South West 1 West
Bridgwater & Albion 97, Coney Hill 14

BRIDGWATER & Albion returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 13-try victory over Coney Hill, who despite their lowly position kept battling, writes Richard Walsh.

It was the visitors who looked the most threatening from the kick-off at College Way, but on five minutes Stuart Heal put the home side ahead with a penalty.

On 10 minutes a slick handling move, in which the Bridgwater player-coach Wayne Sprangle was prominent, resulted in Tom Fournier going over for the first try of the match just to the right of the posts, which Heal duly converted.

Full-back Will Monro scored next, running from halfway to touch down for a try which Heal again converted.

Coney Hill resisted the Albion pressure, but on 25 minutes they were adjudged to be offside and Heal kicked the penalty, making it 20-0.

Then an infringement on the 22 saw Albion awarded a free kick, which was taken quickly and eventually found its way to Fournier, who went over for his second try of the game, Heal adding the extras.

Monro was an ever-present danger, always looking to jink his way round defenders, and just after the half-hour the full-back produced a run that ended with George Sluman scoring a try which Heal again converted.

On 34 minutes Coney Hill were reduced to 14 men when Mallachi Mills saw yellow, and just before half time James Collings spun over for a try following a good move across the backs.

The ever-reliable boot of Heal saw the scoreline reach 41-0 at the break.

The Gloucestershire side came out all guns blazing after the break, and Clayton Dee went over a for a try which he converted.

But the visitors had barely regrouped before Rob Gurnett hit back with a try for the hosts that Heal converted.

And then home skipper Ollie Dunn, who always looked a threat, made a break from inside his own half and went in for a try behind the posts.

Bridgwater kept on attacking, looking to score at every opportunity, and in the final half hour there were tries for Kyran Devitt, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Sprangle, James Brakes, Dunn and Collings, all of which Heal converted to end with a perfect record of 13 conversions from 13 tries.

With 15 minutes to go Coney Hill picked up a second try, from Daniel Loftus.

But this was Albion’s day and a sparkling all round performance saw them run out 97-14 winners.

Bridgwater & Albion: Matt Ranson, Adam Greenslade, Craig Coleman, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Dan Kemmish, George Sluman, Olly Dunn (c), Wayne Sprangle, Tom Fournier d’Able, Stuart Heal, Kyran Devitt, James Collings, Rob Gurnett, James Brakes, Will Monro.

Replacements (all used): Michael Saunders, Ben Lipscombe, Ryan Barnett.

ALBION director of rugby Geoff Sluman said: “This was a great response by the team after the disappointment of the previous week’s narrow loss away to Devonport.

“Often with such a one-sided encounter, the game’s structure breaks down, but our team showed a great deal of concentration and application in sticking to our gameplan.

“We scored 13 tries, I think eight through the backs and five through the forwards, so pleasingly we were scoring across the team.

“We played intelligently and controlled how we wanted to play.

“I am not sure if we have ever scored 97 points in a league match before so this squad are starting to set some records.

“After just five games, no one is getting carried away as, with all due respect, the results at home have been against some of the teams that are at the bottom of the table.

“But four wins from five games and only three points behind the league leaders is a great place to be.”


South West 1 West
North Petherton 54, Newent 38

NORTH Petherton picked up a welcome victory, from a high-scoring affair against Newent.

Wing forward Mac Taylor, playing on the wing, got Pethy up and running with two quick tries.

Aiden Cotton and Tom Hillman kept the tries coming, the latter after a pass from James Taylor.

Their efforts were added to by new player Alexander Ogilvie (his first try for Pethy), skipper Carl Brown, centre Harry Auton and Dan Morgan with a pushover try.

Harry Roberts, making a welcome return for his first in more than a year, kicked four conversions and two penalties.

On Saturday, Pethy host Thornbury.