North Petheron 25-28 Bridgwater & Albion

FRIDAY night’s match at Beggars Brook between North Petherton and Bridgwater & Albion had everything you could possibly want from a local derby, but at the end of a real thriller it was the visitors who retained the bragging rights to notch up the double over their near neighbours, writes Richard Walsh.

The game was played at a cracking pace and in front of a large and vociferous crowd Petherton wasted no time in putting themselves in front when after three minutes a good move across the backs that started on the halfway line ended with Jack Rees going over for a try in the right hand corner.

Albion came straight back and four minutes later were awarded a penalty on the 22 metre line in front of the posts which Stuart Heal slotted home.

The visitors mounted another attack that came to an end when they had Matt Ranson yellow carded for foul play.

Being reduced to 14 players saw Bridgwater raise their game and four minutes later Oskar White broke through into space before going over for a try between the posts which Heal converted. The visitors were awarded another penalty shortly after which Heal kicked to make the score 13-5.

Petherton came back strongly and after 22 minutes were awarded a penalty for holding on which Jack Rees kicked.

Bridgwater were strong in the pack and extended their lead following a rolling maul when Gavin Knight crashed over for a try which Heal converted.

Just before half time Heal kicked another penalty for Bridgwater before the players went into the break with the visitors leading 23-8.

The first quarter of an hour after half time saw both sides creating chances none of which resulted in a score.

However Gavin Knight then started a series of thrusts towards the line for the visitors which led to Will Monro going over for an unconverted try.

Despite the visitors having a 20 point lead North Petherton continued to compete strongly and after 35 minutes their pressure was rewarded when Jack Cole went over for a try which Mitch Needham converted.

The Petherton full back Needham narrowed the gap between the two sides when he kicked another penalty to maker it 28-18.

With the clock ticking down the hosts were throwing everything at the Albion defence which remained solid, as almost on full time Petherton crossed the line but were held up.

Petherton were eventually rewarded when Matt Taylor went over for a try in the night hand corner which Needham converted to bring the hosts to within three points of their visitors.

However very shortly after the referee blew the whistle to bring the end to another evening of top class entertainment and a great advert for the game locally, played in the right spirit.

North Petherton RFC- Ollie Washer, Sam Williams, Sam Villis, Joe Hepburn, Connor Perkins, James Taylor, Adam Anonymere, Dom Griffin, Damo Griffin, Jack Rees, Sebestian Roodt, Michael Stevens (capt) and Mitch Needham.

Replacements all used- Lee Briffett, Jake Ellis and Harry Gutteridge.

Bridgwater & Albion RFC- Many Ranson, Gavin Knight, Graham Slorrance, Tonm Hopkins, Etah Trebble-m SWestlake, Karolis Urbonas, George Sluman (capt) Taylor Buller, Jon Hill, Stuart Heal, Tom Croal, Jay Owens, Jake Kinght, Will Monro and Oskar White.

Replacements all used- Mike Saunders, Jordan Buller and Kyran Devitt.