South West One West
Bridgwater & Albion 23, North Petherton 10
BRIDGWATER & Albion took the inter-town bragging rights with their first ever league victory over North Petherton in front of a packed house at College Way.
Albion scored either side of half-time through Taylor Buller and a penalty try to secure a third straight league victory, and exact revenge on their fierce rivals for a narrow defeat earlier in the season.
Harry Autun crashed over for Pethy in the second half and Harry Roberts kicked five points, but it wasn’t enough to prevent an Albion win. North Petherton gave Bridgwater first use of the elements and much of the first half was played in and around the North Petherton 22.
Bridgwater opened the scoring after six minutes - North Petherton infringed at a tackle and Stuart Heal slotted a good penalty across the wind, before hitting the crossbar with a scuffed drop goal.
North Petherton were defending valiantly until, in the seventeenth minute, Bridgwater put together an unstoppable drive from a five-metre scrum and Tayler Buller touched down for a try converted well by Heal - who added a 40 metre penalty a few minutes later.
Petherton continued to play with ball in hand particularly through James Carter by taking the game to Albion with some subtle off loads, unfortunately for Petherton the ball regularly became dislodged.
Heal stretched the home lead with another penalty before missing one from just inside his own half.
Petherton finally moved the scoreboard with a Roberts’ penalty and with this seemed to pick up momentum.
The pressure on the Albion finally gave way as the ball was moved along the back line from left to right with Harry Autun using his strength and agility to barge his way over in the corner - Roberts majestically curled his kick over from out wide.
With ten minutes remaining, a North Petherton clearing kick on their own 22 was charged down and the ball carried over his own line by a defender.
The first scrum saw a Bridgwater penalty for collapsing and Bridgwater then opted for another scrum - despite being a man short.
The result was the same - North Petherton collapsed the scrum - and referee, Jonathan Healy, had no hesitation in going under the posts for a penalty try, converted by Heal.
Pethy pressed on in the final minutes, but Albion refused to be breached again and when Drabble dived on a loose ball, the referee brought proceedings to a close.
Albion captain Dan Kemmish said afterwards: “We made the most of the elements in the first half although we weren’t sure if we were far enough ahead.
“We weathered a storm in the second half and did a pretty good job until the try. It was a very satisfying win as Pethy are so tough to beat and never give up which was evident again.”
Pethy’s skipper Sam Williams was gracious in defeat and backed his side to bounce back, he said: “Well done to Bridgy, they defended really well but I am proud of the boys as we battled to the end. We knew it was going to be tough but I know we will bounce back.”
Bridgwater & Albion Tries: Buller, Penalty try
Cons: Heal (2)
Pens: Heal (3)
North Petherton Try: Roberts