Friday 6th April 2018

Tribute South West 1 – West
North Petherton 32 — Bridgwater & Albion 10

Report By Simon Freeman

A perfect eveing for rugby with the pitch and conditions encouraging 15 man rugby. Always a lively fixture but with the added incentive of performing on Sam Williams 250th appearence. Petherton produced an impressive all round display. Albion looked dangerous with ball in hand but the defence from the home team again proved decisive.

The game started with Petherton taking the inniative and moving the ball wide at the earliest opportunity. Henry Gliddon playing on the right wing was instrumental all evening in getting the home team in to attacking positions. The visitors first up tackling was strong but Petherton were clinical at the breakdown and after a couple of changes of play from Dominik Griffin and Nic Sessaret the ball arrived in the hands of Sam Williams to dive over in the corner, he then slotted over the conversion. (7-0)

The visitors played themselves back in to the game with Will Monro looking sharp everythime he had the ball. Stu Heal struck the ball well all evening and moved Bridgy in to attacking positions. Petherton had to be on their guard as the visitors made short bursts through their forwards and then released their backs across the park. After several minutes of defending Petherton conceeded a penalty from which Heal narrowed the gap. (7-3)

The Petherton forwards began to create some momentum with Aiden Cotton, Carl Jones, Dan Morgan and Jack Coles all prominent in creating opportunities for Mike Stevens and Damian Griffin and from one such break Eryk Luczka made a short burst and from another switch of direction Williams was on hand to launch himself over in the opposite corner, needless to say he added the extras. (14-3)

The rest of half remained scoreless but entertaining, Bridgwater looked dangerous everytime they attacked right to left but with James Taylor and Oli Graham defending stoutly they were able to shut them out. Petherton had their opportunities through Mac Taylor and Gliddon but the visitors defence was equally robust.

The second half started in similiar fashion to how the first half ended. Ollie Dunn was making ground everytime he had the ball and Pethy had to scramble to bring him to ground. The Pethy players were showing the confidence in defence from the last few weeks performances and waited patiently to steal at the breakdown. Oli Graham struck the ball in to the corner from a penalty and a well worked lineout witnessed the inevitable as Williams dotted down for his hat-trick to exted the lead. (19-3)

As whispers around the ground began to believe the game was over Albion turned the game around and produced their best moments. They held the upper hand in possession and field position. They began to find space and show their distribution skills. Midway through the half, after a series of plays Rob Gurnett found some gaps and darted over for a fine try, Heal converted. (19-10)

Nerves began to show in the home team especially amongst the home supporters as Albion continued to hold the upper hand until a steal in midfield allowed Pethy to attack down the right flank and move in to the Bridgy half. The official saw enough to award a penalty for Williams to slot over. (22-10). Within a few minutes Pethy again worked themselves in to an attacking position and win another penalty for Williams to score his and the teams 25th point.

The last few plays of the game saw both teams attack but Pethy just held the edge with some smart off loading to the inside runner and with the ball arriving in the hands of Arron Gibbs to show a couple of dummies to storm over for the bonus point try, Williams added the conversion to complete the scoring!

The remainder of the game was played in midfield until the official blew to end the game and huge cheers from the home supporters. The game and the support from the sides was played and watched in true local derby spirit. The victory moves Petherton up to a very creditable 5th in the table.

Report By Jacob Beleski

A dominant display from North Petherton hooker Sam Williams helped propel his team to a convincing 32-10 win over local rivals Bridgwater and Albion at Beggars Brook on Friday night.

Williams – playing his 250th match for the club’s first XV – celebrated the occasion with a 27-point haul, including a hat-trick of tries.

Pethy started the stronger of the two sides and opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Williams found himself on the end of some slick passing and crossed in the left corner.

The hosts were reduced to 14 men when prop Carl Jones was yellow carded for a professional foul, and soon after Albion claimed their first points through a penalty to Stuart Heal.

Pethy then found themselves hammering away at the Albion line, only for some staunch defence to repel their attacking waves.

The pressure eventually proved too much, however, as Williams crashed over for his second try, this time in the right corner.

As he had after his first try, Williams converted from wide out to extend Pethy’s lead to 14-3 heading into the halftime break.

Both teams knew the importance of striking first in the second half, and it was Pethy who again started the stronger of the two sides.

A string of penalties led to Albion player Craig Blyde receiving a yellow card, and Pethy quickly capitalised, with Williams crossing for his third try from a rolling maul.

Albion then produced their best patch of play in the match, with flanker Ollie Dunn leading from the front with ball in hand.

Their persistence finally paid off when centre Rob Gurnett produced a moment of magic out of nothing, scything his way through the Pethy defence to score a memorable individual try.

Heal converted to close the gap to 19-10, and all of a sudden it was anybody’s match heading into the final quarter.

Both sides received another yellow card in the final 20 minutes, but it was Pethy who took the initiative heading into the closing stages.

Territory became the most important factor for both teams, and Pethy’s ability to stay down the right end of the field led to two kickable penalties, both of which were successful from the boot of Williams.

The game was as good as won with Pethy leading 25-10 in the dying moments, and a stirring effort from No 8 Arron Gibbs had the home crowd on their feet as he scored under the posts to put the final touches on a high-quality match.

It was an impressive team effort from the home side, who have given themselves a chance of securing a top-five finish with two matches left to play.