South West 1 West
North Petherton 14, Thornbury 22

A SECOND-HALF comeback fell short of earning North Petherton any points at home to fourth-placed Thornbury on Saturday.

The visitors had the strong wind behind them in the first half, and went ahead inside 10 minutes, as Alfie Richardson scored and Jack Pinker converted.

Thornbury - and the elements - kept Pethy pinned back in their own half, with Jay Burley and Harry Glew adding further tries.

Pinker converted the latter try and added a penalty to give his side a 22-0 lead at half-time.

The hosts dominated the second half, with almost all of the play in Thornbury’s half, but they were frustrated by the visiting defence and kept scoreless until the latter stages.

A powerful home scrum forced a penalty try, and No 8 James Taylor got over the line in the dying minutes for a second score, converted by Josh Frost.

Pethy team manager Andrew Ford told the Mercury: “The weather was a massive factor, it wasn’t really a game of rugby.

“They made fewer errors than we did, and that’s what it boiled down to.

“Ten more minutes and we might have sneaked it, but they defended really well and played the conditions better.

“Their three tries came from kicking the ball in the air, us failing to gather, and them kicking it on to score.”

Pethy have a week’s break before their next game, away to mid-table rivals Sidmouth on February 29.

Ford added: “We will need to show more composure and play the right game based on the conditions.

“Sidmouth are a good team, especially their backs, so we will need some more intensity in our defence.”

While the club's 1st XI are without a fixture this coming Saturday, there is rugby at Beggars Brook, with North Petherton Colts in cup semi-final action.

The Under-18 side host Keynsham with a place in the final at stake, and the match is due to kick off at 2.30pm.