South West 1 West
Bridgwater & Albion 19, Matson 23

A BELOW-PAR Bridgwater & Albion side came off second best when they hosted a determined and much improved Matson side at College Way on Saturday, writes Richard Walsh.

The Gloucester-based side were into their stride from the off, and within three minutes they took the lead, as Aaron Morefield went over for a try in the right-hand corner.

Albion had a chance to get points on the board not long afterwards, but the penalty kick attempt went just wide.

Will Monro was in dazzling form throughout for the hosts, and early on he spotted an opening which he exploited, but disappointingly came to nothing.

On 10 minutes Matson extended their lead when Tom Porter slotted home a penalty.

Bridgwater scored their first try after 25 minutes, when the impressive Luke Plummer sent a long pass from the centre to release Monro, who touched down to the right of the posts.

Matson came straight back, though, and within minutes they found a hole in the Albion defence, allowing Ryan Charles to crash over for a try from close range.

With five minutes to go in the first half, Plummer – who was on song throughout the game – produced a good run down the left wing before offloading to Tom Fournier, who scored just to the right of the posts.

Stuart Heal's conversion made it 13-12 to Matson at the break.

The first quarter of an hour after the restart was very even, but on 58 minutes Matson were again in the ascendancy, and Porter kicked a long-range penalty for 16-12.

The home side created pressure and after spending time close to the Matson line they were awarded a penalty try on 65 minutes, giving them the lead for the first time in the match at 19-16.

But a driven Matson side once again bounced back strongly, and following pressure on the Albion line they scored a try, this time from Vince Lanciano, with Reece Boughton converting.

In a grandstand finish the hosts threw everything they could into scoring another try, but they were unable to find a way through the visiting defence, so it was the away side who claimed a third victory on the bounce, much to the frustration of the home supporters and players.

Bridgwater & Albion: Matthew Ranson, Samuel Adcock, Craig Blyde, Michael Saunders, Arron Kelly, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, George Sluman, Brad Talbot, Tom Fournier, Stuart Heal (c), Ryan Barnett, Luke Plummer, Nik Bradley, Kyran Devitt, Will Monro.
 Replacements: Joe Bussell (used), Lewis Plece (not used), Jay Owens (not used).