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BARFC 2nds 34, Yatton 2nds 8 (20/09/14)

| 21/09/2014 | Reply

On a dry, overcast Saturday afternoon at College Way, Bridgwater welcomed Yatton to what would turn out as a very eventful game.
Sept14-0801Bridgwater welcomed back Josh Sturdy who returned from 1st team duties and also James Kerry and Mitch Windsor who were promoted from the Dirt Trackers and also young Luke Payne making his first Bridgwater 2nd team appearance since promotion from the colts.
In the last four visits between Bridgwater and Yatton, Bridgwater had failed to come away with a single victory so what more motivation did the Bridgwater side need to secure a win for the badge.
Bridgwater kicked the game off deep into the Yatton half, the ball was immediately spilled and knocked on by a Yatton hand and Bridgwater were awarded the scrum. Unfortunately Bridgwater were unable to take the opportunity given to them as their scrum was turned over by Yatton, the ball was shipped out by the Yatton scrum half, but some poor hands in the centre saw the ball re-gathered by the Albion backs, the ball was moved onto Luke Payne who was looking dangerous while bouncing off tackles. He was eventually brought down and good defence from Yatton saw them re-claim the ball and kick to touch. It was in this moment the referees attention was drawn to a downed Yatton player who had seriously injured his lower leg, the game was therefore suspended as an ambulance was called.
After a twenty minute interval the injured Yatton player was carried from the pitch with a round of applause echoing through the Bridgwater ground from supporters and players alike. 
Yatton restarted the first half which would see both teams display significant skill and fantastic defence. Bridgwater looked the stronger with some strong driving mauls from the forwards and some slick hands from the backs. Mid way through the half Bridgwaters Joe Stradling found himself with the ball, he shipped it onto Sturdy who with some luck managed to give a one handed, out the back of the hand pass to Alex Newman who made some significant yardage up the park before offloading to Luke Payne who made further ground, he managed to commit two defending players before giving the final pass to Ryan Barnett who had and open path to the try line. Unfortunately Barnett snapped at the ball and fumbled it into touch.
Bridgwater continued to batter the Yatton defensive line, but Yatton stood strong and wouldnt give Bridgwater an inch, it was at this moment a Yatton player found himself on the wrong side at the bottom of a ruck and the following event saw Bridgwaters Stradling visiting the sin bin for 10 minutes. Soon after Bridgwaters Alex Newman took a solid knock to the head and was substituted off for the fresh legs of James Kerry.
Unfortunately for Bridgwater all their work was without reward and before the end of the first half was called, Bridgwater were penalised infront of their own posts and Yatton slotted the opportunity making the score 0-3 to Yatton going into the second half.
Bridgwater started the second half with a bang, with some nice hands from the backs Dan Lang was able to push his way up the pitch, this set a platfrom for Sturdy to take a crash ball down the blind side with support from Stradling, Adrain Tew was then able to take the second crash ball, followed by a third from Ollie Steward. This phase of play opened a massive hole in the Yatton defense that was too welcoming for John Hill to miss as he sniped his way through the Yatton defence to put the first on the board for Bridgwater. This seemed to give Bridgwater the boost they needed. Albion then made a tactical substitution swapping the old head of Dave Norman for the fresh and welcoming figure that is Alan Trunks.
Yatton kicked off and the ball was gathered well by Doug Page-Symonds who throughout the game dominated line outs and kick offs making the lives of the Yatton forward very difficult. A ruck was formed and the ball moved onto Payne standing at 10, he kicked the ball deep relieving the pressure from Bridgwater. Bridgwater then found themselves just outside the Yatton 22 yard line where a Yatton player then infringed in the ruck awarding bridgwater  a penalty infront of the posts. Payne stepped up and slotted his first points for Bridgwater 2nd team making the score 8-3 to Bridgwater.
Again yatton kicked off and again the ball was gathered well by Symonds who then transfered the ball onto Matt Ranson who made a direct run at the Yatton pack. Bridgwater surged forward with Garryn Basson smashing holes between the Yatton defence with Jay Owens then distributing well to the wings. Bridgwater again were awarded a penalty and Owens kicked well into the Yatton half awarding his team with a line out just outside the Yatton 5 metre line. With a signature lineout move typical of the Bridgwater pack, a driving maul was formed and the Bridgy boys surged towards the Yatton try line with Matt Ranson managing to flop his way over the try line. Luke Payne converted the points making the score 15-3 to Bridgwater.
Yatton after kicking off managed to re-gathered the ball after some dodgy hands from Bridgwater within the mid-field. With a rare attack for Yatton Bridgwater had to stay in defence driving back wave after wave of Yatton forwards pounding the fringes and working the blind side well, however it was all in vain as Bridgwaters defence held strong and a turn over was forced and with this, Barnett and Kerry made massive progress up the wing linking well and moving Bridgwater deep into the Yatton half. When Kerry was eventually brought down a Yatton players was judged by the referee as handling the ball while off his feet and Bridgy were awarded a penalty. John Hill took the opportunity quickly and cut his way through the Yattons unformed defense to score his second of the day. The try was again converted by Payne making the score 22-3 to Bridgwater.

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As the second half progressed Yatton became more and more impatient and tried to bring Bridgwater down to a level of rugby that is un acceptable by most, Yattons winger was binned for unnecessary stamping in open play and soon after Bridgwaters Basson was provoked into a game of hand bags with a Yatton player which resulted in Basson also making a quick visit to the bin. However bridgwater held strong and were awarded a scrum in a strong area of the pitch, Ollie Steward went blind off the back of the scrum, he distributed to John Hill who then sent Barnett scampering up the wing with Kerry in hot pursuit, Barnett drew in the last defender giving Kerry acres of space to score his first of the afternoon making the score 27-3.
Bridgwaters coach Simon Ranson made his 2nd tactical swap of the game bringing on Mitch Windsor who would relieve Ben Lipscombe of his duties. Mitch, a former 1st team starting XV was quick to establish himself within the game making five tackles within his first five minutes on the field. The joke off the pitch after the game was ‘if you don’t know where the ball is look for Windsor’.
With Yatton heads now dropping and Bridgwaters spirits at an all time high, Yatton restarted the game and with Symonds displaying his dominance he gathered the ball well yet again and looked to make yards before finally being tackled, the ruck was tidied well by the Bridgy pack. Payne was sat back in the pocket waiting for John Hill to deliver the ball to him and reduce the pressure on Bridgwater, but showing the up and go attitude of a youg player trying to earn his space in a very strong squad, Payne went on an ambitious run beating one man and then distributed well to Newman who sliced his way through the tiring Yatton Defence and offloading to Lang who still had much work to do but with a cheeky tug of the shirt from Newman on a Yatton player this gave Lang the space to beat the fullback and run in Bridgwaters last try of the day and again the conversion was made by Payne, this making the score 34-3.
The referee announced that there was five minutes left on the clock and Bridgwater thought that their day was done, however Yatton had other plans. With a last ditch attempt from Yatton they again began dropping bombs on Bridgwaters defensive line, sucking in player after player. With the Bridgwater fullback being engaged in a ruck ‘which is indeed a rare thing to find on a rugby pitch’ a Yatton player produced a moment of magic chipping the ball over the defensive line and regathering it again to award Yatton with their first and only try of the game which was un-converted. 
The final score was Bridgwater and Albion 34 Yatton 8

Bridgwater can take alot of positives out of their encounter with Yatton, the side itself is a young squad and slowely but surely the team is starting to mold together and some fantatsic rugby is being produced. 
Bridgwater take on Old Sullians next week who always provide Bridgwater with a tough and exciting game, lets hope the Bridgy boys can build on their victory over Yatton and bring home the fourth victory in a row for the club.

1(Dave Norman) 2(Josh Sturdy, Capt) 3(Adrian Tew) 4(Doug Page-Symonds) 5(Ben Lipscombe) 6(Matt Ranson) 7(Joe Stardling) 8(Ollie Steward) 9(John Hill) 10(Jay Owens) 11( Dan Lang) 12(Alex Newman) 13(Garron Basson) 14(Ryan Barnett) 15(Luke Payne) Reps (Alan Trunks, Mitch Windsor, James Kerry)

Category: 2nd Previews / Reports -XV, 2nd XV News

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