Albion start with bonus-point win

Bridgwater Mercury: LOVEJOY Chawatama in action for Albion against Bideford LOVEJOY Chawatama in action for Albion against Bideford

BRIDGWATER and Albion started the new league season with an emphatic 37-5 victory over newly promoted Bideford.

Albion scored five tries to seal a bonus point victory, with Chawatama, Allen (2), Saliarelis and House all crossing for the hosts.

Prop Lovejoy Chatawama opened the scoring for Albion, but Bideford levelled things up ten minutes later – driving their way over following a long spell of possession.

Bridgwater kicker Heal put a 35m penalty just wide of the uprights, but they retook the lead minutes later as Rob Allen latched on to a Chatawama offload to score in the corner.

Bideford never found their way into the Bridgwater half for the remainder of the first half and two more successful Heal penalties left the half-time score at 18-5.

Albion dominated the second half proceedings and Allen went over for his second of the afternoon – Heal converted.

From the restart, Bideford went on the attack, however a chip forward by Hillman was brilliantly intercepted by Arg Saliarelis who ran half the pitch to score Bridgwater's best try of the match to the left of the posts and secure them the four-try bonus point.

Bridgwater's new recruit Tayler Buller received a yellow card late in the game when it looked like he was caught deliberately collapsing the maul.

This didn't seem to affect play though as Bridgwater's Matt House scored Albion’s fifth try, after crashing through three Bideford tacklers. Heal's long-range attempt at the conversion went wide, leaving the final score at Bridgwater 37, Bideford 5.

Scorers: Bridgwater & Albion: Tries: Chawatama, Allen (2), Saliarelis, House Conversions: Heal (3) Penalties: Heal (2) Bideford: Try: Norman Bridgwater's starting XV: Gary Saunders, Matt Hastie, Lovejoy Chatawama, Ali Blundell, Rob Thompson, Tayler Buller, Ollie Dunn, Dan Kemmish, Jon Hill, Stu Heal, Joel Clark, Matt House, Rob Allen, Arg Saliarelis, Nick Francis.

Replacements (all used): Roger Drabble, Matt Northey, Nick Spellissy Referee: Brian Perry (Somerset Society)

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