South West 1 West
Devonport Services 13, Bridgwater & Albion 12

BRIDGWATER & Albion’s 100 per cent start to the season came to an end when they went down by the odd point at the end of a tough match in wet and windy conditions on Saturday, writes Richard Walsh.

In what was the first time in 30 years that the two sides have met, the visitors got off to a good start; early on, they kicked a penalty into touch deep into home territory, only to lose the lineout.

On seven minutes, however, Devonport took the lead when Anstis slotted home a penalty.

In the difficult conditions, the first half was rather a scrappy affair and, although Albion created several chances, none of them resulted in a score and the teams went into the break with the hosts 3-0 ahead.

Devonport started the second half in rampant fashion and, five minutes from the re-start, Anstis extended his side’s lead when he kicked another penalty.

Albion full back Will Monro made a blistering run from deep in his own half before off-loading to Kyran Devitt.

From the ensuing lineout, the ball found its way back to Monro who created more problems for the home defence before he was tackled deep in Devonport territory.

The visitors introduced debutant Adam Greenslade at hooker and, on 57 minutes, Ethan Trebble-Westlake charged down an Anstis clearance and went through to score a try which Stuart Heal converted to put Albion ahead for the first time in the match.

With 12 minutes remaining, Bartlett hacked through from his own 22, as a result of which Devonport drove over for their second try, which Anstis converted to make it 13-7.

Albion were far from done for and, with just over five minutes to go, a series of good passing moves ended with Dan Kemmish crashing over in the corner.

Right on full-time, Monro made another jinking run deep into Devonport territory but, try as they may, Albion were unable to capitalise on it and the referee’s whistle went, with the final score 13-12 to the hosts.

Bridgwater & Albion: Will Monro, Kyran Devitt, Rob Gurnett, James Collings, Richard Wright, Stuart Heal, Tom Fournier, Wayne Sparngle, Olly Dunn, Ethan Trebble-Westake, Ben Lipscombe, Dan Kemmish, Craig Coleman, Gavin Knight, Matt Ranson. Replacements (all used): Adam Greenslade, George Sluman, James Brakes.

Albion’s director of rugby Geoff Sluman was naturally disappointed by the result, saying: “We didn’t play poorly and credit must go to Devonport Services who were enthusiastic in every aspect of the game.

“The wet and windy conditions did not help us and probably suited Services’ gameplan more.

“We said before the match that we would have to be at our best and, in all honesty, we were not.”

“We won’t be the last side with ambition that visits Services this season and comes away without a win.

“We scored two tries to their one and did go ahead on the scoreboard at one time.”

Once again, the Albion fans travelled in numbers down to South Devon, something which Sluman was keen to mention.

“We were fortunate to have strong support and I know the players would like to recognise that.

“It’s great to see so many of our own followers at away matches.”


South West 1 West
Lydney 36, North Petherton 5

NORTH Petherton’s tough start to the season continued as they were beaten 36-5 at Lydney last Saturday.

Pethy were 17-0 down by the time fly-half Harry Auton touched down in the corner to get them on the board, but Lydney went on to add another try before the break to make it 24-5 at half time.

Two further tries, one of which was converted, saw Lydney rack up 12 more unanswered points in the second half.

On Saturday, North Petherton host Newent, who lost 22-17 at home to Thornbury last weekend.

Newent have two wins and two defeats, for 12 points, from their early season matches, while Pethy have five points after one win and three losses.

Pethy 2nds were beaten 34-31 in a high-scoring Somerset One match at home to Keynsham.


Bridgwater Mercury:

TALENTS: Harvey Skinner (left) and Dan Frost.

TWO former North Petherton RFC youngsters are now lining up in the same Cornish Pirates team in the IPA Championship.

Fly-half Harvey Skinner and hooker Dan Frost came through the ranks together at Beggars Brook.

Now Skinner is on loan at the Pirates from Exeter Chiefs, while Frost is on a full-time deal having impressed playing for Taunton Titans in recent seasons.

They both recently played a part in beating Exeter Chiefs 29-21 in a pre-season friendly in Penzance and are now regulars in the Pirates first-team squad.

Both also came off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the Pirates’ 29-19 win over Richmond on Saturday.