Somerset Cup Semi Final: Chew Valley 41-20 Bridgwater & Albion

Bridgwater and Albion travelled to Gordano RFC on Thursday evening to face Chew Valley in semi final of the Somerset Cup where although beaten, they gave a very good account of themselves against a team playing at Level 5, writes Richard Walsh.

The South West Regional One side went straight onto the attack from the kick off looking to take the advantage as soon as possible, but on each occasion they were repelled by the strong Albion defence.

On the 11th minute Albion took the lead when following good work by Jake Knight and George Sluman they were awarded a penalty which Kyran Devitt slotted home.

Chew came back strongly and spread the ball wide to their wingers who were dangerous throughout, but it was Number 8 Monk who thrust his way through the middle and eventually crashed over for a try following a scrum near the line which Tom Bryan converted.

Soon afterwards Bryan doubled the score when he went over for a try which he also converted making the score 3-14.

The next period of play was even but in the 35th minute a long pass from James Collings set up Jake Knight who made a scything break deep into Chew territory. Albion won a line out from which Jordan Buller went over for a try which Devitt added the extras to.

Just before the interval Bridgwater and Albion regained the lead when Collings stepped inside to score making it 15-14 at half time.

Chew came out strongly after the break pushing hard to regain the lead, but once again the Albion defence held firm and withheld the pressure.

Jay Owens put the ball into the Chew 22 but it was from an Albion charge down that Bryan collected the ball and kicked ahead. The opposition were eventually awarded a penalty five metres out from which Brooker scored a try that Bryan converted.

Albion continued to press forward to get themselves back into the lead but on the hour the Chew scrum half Chapman collected the ball from a long way out ran in to score a try between the posts which the trusty boot of Bryan converted. Shortly after Bryan kicked a penalty to extend the lead.

With 10 minutes of the game remaining winger Stride made a break down the right before it found Brooker who went over for his second try of the game.

Again the Albion battled back bravely with young Harvey Fisher a Colt who was making his senior debut prominent but the attack failed to produce any points.

In the 74th minute Stride once again made a good break before passing to Chapman who scored Chew’s final try.

Despite trailing Albion continued to come forward and with four minutes of the match remaining were rewarded when Lewis Plece went in for a try making the final score 41-20 to Chew Valley.

Chew Valley now meet Bath University in the final of the Somerset Cup.

Despite playing against a team several divisions above them Bridgwater and Albion can be proud of the way that they performed and for much of the game were more than a match for Chew Valley.

The last six weeks of the season have seen the Albion playing their best rugby and supporters, many of who made the trip to Gordano will be hoping that if the squad stays together they could well be challenging for honours in 2024-25.

Meanwhile Bridgwater and Albion Colts have won their way through to the Final of the Somerset Cup where they face Chew Valley away at Chew on Sunday 21st April with a likely 2pm kick off.