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Keynsham 2nds 0, BARFC 2nds 100 (05/12/15)

| 05/12/2015

BARFC 2ndsOn Saturday, Bridgwater second team conducted a demolition of their counterparts at Keynsham and recorded a triple figure score. The 0-100 victory came courtesy of 15 tries, 11 conversions and one penalty. Bridgwater went hoping to replicate the success of the first team at Keynsham earlier this year and continue their winning streak but achieved a lot more than they could have imagined.

Bridgwater fielded a much changed side from the team that faced Yatton IIs the previous week. In the front row, Adrian Tew was AWOL with flu whilst both Tom Hillman and Gabrielle Nobili were promoted to the first team. The seconds received both Gavin Knight and Lewis Phillips in return whom started alongside Scott Woolford. Elsewhere in the pack, Ethan Trebble-Westlake also returned to the first team after his hat-trick last week and was replaced by Ali Blundell. In the backs, scrum-half Scott Franklin and centre Will Kerry were also missing due to first team duties whilst centre Jay Owens and winger Tom Denovan were unavailable through injury. They were replaced by Doug Caddick, Callum Gillard, Dan Lang and Kieran Windsor respectively.

George Sluman opened the scoring for his side inside the first two minutes after a wonderful display of handling from the forwards. First, Blundell carried forward drawing in a number of defenders before squeezing out a one handed offload to the supporting Knight. Knight and Sluman then switched with the former performing a no-look, one-handed, back door pass to the latter. Sluman then raced past the fullback to dot down under the posts. John Hill began his tally for the day and added the conversion, 0-7.

Joe Stradling became the second teams top try scorer after the dominant Bridgwater pack shoved the Keynsham pack back over their own line during a scrum. The scrum wheeled slightly and the ball squirmed out, the bounce favouring Stradling, who reacted quickly enough to pounce on the loose ball first. Hill converted, 0-14.

Bridgwater won a penalty in front of the posts for repeat offences at the break down from Keynsham and Hill stepped up to add three more to his, and Bridgwater’s, tally – 0-17. A great kick-off return from Matt Ranson gifted Bridgwater with brilliant field position. A good backs move then cut open the Keynsham defence with young debutant Callum Gillard scoring the first of his brace after cutting a brilliant line. Hill converted 0-24.

Hill then secured the 4-try bonus point just before the half time whistle. Bridgwater were gifted another penalty under the posts but this time, they elected to scrum rather than kick the three-pointer. The scrum went forwards but as it approached the posts, it ground to a halt. Hill entered the back line on the blindside, creating an overlap. He sold the dummy and slid over the try line out wide. Unfortunately, he could not convert his own try, 0-29.

Bridgwater had used the slight slope and gusty wind to their advantage in the first half and expected Keynsham to do similar in the second half. Instead, Bridgwater turned the screw and scored an impressive 11 second half tries despite the disadvantageous terrain and conditions. Scrum-half Doug Caddick’s alertness and electrifying running were rewarded with two tries in quick succession. Both tries were also converted which stretched Bridgwater’s already commanding lead to 0-43.

Young Gillard then topped off a man of the match debut by scoring his brace after another good run before Ali Blundell crossed the Keynsham whitewash for the second time this season. Hill could only manage one of these conversion meaning Bridgwater had breached the half-century and led 0-55.

Some of Bridgwater’s fatigued legs were replaced with Ryan Gibson coming on for Scott Woolford, Joe Sluman replacing Doug Page-Symonds and Kyran Devitt replacing Kieran Windsor. Devitt immediately found himself involved and after some great hands, he gassed his opposite man and cantered in from 50 metres out. He dotted down in the corner and as a result, the tricky conversion was missed by Hill, 0-60.

Caddick then completed a great personal performance by securing his hat trick after some great support play and evasive running. James Collings joined in the fun by brushing his opposite man aside before sliding in near the posts. Both tries brilliantly converted by Hill pushed Bridgwater on to 0-74.

Devitt secured his brace and then hat trick with two quick fire tries. He relied on his blistering pace for both with his second try coming after cutting an inside line off of Hill, who was distributing from the first receiver role. His third came straight from the resulting kick off and was originally fielded by opposite winger Ryan Barnett. Bridgwater did the simple things well when Barnett, Sluman (Jnr), Hill and Lang all drew in Keynsham defenders before offloading to the supporting cast. Devitt was the benefactor of this play but still had to work hard and complete a third 50m dash. Scoring these two under the posts allowed Hill to add the easy extras and took Bridgwater to an unassailable 0-88 lead.

Hill proved he wasn’t just around for his place kicking ability by scoring his second try of the day off a well worked set piece. Forwards and backs linked well after a scrum but Hill merely used his support as dummy runners and just about had the legs to finish his 40m effort by getting tackled over the line. He was however, forced out wide which made the resulting kid a tricky one against the wind. Hill was unable to convert his own try which put Bridgwater at 0-93.

With Bridgwater only 7 points short of the elusive ton, they attacked, with the final play of the game called. As the ball came down the three quarter line, a Keynsham defender knocked the ball on in an attempted interception. Sluman (Jnr) swept up the ball and re-initiated the attack once more. Bridgwater battered down on the weary Keynsham defence. Each phase took Bridgwater closer to the line until eventually, Dan Lang forced his way over in the corner. Sat at 0-98, the team could do no more towards the triple digits and the responsibility lay solely on Hill and his ability to place-kick. Hill did not disappoint and judged the wind brilliantly to assist his kick. He took Bridgwater’s total to 0-100, notching up 35 points on his personal tally for the day.

Bridgwater host Bristol Harlequins next week and need to continue their fantastic run of form as they are only top on points difference, with Old Sulians hot on their heels. The streak has now been extended to 10 wins but Bridgwater do have a game in hand over their rivals at the top.

Team: Hill, Barnett, Lang, Gillard, Windsor, Collings, Caddick; Phillips, Knight, Woolford, Blundell, Page-Symonds, Stradling, G Sluman (Capt), Ranson

Substitutes: (All used) Gibson, J Sluman, Devitt

Tries: G Sluman, Stradling, Gillard (2), Hill (2), Caddick (3), Blundell, Devitt (3), Collings, Lang
Cons: Hill (11)
Pens: Hill

Thanks to Sarah Caddick for the photos!

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

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