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Chew Valley 6, BARFC 2nds 8 (13/09/14)

| 13/09/2014 | Reply

Match report by George Sluman

On what was a glorious day for running rugby, Bridgwater 2nds travelled to new boys Chew Valley, with both teams having won their first league game. With healthy numbers at training, the 2nd team were able to field another strong team. With Joshua Sturdy promoted to the 1st team, Tom Hillman started at hooker and George Sluman returned from his first team duties to captain the side. Oscar Tregenna started at scrum half with Charlie Sturdy promoted from the 3rd team on the wing. The bench was filled by Alan Trunks and Jon Hill (Jnr).

Bridgwater elected to play the first half up the (very slight) slope and into the (very weak) wind and came out of the blocks flying. Bridgwater had the lion’s share of both possession and territory throughout the first half but failed to convert this into points on the board. They were far too often guilty of trying too hard and forcing offloads and passes that were never really on, rather than building momentum through phases. John Hill (Snr) looked ever dangerous on the counter from fullback with Sturdy also making some considerable yardage up the wing.

Bridgwater came close to breaking the deadlock a number of times. With Dan Lang and Ryan Barnett both being stopped just short of the line, with the latter diving over the 5 metre line thinking it was in fact the try line. A strong scrum under the posts produced a great platform to release the backs but unfortunately Sturdy was bundled into touch less than 5 metres out. A few phases later had the forwards hammering on the door but Tom Hillman was held up over the line and Chew Valley escaped with the game still scoreless.

Despite all of this it was in fact Chew who got points on the board first, slotting a penalty from in front of the posts during brief period in Albion’s half, a rare occasion for the first half. Chew took this momentum into the second half and started the stronger of the two sides winning a penalty in front of the posts. The attempt was shanked wide but following some further ill-discipline in and around the ruck area, Chew were given another shot at the sticks and made it count taking the score to 6-0.

This seemed to wake Albion up from the half time break and the half continued in a very open manner with a lot of end to end rugby. Following some good phase building play which Bridgy lacked in the first half, the backs were released and Sturdy came within inches of dotting down in the corner. Unfortunately he was again bundled into touch and injured his knee in the process. Trunks was the lonely soul left manning the subs bench after Barnett managed to get concussed and Tom Lewis off after some heavy contact. Trunks thought his luck was in and that he would be replacing Sturdy on the wing but a quick reshuffle in the pack saw Trunks fill in at second row and Joe Stradling was the forward chosen to roam in the back line.

Whether it was his presence there and the skill he possesses or just pot luck, but it was Stradling who assisted Alex Newman with his first senior try for the club. He scythed through a number of tackles ten metres out and forced his way over the line to give Bridgy the points they had been working for all game. Hill (Snr) missed the kick that was just right of the posts to leave Bridgwater trailing 6-5. A fantastic kick chase from the entire team led to a Chew player being isolated in midfield and Hill (Snr) was given a penalty attempt to rectify his earlier miss. He seemed to have left his kicking boots at home though as the penalty was also missed. Good defence and pressure around the ruck area saw Bridgwater win another penalty. Hill (Snr) finally managed to bisect the sticks with his kick and, in the act, gave Albion the lead for the first time in the game 8-6.

Some dominant scrummaging from Bridgwater meant they were able to close out the remainder of the game in the opposition half. The ball was flung out to Stradling who, after toying with the idea of going for a trundle in an attempt to deny Chew a losing bonus point, decided to punt the ball into touch and end the game. A determined effort from the Bridgy boys who will be happy to have won four points away from home without conceding a try but also slightly disappointed as more clinical finishing could have seen them win by a much larger points margin. Plenty to work on at training this week before hosting Yatton 2s next week at College Way.

Team: J.Hill (Snr), Barnett, Lang, Newman, Sturdy, Owens, Tregenna; Norman, Hillman, Tew, Page-Symonds, Lewis, Lipscomb, Sluman (Capt), Stradling
Reps: (All used) Trunks, Steward, J.Hill (Jnr)
Tries: Newman
Penalties: J.Hill (Snr)

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

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