South West 1 West
Bridgwater & Albion 16, Okehampton 61

IF ever there was a classic game of two halves then this was certainly one of them, Bridgwater & Albion scoring all of their points in the opening 40 minutes, after which the visitors were dominant, writes Richard Walsh.

Within five minutes of the kick-off Albion were 3-0 up after Stuart Heal slotted a penalty, and following a quickly-taken free-kick George Sluman went over for a try, which Heal converted.

Rob Thompson charged through the middle and was held up just short, but the ball was recycled and Albion won another penalty, Heal making it 13-0.

Okehampton then enjoyed their best period of the first half, but two 5m scrums were defended well, before Heal landed a long-range penalty to make the score 16-0 at the interval.

When the visitors returned to the field after the break they looked a different side and were rampant from the off, opening their account after three minutes through Bevan Armitage, Richie Friend converting.

Two minutes later they scored again, this time Kieran Lee scoring the try for Friend to convert.

It was all Okehampton now and they took the lead when Dean Abrahams went over after a chargedown of a Heal clearance, Friend adding the extras.

Daniel Fogarty then scored the first of his hat-trick of tries, and his second three minutes later.

Almost from the restart Rhys Palmer collected the ball in his own half and ran through to score.

Bridgwater rallied well for a period but then Karl Pierce made a solo run down the left to extend the lead.

In the dying minutes there were two more tries, from Lee and Fogarty.

Bridgwater & Albion: Matt Ranson, Adam Greenslade, Niell Bezuidenhout, Dan Kemmish, Rob Thompson, Gareth Clwyd- Jones, George Sluman, Ollie Dunn, Tom Fournier d’Able, Stuart Heal, Jay Owens, Taylor Buller, Ryan Barnett, Richard Bright, Will Monro. Replacements (all used): Jack Musgrave, Lewis Phillips, Matt House.

GEOFF Sluman, Bridgwater & Albion’s director of rugby admitted that Saturday’s heavy defeat was a game of two very differing halves.

He said: “I thought that we played the first half brilliantly. Our tactical kicking was excellent, our ball carrying very solid and our defence operated to a high standard. 

“As a result, we went in at half time 16-0 up.

“Our half-time analysis and reviews went well. Then the second half started and it all went seriously wrong. 

“We know where it went wrong but I don’t particularly want to publish it, in case any future opposition read it. 

“Okehampton are not second in the league for nothing, they are a good side that responded to the challenges very well. 

“All that second half can give us now is the gift of learning. 

“The players all worked hard and didn’t give up; they stuck to the task and showed some character. 

“It was the first game this season that we didn’t gain any league points because in other losses we have always picked up bonus points.”