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BARFC 2nds 50, Old Sulians 10 (10/01/15)

| 10/01/2015 | Reply

Bridgwater made three changes to the starting XV which convincingly beat Yatton II’s last week by 51 points to play Old Sulians at College Way. Drew Shaw was promoted from the bench to replace Jay Owens who had a gammy ankle and create a new centre partnership with Charlie Johnson. In the pack, Joe Stradling moved from the flank to second-row to fill the gap left by Doug Page-Symonds who was called upon to fulfil first team duties. Matt Ranson moved from scrum half to flanker and Jon Hill (Jnr) returned from the first team to wear the number 9 shirt. Dave Norman and Olly McGeown joined Olly Steward on the bench.

Bridgwater opened their account for the afternoon shortly after kick off. A lineout in the corner presented a brilliant opportunity for a driving maul and Bridgwater did not disappoint. Scott Woolford was the man chosen to safely escort the ball over the line for the first points of the afternoon. The conversion attempt was missed in the tricky swirling wind meaning Bridgwater led 5-0.

Full back John Hill (Snr) was rewarded in one of his many breaks with a brilliant try which saw him carry the ball from inside his own half and beat several defenders on his way to the try line. He then converted his own try courtesy of the post, Bridgwater led 12-0. Old Sulian’s then managed to get some points of their own after Bridgwater were penalised for not releasing the ball in the ruck. With the wind behind him the Sulian’s fly half easily slotted the penalty from 35 metres out, 12-3.

The final core of the half went to centre Charlie Johnson, who had a strong running game throughout. He went on a trademark, bulldozing run, smashing through one defender and handing off another to score out wide. The conversion attempt from Hill (Snr) was again successful extending Bridgwater’s lead 19-3.

The second half continued with Old Sulian’s coming out from the break the stronger team. Some extended pressure in the Bridgwater 22 saw them win a penalty 5 metres out under the posts. They took it quick and recycled the ball wide crossing the whitewash and converting the try to reduce the deficit to 19-10.

Further strong running from Johnson saw him break from his own half and beat the Sulians full back. He ran out of steam about 30 metres from the line but James Brakes was in great support to receive the simple pass and beat the covering winger to the corner. Hill’s (Snr) conversion attempt was missed leaving the score at 24-10 with Bridgwater earning a 4-try bonus point. Olly Steward replaced Sam Russell at number 8 and Dave Norman replaced Gary Saunders in the front row.

Forwards linked well with backs and when the ball was passed along the line Hill (Jnr) dropped the ball, it bounced straight back up into his hands and after realising the referee hadn’t stopped play he set off. He found his way through a gap and outpaced the opposition winger to score from the half way line. The conversion was nailed by Hill (Snr) to extend Bridgwater’s lead to 31-10. Hill (Snr) then left the field after fighting a losing battle with a dead leg he acquired in the first half. Olly McGeown replaced him and went to scrum half with Jon Hill (Jnr) moving to full back.

After winning a line out in the Sulians 22, Bridgwater attempted another driving maul. This time the Sulians defend stood strong. The maul got messy and the ball went to ground. McGeown cleared up and forced his way over the line only to be judged held up by the referee. From the resulting scrum, the Bridgy pack drove Sulians back over their own line allowing Olly Steward to drop down and score out wide. With Hill (Snr) off the field James Collings attempted the conversion and unfortunately shanked it badly leaving the score at 36-10. Sam Russell and Gary Saunders returned to the fray replacing Matt Ranson and Scott Woolford respectively.

Shortly after, Hill (Snr) returned to the field with his dead leg to relieve James Collings who had also picked up an injury at fly half. Bridgwater attacked again. After a number of forward phases, McGeown sniped around the side of a ruck drawing in the fringe defenders and offloading to Norman who crashed over the line near the posts. Jon hill (Jnr) stepped up to take his turn at converting the try and was successful, 43-10 in favour of Bridgwater.

Joe Stradling scored the final try of the game. It was a quite a remarkable effort with Stradling managing to evade a number of attempted tackles down the wing and cut in slightly to allow a more favourable conversion kick – the 8th try for Bridgwater and 8th different scorer. Hill (Jnr) converted again to make the final result 50-10.

The bonus point win solidifies Bridgwater’s position in third place in the league, leaving them 9 points clear of 4th placed Bristol Barbarians and 7 points behind 2nd place Hornets II. Next week the 2nd team travel to 6th placed Castle Cary. They will expect a tough game with one of their three losses this season coming from the hands of Castle Cary when they lost at home 24-25.

Team: Hill (Snr), Brakes, Johnson, Shaw, Lang, Collings, Hill (Jnr); Saunders, Knight, Woolford, Stradling, Lewis, Ranson, Sluman (Capt), Russell
Reps: (All Used) Norman, Steward, McGeown
Tries: Woolford, Hill (Snr), Johnson, Brakes, Hill (Jnr), Steward, Norman, Stradling
Conversions: Hill (Snr)(3), Hill (Jnr) (2)

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

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