Saturday 17th February 2018

Tribute South West 1 – West
North Petherton 41 — Thornbury 10

Report By Simon Freeman

Petherton produced their most fluent display of the season against a team in fifth position for their third victory in the last four matches. A large crowd could only enjoy the rugby played as Petherton found their form and attacked from all over the pitch. The visitors tested Pethy whenever they had possession but the home team worked as hard in defence as they have in previous weeks.

The visitors started the game the stronger and kept Pethy pinned back in their 22. Thornbury moved the ball smartly and only some determined defence from Damian Griffin kept them out. The relief was short lived as from the continued pressure Thornbury found some space to score out wide (0-5).

Petherton played their way back and Mike Stevens who was instrumental all afternoon began to find space and make ground every time he had possession. The new found confidence began to show in the interplay between the players and from a Aiden Cotton and Sam Williams pass Arron Gibbs stormed over,Williams converted (7-5).

The breakdowns became fierce with the visitors number 7 a key figure and always seemed to make a telling contribution. Thornbury, again exerted pressure and looked to have created space and only a last ditch tackle from Greg Charlton prevented a certain score.

Nic Sestaret playing at ten began to mix up the game and this forced Thornbury to defend for large sections and from good work from Dan Morgan and Jack Coles the ball arrived in the hands of Lewis Allen who jinked inside one man and then sped to the try line to extend the lead,Williams converted (14-5)

The visitors responded well and started to make ground after some slick interplay and good support play but they were thwarted by Carl Jones, James Taylor and Dominik Griffin. The Pethy defence became the springboard for their attack and after a series of drives from the forwards forcing the visitors to concede a penalty. Petherton favoured kicking to the corner and from the resulting lineout a superbly marshalled catch and drive gave Mac Taylor the chance to score Petherton’s third try (19-5)

The remainder of the first half was a breakdown battle with neither team showing any let up in the intensity.

The second half began with Pethy taking the upper hand with Stevens contributing from the kick off and after linking with Sestaret and Griffin who all timed their runs perfectly to create an opportunity for Henry Gliddon who darted over for the try bonus point (24-5). This produced a purple patch from Pethy who attacked with vigour and purpose with all players involved and supporting each other with timely off-loads. The forwards ran hard and were met with solid resistance throughout the whole match. The breakdown still remained fierce and the official had to step in to calm the situation down.

Petherton continued to apply the pressure through the big runners and made their way into the visitors 22 and after a series of short drives Griffin wisely switched play to give Taylor a run in from 5 yards (29-5). Immediately from the restart Pethy began to find holes and turn the visitors who refused to give up. Petherton continued to use the same tactics at the breakdowns and after the forwards had exhausted the Thornbury defence Dominik Griffin spotted a gap to dive over, Williams converted (36-5)

The visitors then produced their best plays of the half moving the ball across the park at speed and slight of hand. The visitors number 9 was prominent throughout either supporting his runners or tidying up with any defensive duties. After a series of short plays and smart off-loads the visitors scored their second try (36-10)

The final few moments were played in the visitors half with the home side determined to end on the front foot and after more strong work from all the forwards Cotton deservedly barged his way over to complete the scoring to the delight of both players and supporters. (41-10)