Tribute South West 1 – West

Avonmouth Old Boys 15 – North Petherton 43

Saturday 13th February 2016

Report By Simon Freeman

Pethy for the second consecutive game produced a performance high on pride and determination. The defence and enterprise in attack were the big plus points particularly in the second half when Avonmouth threw everything they had and never faltered for the duration of the match. The two teams hovering in the lower reaches of the division provided some entertaining rugby but Pethy held their nerve when the opportunities arose.

Captains comments (Damian Griffin) Because of our league position we have to play each game now as its a cup final and that attitude definitely helped on Saturday! We need to focus on one game at a time and put in 100% effort in on the day and I couldn’t have asked any more from anyone, everything just fell into place. Our tries came from our backs but all thanks to a solid platform set from our forwards who were brilliant all day! We stuck to a game plan for the whole 80mins and didn’t go off course, everyone knew their role individually which made us play better as a team! We tried to control the tempo and for large parts we held the edge and importantly kept our discipline! We kept chipping away at the score board with the best kicking Harry Roberts has had all season he was pin point with his kicks. Great performance from all on and off the pitch, was good to have such a big travelling support! Everyone is keen to play next week like that in front of a home crowd!

The early stages belonged to Avonmouth with their forwards making some strong breaks and moving the Pethy defenders around the park. All the Pethy defenders making their first up tackles to shut down any potential dangers. Pethy found some joy with playing a wide game and relying on support runners. The first score came in the 7th minute after a smart counter attack from inside their own half and with some delicate off loads Jack Kohler was left to run in from 25 yards, Harry Roberts slotted the extras.

Avonmouth responded and put Pethy under pressure and just as it looked dangerous valuable contributions from Carl Brown, Arron Gibbs and Matt Hastie prevented any momentum. As Pethy grew in confidence defensively their attacks began to show enterprise. A move that started in their own half half with the forwards stealing a ball, breaks from Kyle Presscott, Jack Coles and Pete Dickens moved Pethy to just outside the home teams 22 and with the backs moving the ball down the line to Harry Auton who stepped outside one and inside another to dot down, Roberts converted.

Avonmouth again responded and looked threatening from every restart, they began to play their way in to the game by mixing their point of attacks to stretch Pethy and force a penalty to narrow the gap (3-14). However, this was short lived as another lively break gave Roberts another penalty to slot over (3-17).

The home team then produced their best sequence of plays and kept Pethy pinned in their 22, Pethy continued to tackle and battle well at the breakdown until Avonmouth forced their way over in the corner for a converted try (10-20). As the half was coming to an end Pethy still showed ambition by using all runners to make in roads and keep the home team guessing and another Roberts penalty extended the lead (10-23).

The second half began with Pethy making a sharp break with both wingers involved and camping themselves in the Avonmouth half for the first ten minutes. Avonmouth defended well but fell foul of the official who awarded Pethy two penalties for Roberts to expertly curl them through the posts to extend the lead to 10-29.

This time it was for the home team to have the monopoly on possession who created numerous phases and some dangerous positions but the Pethy lads tackled themselves to a standstill to frustrate the opponents. Pethy weathered the storm and played their way out of trouble and then began to keep the ball and test the Avonmoth defence again.

As the game entered the final fifteen minutes both teams knew the importance of the match with the breakdowns becoming more competitive and just as it looked like the home team had shut out Pethy Gavin Hancock made a searing break to score under the posts, Roberts converted (10-36).

Yet again back came Avonmouth who made break after break and never once stopped running but Pethy showed a real pride in defending their line until they ran out of defenders for the home team to run over and narrow the gap 15-36. The final play of the game saw the home team still trying to break Pethy by using the forwards and back until Damian Griffin spotted an intercept and with perfect timing sprinted home from 60 metres to secure a bonus point and leave Roberts the conversion to round off an excellent individual and team performance.