South West 1 (W)

Cullompton 22, Bridgwater & Albion 35

BRIDGWATER returned to league action after the Christmas break with a five-try victory against a spirited Cullompton side, who despite their lowly position never gave up, writes Richard Walsh.

The visitors had the better of the early exchanges but Cullompton had the first scoring opportunity, missing a penalty they were awarded just inside the Albion half on eight minutes.

Two minutes later, a great move across the Bridgwater backs saw Wayne Sprangle cross the line but he was held up.

The visitors were not to be denied shortly afterwards when, following a scrum on the five-metre line, Sprangle scored a try which Stuart Heal converted.

James Collings then kicked the ball from inside his own half to touch in the left hand corner deep in Cullompton territory.

The hosts attempted a quick line out but it went wrong and resulted in Sprangle going over for his second try which Heal duly converted.

Collings was responsible for Albion’s third try, as he chipped the ball into the right hand corner where Kyran Devitt dived onto it to secure another try which Heal added the extras to.

Cullompton then enjoyed their best period of the game and in the last 10 minutes of the half they scored two unconverted tries, the first through Andrew Hayball and the other from skipper Ross Toms, which made the score 10-21 at the interval.

Albion started the second half strongly and, on 46 minutes, Rob Gurnett ran down the right flank before touching down for a try under the posts which Heal converted,

The Devon side responded strongly and created a period of pressure which Bridgwater repelled and were eventually able to clear.

The Somerset side were soon back on the attack themselves and it wasn’t long before Heal crossed for a try which he then converted to make the score 10-35.

Cullompton weren’t done yet and in the dying minutes of the match Chris Grant scored a try which Josh Luxon converted, before Hayball scored an unconverted try with the final move of the match, making the final score 22-35.

This was a workmanlike performance that sees the Albion remain in fifth place in the table.

Bridgwater and Albion: James Collings, Will Monro, Ryan Barnett, Rob Gurnett, Kyran Devitt, Stuart Heal (capt), Tom Fournier d’Able, Matt Ranson, Gavin Knight, Craig Blyde, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Dan Kemmish, Bryan Webb, George Sluman and Wayne Sprangle.

Replacements: Martin Keywood, George Musgrave and Jay Owens.

South West 1 (W)

Cornish All Blacks 37, North Petherton 27

NORTH Petherton scored five tries at the home of the league leaders but succumbed to a defeat which saw them slip to fourth from bottom.

A penalty broke the deadlock for the hosts, but it was a short-lived lead as Pethy captain Arron Gibbs rolled over for a try which went unconverted.

An interception try apiece followed, Glen Coles going over for the All Blacks before Dominik Griffin did likewise for Pethy.

Martin Kneebone's score put the Cornish side in front but it was the visitors who led at half-time as Nic Sestaret scored a converted try to make the score 17-13.

The hosts improved after the break and scored first, but Pethy refused to lie down and Jon Gallagher's try made it game on once again.

A quickfire double punished the visitors, however, as the All Blacks opened up a comfortable advantage for the first time in the afternoon.

Pethy had the last word through replacement Aiden Cotton, but they could not quite earn the losing bonus point despite pushing their high-flying hosts all the way.