South West One (West)

Lydney 10, Bridgwater and Albion 8

BRIDGWATER and Albion travelled north to the Forest of Dean to take on Lydney in search of their first ever victory at Regentsholme, writes Richard Walsh.

However, at the end of a hard-fought game played in driving rain throughout it was the hosts who held on to win.

The opening exchanges were even but a strong burst by skipper Ollie Dunn saw the visitors deep into the home territory, but the attack was repelled.

On 13 minutes, however, Bridgwater took the lead when Stuart Heal slotted home a penalty, taking his points tally for the season past the century mark.

Albion’s lead was short-lived as, two minutes later, Lydney levelled the score when Nathan Tucker kicked a penalty awarded for a high tackle.

On the half-hour mark a penalty saw Albion make their way deep into Lydney territory but the hosts defended well and grabbed back the initiative.

Baker burst through and kicked ahead and over the try line where, amid a melee of bodies, home flanker Kurt Brown was awarded a try which Tucker converted.

Bridgwater came back strongly and, in the last five minutes of the first half, they were in the ascendancy but the home defence held firm and the score remained 10-3 at the interval.

The visitors came out strongly after the break and, during the first 10 minutes of the second half, they were awarded three penalties, each one of which was missed.

Will Monro enjoyed a couple of scything runs into the Lydney half ,as did Ethan Trebble Westlake, but none of the moves resulted in any points.

However, on 55 minutes, the Bridgwater pressure paid off when player coach Wayne Sprangle scored a try which was unconverted.

Sensing they were in danger, Lydney counter-attacked well and created their own pressure and hung on to the ball well in the difficult conditions.

In the last few minutes, Bridgwater threw everything into attack as Heal kicked forward and Dunn made another fine run.

All of this, however, came to nothing as the visitors' attempts to salvage a result were thwarted by the Lydney defence.

Bridgwater - Will Monro, Ryan Barnett, Rob Gurnett, Taylor Buller, Richard Bright, Stuart Heal, Tom Fournier, Wayne Sprangle, Ollie Dunn (capt), Gareth Clwyd- Jones, Dan Kemmish, Ethan Trebble Westlake, Craig Blyde, Gavin Knight, Matt Ranson. Rep (not used) - Bryan Webb, James Colings, Kyran Devitt.

Albion's director of rugby Geoff Sluman said: “For the second week running, we were not good enough to win.

"Pleasingly, we didn’t make the same mistakes against Lydney this week as we did against Launceston the previous week.

“We didn’t play a loose game that gave away interception tries, but sadly we didn’t ever really get out of second gear.

"We have several more gears that we are capable of deploying but we just didn't get to do that.

“It is difficult to explain exactly one reason why, but you seldom get things all of your own way in competitive sport. It most definitely was not one big thing but more a combination of smaller things that all built up.

“There are no miracle improvements, they all take time and often need testing on several occasions in competitive league matches before you get the benefit.

"It is all learning for our squad and I am really pleased that they are gaining from the experiences.”

Sluman was quick to put things into perspective.

“We are still sitting in third place in the table, which is competitive and maybe ahead of where some may have thought us capable of achieving," he said.

"The gap between the leaders and us has grown a little and the gap between us and the teams below us has reduced a little but we are still in there and actually have the second best points difference in the league.

"Add to that the fact that the squad is still improving then, all things considered, we are still in a good place.”

In view of Bridgwater Carnival on Saturday the Albion are without a fixture, but return to action on Saturday, November 10 when they host Newent at College Way where the kick off is at 2.30pm.

South West One (W)

North Petherton 22, St Ives 13

NORTH Petherton earned an important win at home to St Ives on Saturday.

The Cornish side led 10-8 at half-time but the hosts fought back to take the spoils.

Gibbs, Taylor and Hill scored Pethy’s tries, with Wright converting two and Roberts adding a penalty.

Pethy travel to Teignmouth on Saturday.