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RUGBY: North Petherton edge Bridgwater in enthralling local derby
1:00pm Monday 21st October 2013 in Sport
TRIBUTE SOUTH WEST 1 WEST
NORTH PETHERTON 25 pts BRIDGWATER & ALBION 23 pts
James Cox's last minute try sealed the win for the home side, who fought back from a fifteen-point half-time deficit.
A huge crowd, estimated at over 800 watched this enthralling game which saw Albion race into a 20-5 half-time lead thanks to tries from Arg Sariarelis and Joel Clark and ten points from the boot of Stuart Heal.
But Pethy fought back through tries from Greg Charlton (2), Mike Stephens, Pete Dickens and Cox's last-ditch effort, to turn the game on its head and ensure a bonus-point win.
Prior to the match, there was a minute's silence in memory of Somerset RFU County President, David Smith, who died as the result of a road accident on the way to assess a referee at Worcester last Saturday.
After three minutes, a 20m driving maul saw Petherton infringe and Stuart Heal opened the scoring with an angled 22m penalty.
Ollie Dunn made a searing 30m break from midfield in the seventh minute, before the ball reached Arg Sariarelis on the left wing via Rob Allen and the winger raced over in the corner. Heal's conversion from the touchline was superb, making the score 0-10.
North Petherton came back into the game and the normally reliable Harry Roberts missed a wide-angled penalty.
Heal then hit the post with a penalty, before North Petherton scored their first try of the afternoon.
A Jervis Manupenu chip to the corner was well-gathered by Mike Stevens who raced in to score wide out.
Heal then missed a speculative dropped goal with Bridgwater on a penalty advantage but landed the subsequent penalty from 35m.
On the stroke of half time, the North Petherton defence spilt a long kick and Joel Clark gathered the loose ball to score under the posts.
Early in the second half, Heal increased the lead to 5-23 when the home side infringed at a tackle.
But from here, Pethy took control.
A long spell of pressure lead to Bridgwater number eight, Nick Spellissy being sent to the sin-bin and the hosts made their numerical advantage pay immediately when Pete Dickens bundled his way over following a strong driving maul.
As soon as Spellissy returned to the field, another North Petherton driving maul saw Greg Charlton score their third unconverted try of the afternoon to close the gap even further.
A couple of minutes later, Bridgwater kicked loosely out of defence and Roberts caught the ball and handed on to Charlton, who sprinted 40m down the touchline, evading many attempted tackles to get a bonus point try for the Oaks.
Rob Allen was sent to the sin-bin with two minutes left to play and from the resulting penalty; Pethy opted to kick for the corner.
Their driving maul was held up over the line, but they weren't finished there and James Cox touched down from a powerful scrum to give North Petherton the win with the last play of the game.
Next week, both teams face Cornish opposition. North Petherton travel to Camborne, whilst Bridgwater entertain St. Austell.
North Petherton Tries: Charlton (2), Stevens, Dickens, Cox
Bridgwater & Albion Tries: Saliarelis, Clark Cons: Heal (2) Pens: Heal (3)
Teams: North Petherton Harry Robers, Mike Stevens, Damian Griffin, James Carter, Gavin Hancock, Jervis Manupenu, Ben Tracey, Mike Coles, Sam Williams (Capt), Pete Dickens, James Cox, Greg Charlton, Toby Harris, Carl Brown, Aaron Gibbs.
Reps: Tito Eliara (used), Miles McNeile , Kyle Prescott (both unused)
Bridgwater & Albion: Ash Honeywell, Joel Clark, Rob Allen, Matt House, Arg Saliarelis, Syart Heal, Sam Knights, Lovejoy Chawatama, Matt Hastie. James Bryant, Ali Blundell, Dan Kemmish (Capt) , Tayler Buller, Ollie Dunn, Nick Spellissy.
Reps: Roger Drabble, Joe Bussell (both used), Joe Stradling (unused)
Referee: Brian Perry (Somerset)