South West 1 West
Keynsham 22, Bridgwater & Albion 7

BRIDGWATER slipped to a third successive defeat when they were beaten by a strong and competitive Keynsham side on Saturday, writes Richard Walsh.

This game marked the 100th first team appearance for Tom Fournier-d’Albe, who led the Albion side out.

The hosts were straight into the ascendancy from the kick-off, and they were rewarded after nine minutes when Ryan Hardy scored a try that centre Challenger converted.

On 20 minutes, Albion got on the scoreboard when, following a good move in midfield, Ryan Barnett went over for a try that Stuart Heal converted.

Keynsham responded well and had a period of pressure, but the visitors defended well and repelled their efforts.

The hosts were reduced to 14 men when they had a player yellow carded after a maul was pulled down, but although Bridgwater enjoyed a period of pressure they were unable to translate that into points.

Right at the end of a long first half, Keynsham scrum-half Pearce made a good run and chipped the ball over the defence for Carr to collect and go over for a try which Challenger converted to make the score 14-7 at the break.

The visitors started the second half strongly, with Shaun Mahoney and Roger Drabble creating strong breaks but, once again, these went unrewarded.

Keynsham extended their lead in the 46th minute when number eight Weston went over for an unconverted try.

Then, on 55 minutes, the hosts were awarded a penalty which Challenger slotted home, to make it 22-7.

Bridgwater mounted several late attacks, but none resulted in any points.

Bridgwater & Albion: Kyran Devitt, Dylan Evans, Ryan Barnett, Jay Owens, Roger Drabble, Stuart Heal (c), Tom Fournier D‘Albe, Wayne Sprangle, George Sluman, Tom Hopkins, George Musgrave, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, Sam Adcock, Shaun Mahoney, Kim Blades. Replacements (all used): Matt Ranson, Joe Bussell, Alex Newman.

Albion director of rugby Geoff Sluman said: “This was another tough fixture for us and, to be honest, another bad day at the office.

“We were forced into another re-shuffle just before kick-off with an injury in the warm-up.

“That shouldn’t be an excuse; we just have to learn to deal with these things as they do happen.

“I can’t fault the effort put in by the players, they all gave everything for the cause.

“However, having watched another week it is becoming clearer on the areas where we need to improve.

“In that respect, although obviously disappointed, I am not that concerned about the recent trend of results.

“It is not like we are thinking there is nothing else we can do or that we have tried everything.

“We know there are many things we can do and we have a plan to deploy them.”

Regarding the side’s latest centurion, Sluman said: “Many congratulations must go to Tom Fournier d’Albe, who notched up his 100th first team appearance against Keynsham.

“Tom is a talented half-back and always plays with total commitment.

“I am really pleased for him that he has reached that milestone.”

The 1st XV may have been beaten but the 2nds continue to set the pace in Somerset 1.

“Our 2nd XV had a good away win at Cheddar Valley on Saturday,” Sluman said.

“They remain unbeaten so far this season and are sitting in first place in Somerset 1; those players continue to compete for places for the first team and selection calls are very tight.”

Sluman added: “Next Saturday the 2nd XV travel to Chew Valley while our 1st XV are at home to Lydney, who are currently two places below us in the league, so on paper we are fairly evenly matched.”

The kick-off at College Way against Lydney is at 3pm.


NORTH Petherton are now ahead of local rivals Albion in the South West 1 West table, after a 20-17 win at Newton Abbot on Saturday.

James Taylor put the visitors ahead with an unconverted try, and although Ryan Partridge replied in kind, Lewis Allen’s try put Pethy back ahead.

Allen scored again after the break, but tries for Jake Monnington and Harry Allen levelled the game.

With two minutes to go, Jack Coles landed a penalty to win the game for Pethy, who go to Thornbury this coming Saturday.