South West 1 West
Crediton 17, Bridgwater & Albion 19

BRIDGWATER & Albion made it three wins on the bounce as they travelled to Mid Devon to face newly-promoted Crediton and claimed a hard-fought victory, writes Richard Walsh.

Making their first ever league visit to the Esplanade on Saturday, the visitors took the lead after just three minutes when Jay Owens, on kicking duty in the absence of Stuart Heal, slotted over a 30-metre penalty.

On 13 minutes the home side got themselves onto the scoresheet when hooker Luxmoore crashed over for a try, which Avery-Wright converted.

Albion came back strongly, with both Will Monro and Roger Drabble to the fore.

Eventually the visitors’ efforts were rewarded when Crediton conceded a penalty which Owens put between the posts to make the score 7-6.

Eoghan Westhoff made a strong run deep into Crediton territory, which almost saw Drabble scramble over the line.

From this move the referee spotted an infringement by the hosts and awarded a penalty try to Bridgwater.

The visitors were very much in the ascendancy now, with Simon Honey, Monro and Drabble causing problems, but it remained 13-7 at half-time.

Albion carried on with the pressure after the restart, with Honey and then Drabble creating opportunities.

Crediton remained very much in the game, though, and on 56 minutes Luff ran powerfully down the line before passing to Hooper, who crashed over for a try which Avery-Wright converted to put his side 14-13 up.

Both sides were then awarded penalties, which Owens and Avery-Wright kicked successfully, to make the score 17-16 to Crediton going into the final 15 minutes.

Wayne Sprangle, who started on the bench, played a key part in Albion’s final push for victory, which eventually came with five minutes to go when Owens kicked a 35-metre penalty.

Albion defended strongly for the last few minutes and ran out 17-19 victors.

Bridgwater & Albion: Will Monro, Ryan Barnett, Simon Honey, Jay Owens, Roger Drabble, Oskar White, Tom Fournier D’Albe, Ethan Trebble-Westlake, George Sluman, Eoghan Westhoff, Dan Kemmish, Tom Hopkins, Sam Adcock, Gavin Knight, Matt Ranson. Replacements: Lewis Phillips, Wayne Sprangle (both used), Ross Mark (not used).


ALBION director of rugby Geoff Sluman was pleased to see his side claim a second away win in their last three matches.

He said: “Away wins in the league are valuable so we can be pleased with our result.

“As expected, due to the close match we had with Crediton when we played them at home, it was a competitive game.

“There was never going to be a lot between the sides, so the 19-17 win was not a surprise to us and the players were aware that they were likely to have to play with just one error costing the game, which is playing under pressure, and we did tremendously well.”

Sluman went on: “I was pleased with the way we stuck to our task. We delivered a very good first-half performance.

“We didn’t really come off the boil in the second half but played against the conditions so it slowed our progress.”

Sluman was especially pleased in view of some of the enforced changes, adding: “We had several positional changes again this week, so it was pleasing to see that the strength in depth of the squad is just dealing with these things now.

“We spoke post-match, though, and said it was a long way from a perfect performance. so the squad are putting pressure on themselves to improve in the areas where we know we can do better.”

Albion’s 1st XV weren’t the only ones to win on the road on Saturday, as Sluman pointed out: “Our second team had a great away win, too, against Wellington 2nds - running out 41-23 winners.

“So, two away wins on a difficult league weekend is pleasing and a sign of progress.

“Next week the 2nd XV are away to Bristol Harlequins, who are top of their league, while the first team host second-placed Devonport Services.

“These are two tough fixtures so this weekend has acted as a little bit of preparation for next weekend.

“The first team lost when we played away against Services earlier in the season.

“We were not really competitive in that match so we are challenging ourselves to do better this week - the game will kick off at 3pm at College Way.”

Ahead of Saturday’s match against Devonport, Brian Foxwell - one of the Friends of Bridgwater & Albion RFC - is hosting a lunch in the clubhouse at 12.30pm.

All former players are invited to attend.