South West One (West)

Newent 37, Bridgwater & Albion 26

BRIDGWATER & Albion’s eight-match winning run came to an end on Saturday afternoon when they were beaten at Newent in a cracking game between two evenly-balanced sides, writes Richard Walsh.

The visitors made a bright start and, after just four minutes, a dazzling run by Will Monro saw Wayne Sprangle cross for a try in the corner on his return from injury.

A speculative clearance by Newent from deep in their own territory eventually led to the hosts opening their own try tally when Tom Devries scored in the corner to level the scores on 11 minutes.

Bridgwater grabbed back the lead on 22 minutes when Adam Greenslade went over for a try that Stuart Heal converted.

The Forest of Dean side counter attacked well and five minutes later flanker George Phelps crossed for a try which Joe Goatley duly converted to level the scores at 12-12.

Newent continued to create pressure on the Bridgwater line and were rewarded on 34 minutes when prop Lodge scored a try.

Right on half-time Bridgwater drove deep into Newent territory and Sprangle crossed for his second try of the match that was converted by Heal to make the score 17-19 at the break.

The visitors started the second half strongly and a series of slick handling moves caused the Newent defence problems, but the hosts stood firm and repelled the attack.

Bridgwater recovered the ball well, kept coming forward and were eventually awarded a penalty try following which a Newent player was yellow carded.

Despite being reduced to 14 players, Newent kept on attacking and in the space of five minutes scored two tries, the first by stand off Nathan Brooks on 54 minutes and the second from replacement Ben Stevens that was converted by Goatley to give the hosts a 29-26 lead.

Bridgwater were reduced to 14 men when Tom Fournier was yellow carded for an off the ball incident, soon after which Goatley slotted home a penalty for the hosts.

As the minutes remaining ticked away Newent had a second player yellow carded but once again, despite reduced numbers, James Dean went over for an unconverted try to make the score 37-26 and bring Bridgwater’s winning run come to an end.

Bridgwater and Albion: Richard Bright, Kyran Devitt. Rob Gurnett, James Collings, Will Monro, Stuart Heal, Tom Fournier, Ethan Trebble- Westlake, George Sluman, Wayne Sprangle, Dan Kemmish, George Musgrove, Craig Blyde, Adam Greenslade and Lewis Phillips. Replacements (all used): Mike Saunders, Garryn Basson and Jay Owens.