrook make their first ever visit to College Way a week later.

Bridgwater & Albion
Try: Hastie
Pen: Heal

Tries: Ashfield, Warren, Foley, Thie
Con: Taylor
Pen: Taylor

Bridgwater Team
James Martin, Nick Francis, Rob Allen, Stu Heal, Oscar Tregenna, Jervis Manupenu, Ollie McGeown (rep Chris Ashwin 40), James Bryant, Matt Hastie, Joe Bussell (rep Adrian Tew), Ali Blundell (rep Rob Thompson 48), Dan Kemmish, Nick Spellissy, Ollie Dunn (Capt), Taylor Buller

Referee: Paul Box (Somerset Referees Society)

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

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