Tribute South West 1 – West

North Petherton 31 – Drybrook 12

Saturday 16th April 2016

Report By Simon Freeman

Pethy continued their recent form with a strong performance against a good team who kept possession for long periods. Both teams showed plenty of enterprise in front of a large vocal crowd. Pethertons defence again was key with the visitors having opportunities but the home team remained disciplined.

Captains comments (Damian Griffin) “It was the best way to finish our last home game of the season with a huge performance like that. We owed it to our supporters and definitely ourselves with the amount of effort and commitment we have put in in the last 6 weeks. We started off slow again and it took them to score the first try for us to wake up but once we found our feet I felt we were never going to lose the game. We scored some brilliant trys but what we were more proud of from that game was the immense defending, Drybrook came close to our line on quite a few occasions but could never cross it as we were all solid and in sync with each other. Defending our line is just as satisfying as crossing theirs at times when it matters.
Now we are safe from relegation we can go into our final game against Bridgwater with no pressure and enjoy every moment, we aim to carry on our run of wins and finish our season on a massive high.”

The opening stages belonged to the visitors who moved the ball at every opportunity and shifting the point of attack. Drybrook dominated possession and within three minutes Pethy were a converted try down and had yet to touch the ball. As in the previous few weeks the home team responded by showing composure and a trust in their game. The forwards began to create pressure and Pethy looked dangerous when taking quick penalties. Pethy moved in to the visitors half with breaks from James Taylor, Matt Hastie and Pete Dickens which forced Drybrook to concede two penalties for Harry Roberts to narrow the lead to 6-7. The game remained close with very little between the sides, Pethy needed to be on their guard against a considerably larger set of forwards with Carl Brown, Kyle Presscott and Dominik Griffin all making vital tackles. The Petherton backs looked sharp and ready to attack and when the opportunities arose they frequently made ground. The remainder of the half belonged to the defences and discipline of both teams as the scoreboard never changed but the commitment remained high.

Pethy fired in to the second half for the final 40 minutes in the last home game of the season and immediately created chaos in the visitors defence to force a penalty for Roberts to slot over and take the lead. Pethy kept the momentum momentary but this time it was for the visitors to show some excellent defending by not only keeping Pethy out but working their way up in the pitch. Drybrook moved in to the Pethy 22 and moved the ball sharply and looked to have created the extra man or a gap but each time the home team worked overtime to keep them out.

Pethy shifted the tables and began to exert their own pressure with short breaks from the forwards and a barnstorming run from Brown who found Arron Gibbs on his shoulder who powered over to extend the lead to 14-7. The next five minutes saw the best of Pethy as after some resolute midfield defending Damian Griffin picked and set off on a 60 metre run picking his line perfectly to score under the posts, Roberts converted.

The game further improved for Pethy as straight from the kick off a superb run from Gibbs and a perfectly timed off load to Toby Harris who bulldozed his way to the line to stretch the lead to 26-7.

Drybrook again responded strongly but Pethy dug in deep to keep them out and again countered through Gavin Hancock who sprinted 60 metres before finding Jack Kohler who set off on an arcing run to score out wide.

The last few moments all belonged to the visitors who pounded away and battled to the end to score the final try to complete the scoring.