South West 1 West
Keynsham 22, Bridgwater & Albion 29

BRIDGWATER & Albion produced another good all-round performance to beat Keynsham 29-22 and move up to second place in the table, writes Richard Walsh.

Albion welcomed back Taylor Buller from a long-term injury for this match, which also marked the 375th first team appearance for club stalwart Dan Kemmish.

The hosts started strongly and put their opponents under concerted pressure, and after several infringements Keynsham were awarded a penalty try on seven minutes.

Albion picked themselves up well from this early setback, and on 15 minutes Stuart Heal kicked the ball deep into Keynsham territory, but the attack was repelled.

On 23 minutes, just after Tom Fournier had gone off injured, to be replaced by Kyran Devitt (who played scrum-half for the rest of the match), Rob Gurnett hacked a loose ball forward, got a kindly bounce and went over for a try which Heal converted to level the scores.

The visitors then enjoyed an attacking period which saw the forwards creating space, which full-back Will Monro sprinted into before scoring an unconverted try in the corner.

There was an infringement at the kick-off, as a result of which Albion were awarded a penalty which Heal kicked into touch in the Keynsham 22.

From the lineout Albion drove towards the line, but Keynsham infringed and the referee awarded a penalty try which extended the visitors' lead.

Just before the interval George Sluman burst over for a try following another Albion attack, which Heal converted to make the score 26-7 at half time.

Keynsham had the wind in their favour at the restart, but the Albion defence held firm.

However, in the 51st minute the hosts were awarded a penalty, which Challenger slotted home.

On the hour Albion were awarded a penalty 30 metres out, which Heal kicked successfully.

However, from the kick-off, the home side made full use of the breeze and produced a good move that resulted in winger Jack Evans scoring a try which Challenger converted.

With the game now in the final quarter, Albion knew that ball retention was key and they achieved this well thanks to the likes of player-coach Wayne Sprangle, Ethan Trebble-Westlake and Kemmish, who were always on hand to play their part.

Keynsham kept on pressing forward, however, and on 72 minutes full-back Monro produced a fine try-saving tackle.

Soon after, though, the hosts were rewarded for their persistence when Bradnok went over for a try that was not converted.

Albion defended stoutly in the dying minutes, and at the final whistle ran out deserved 29-22 winners.

This was another good result for the Albion, who showed good all-round skill and resilience throughout the 80 minutes.

Bridgwater & Albion: Will Monro, James Brakes, Rob Gurnett, James Collings, Richard Bright, Stuart Heal, Tom Fournier, Taylor Buller, George Sluman, Wayne Sprangle, Dan Kemmish, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Craig Coleman, Adam Greenslade, Mike Saunders. Replacements (all used): Craig Blyde, Bryan Webb, Kyran Devitt.

Next up for the Albion is a home match with table-topping Launceston, on Saturday, October 20.


Bridgwater Mercury:

OPENER: Harry Auton charges through the Thornbury defence for North Petherton's first try. Pic: Chris Hancock

South West 1 West
North Petherton 26, Thornbury 29

NORTH Petherton remain third from bottom in South West 1 West after they were edged out by three points at home to fifth-placed Thornbury on Saturday.

Harry Auton twice sliced through the visiting defence to score, with Jack Coles claiming a pushover try and James Taylor stretched to score in the corner.

Harry Roberts added three conversions, but it was not quite enough as Thornbury won the day.

Pethy now have a weekend off, before travelling to face third-placed Okehampton on Saturday, October 20.