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North Petherton 25 – Bridgwater and Albion – 22.

| 17/11/2018

Bridgwater and Albion made the short trip down the A38 to play their local rivals where at the end of a humdinger of a match it was North Petherton who claimed the bragging rights in this local derby played under lights in front of a very large crowd on Friday evening.

Almost from the kick off North Petherton were reduced to 14 men when they had a player yellow carded for foul play, but despite this setback it was the hosts who had the chance to open the scoring, but just failed to slot home a penalty.

The opening 15 minutes were dominated by the home side, but eventually when Bridgwater made their first incursion into Petherton territory Stuart Heal’s dropped goal in front of the posts to put the visitors ahead.

Petherton came straight back on the attack and on the half hour mark had a scrum on the 10 metre mark which Bridgwater defended stoutly before clearing their lines.

The hosts kept coming forward and on 35 minutes following another scrum close to the line on the right hand side Arron Gibbs crashed over for a try, which Adam Wright converted to give Petherton the lead.

On the stroke of half time the hosts extended their lead when they intercepted a pass deep in their own territory and hacked forward which resulted eventually in Lewis Allen scoring an unconverted try at the opposite end to make the score 12-3 to Petherton at the break.

Bridgwater began strongly after the re-start and four minutes into the half Gareth Clwyd-Jones scored a try in the corner which Heal looked to have converted only for it to fall back off the inside of the post.

A Wright penalty extended Petherton’s lead but it did little to dampen the Albion’s attacking intent and on 55 minutes Will Monro was on hand to score a try near the left corner that Heal converted to level the scores.

Petherton were then reduced to 14 players following a yellow card for a high tackle, shortly after which Richard Bright ran down the right touchline to cross the line before touching down close to the posts. Heal added the extras to give Bridgwater the lead.

Both teams had given their all, but going into the final quarter the pace stepped up and when Petherton were awarded a penalty for offside Wright slotted it home to reduced the arrears.

As the clock ticked down so the tension mounted as the hosts looked for every opportunity to score, which they eventually did when Gibbs went over for his second try which Wright converted to make the final score 25-22 to North Petherton.

This was local rugby at its very best and a great advert for the game, and credit must go to the players of both sides for providing such an exciting contest.

Before the start of the game both sides agreed that this game between the two sides would be played as a double header so not only did North Petherton run out the 25-22 winners of the league match they will also progress into the next round of the Somerset Cup.

Albion- Lewis Phillips, Adam Greenslade, Niell Bezuidenhout, Dan Kemmish, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Gareth Clwyd-Jones, Ollie Dunn (capt), Wayne Sprangle, Tom Fournier, Stuart Heal, Oscar Tregnna, Taylor Buller, Rob Gurnett, Richard Bright and Will Monro.

Replacements all used- Jon Roberts, Rob Thompson and Craig Blyde.

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Category: Previews / Reports -XV

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