South West 1 West
Devonport Services 40, Bridgwater & Albion 24

DEVONPORT dominated the first half of this top-of-the-table clash and, despite Albion clawing their way back after the break, they had too much to do as the unbeaten league leaders ran out the winners, writes Richard Walsh.

Bridgwater were led out by Dan Kemmish, captaining the side to mark his momentous 400th first team appearance for the club.

Devonport made their intentions clear from the off, taking an early lead with a try out wide following a penalty advantage.

The hosts extended their lead with a try between the posts that was converted.

Devonport then had a player yellow carded and Albion took advantage when, following a tap penalty, Richard Bright scored a try in the corner to make it 12-5.

Services extended their lead with a penalty try from a rolling maul, after which Bridgwater were reduced to 14 with their own yellow card

The home side then made it 26-5 at the break when they scored their fourth try from a rolling maul.

The visitors came out strongly after the break, and a powerful run by Shaun Mahoney was rewarded when he went over for a try, which Tom Fournier converted to reduce the arrears.

The hosts bounced back with a converted try at the other end, but half-time replacement Jordan Buller made an impact for Albion when he scored an unconverted try to make it 33-17.

Once again Devonport came back with a converted try but Bridgwater kept going until the end and, in the dying minutes, Bright scored his second try which Jay Owens converted.

Bridgwater & Albion: Lewis Phillips, Shaun Mahoney, Matt Ranson, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Dan Kemmish, Tom Hopkins, George Sluman, Ollie Steward, Roger Drabble, Tom Fournier D’Able, Dom Thorne, James Collings, Garryn Basson, Will Monro, Richard Bright. Replacements: Tim Blades, Jordan Buller, Jay Owens.

Albion director of rugby Geoff Sluman said: “We didn’t get off to a great start and were playing catch-up for the rest of the match.

“Some strange things happened during the game but yet again the Bridgy team stuck to their task.

“We also gained a bonus point for scoring four tries and I don’t imagine many sides will score four tries against Services on their home soil.

“However, there is plenty for us to work on and the coaches made the point about tightening defences.

“We didn’t come here to pluck comfort out of statistics, we came to win and that is our target going forward.

“We had another player debut – Tim Blades, who equipped himself very well. We are developing more strength in depth."


South West 1 West
Lydney 30, North Petherton 17

NORTH Petherton’s 1st XV saw their winning run ended by Lydney on Saturday.

Pethy, who had won their last two, found themselves 17-0 down as tries from Dave Bennett (2) and Tai Lackbuka put the hosts in charge.

Henry Gliddon’s try, converted by Jack Rees, gave Pethy hope, and second-half tries from Damian Griffin and Lewis Allen trimmed the gap to three points (20-17).

But a Kurt Brown try and Alex Pugh penalty made the game safe for Lydney.

Pethy host Newent this Saturday.


Women’s NC 1 South West
North Petherton 17, Westbury 17

NORTH Petherton Ladies and Westbury battled it out in a challenging, hard-fought game on Sunday, which ended 17 points apiece.

The visitors earned an early lead in the first 10 minutes, their powerful forwards pushing back the Pethy defence and a quick pass releasing their speedy flanker for a converted try.

The home side won a penalty, only for the visitors to reclaim possession and make their way up to the home try-line, but the Pethy defence held the ball up and stopped any grounding.

The hosts then showed their resilience in the second half to hit back, with centre Sarah Cavill receiving a quick ball and smashing her way across the line for an unconverted try.

A game littered with penalties saw Westbury, again, utilising their strong forwards to crash over the line.

Within minutes, though, Claire Williams charged through the Westbury defence to score under the posts, with the try being converted by Amy Clark.

Quick hands from Westbury’s forwards led to them scoring their third try, but in the dying moments Stacey Saunders drew two defenders in, and a phenomenal timed pass allowed Williams to fly over and secure a draw.

Back of the match: Jess Matthews; forward of the match: Gemma Hopkins

Pethy ladies’ next match is at home to Devizes, this coming Sunday.