South West 1 West

Bridgwater & Albion 24, St Ives 20

TWO late tries from James Collings sealed a victory for Bridgwater & Albion, in a keenly contested match with top-half rivals St Ives at College Way on Saturday, writes Richard Walsh.

The visitors took the lead after three minutes, when Dan Magee kicked a penalty awarded for offside.

Magee then doubled St Ives' lead when he slotted a second penalty 10 minutes later.

But then the hosts seemed to get into gear, and for the next period of the game it was Albion who were in the ascendancy.

Player-coach Wayne Sprangle made a great break from deep inside his own territory and the home side were then awarded a penalty for offside.

Stuart Heal's kick hit the post, but the loose ball was gathered and found its way to Ethan Trebble-Westlake, who went over for a try on the left.

Heal converted, and then added a penalty right on half-time to make the score 10-6 at the break.

St Ives came out of the traps all guns blazing, and almost from the restart Joe Parma ran through to score a try by the posts, which Magee converted to regain the lead for the visitors.

The Cornish side continued to create pressure but the home defence held out well until 15 minutes into the second half, when Magee went over in the left corner to score a try that he then converted to extend his team’s lead to 10 points.

However, Albion’s superior fitness levels enabled them to dig deep, and following an incisive break by Will Monro, the ball found its way to Collings in space on the right, and he ran in to score a try which Heal converted.

The hosts were straight back on the attack from the restart, and two minutes later Collings went over for his second try, which Heal converted to put his side four points up.

St Ives weren’t done yet, though, and back they came on the attack, only for their efforts to be repelled by the home defence, as the game ended 24-20.

Bridgwater & Albion: Lewis Phillips, Gavin Knight, Craig Blyde, George Musgrave, Dan Kemmish, Wayne Sprangle, George Sluman, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Tom Fournier D’Albe, Stuart Heal (c), Kyran Devitt, Garryn Basson, Will Monro, James Brakes, James Collings.

Replacements (all used): Matt Ranson, Karolis Urbonas, Ryan Barnett.

BRIDGWATER & Albion hosted its 'Ladies Day' to coincide with this game, the event being attended by 200 people and raising in excess of £1,000 towards Cancer Research and club funds.

After the event concluded, many of those attending came out to cheer the Albion on.

Albion director of rugby Geoff Sluman said: “St Ives are a big side in the forwards, with some really fast and capable backs, and they are very well coached and organised.

“So to win against a team like that is satisfying and a credit to our players.

“After a sequence of games like that, it makes playing a team like St Ives even more of a challenge, as it would have been easy to slip into a continuation of the previous trend.

“We played under a fair bit of pressure throughout the game but we kept our composure, worked really hard in defence and kept probing away in attack to try to find the breakthroughs.”

This weekend, Albion play their final away match when they travel to Teignmouth.

Sluman said: “They are our old friends and we do have several links with past coaches and players between the two clubs.

“That also usually makes it a very competitive game as both sides rise to the challenge.”


South West 1 (W)

Cullompton 20, North Petherton 41

A LATE flurry from North Petherton saw them record their seventh league win on the spin as they saw off struggling Cullompton on Saturday.

Having made the short trip down the M5, Pethy conceded the first points to a Josh Luxon penalty but were soon on the board through tries from Damian Griffiths and Charlie Johnson.

Hary Auton converted one of them as Pethy took a 12-6 lead into half-time.

The game remained fairly even up to the hour mark, after which the in-form visitors pulled clear.

Mac Taylor scored twice in the corner with Nic Sestaret, Bert Cowley and Johnson also going over.

Mitch Needham took over kicking duties and slotted two conversions to give the visitors a 41-20 victory.

Pethy are now up to fifth, three points off local rivals Bridgwater & Albion, with just two league games remaining.

They play their final home match of the season on Saturday, with Devonport Services the visitors to Beggars Brook.

Somerset 1

North Petherton 2nds 19, Cheddar Valley 17

NORTH Petherton 2nd XV all but made sure of a top four finish in Somerset 1 after narrowly beating Cheddar Valley on Saturday.

Matt Ryan scored the hosts’ first try, which was converted by Henry Scott, but Cheddar led going into the closing stages.

Steve Potter’s score brought the scores level at 17-17 and Scott kept his nerve from the tee to seal victory for North Petherton.

Pethy are sit fourth, level on 63 points with third-placed Bridgwater & Albion 2nds, with Pethy having a game in hand.

They are without a game this Saturday but travel to Chew Valley 2nds the following weekend for their penultimate match of the season needing just a point to seal a top four spot.