Tribute South West 1 – West

Matson 20 – North Petherton 28

Saturday 27th January 2018

Report By Simon Freeman

A titanic battle between two teams who threw everything at each other for the entire match. Both teams tried to play attacking rugby in horrendous conditions and a pitch which was difficult to keep your footing. The importance of the game was evident in the first ten minutes with many crunching tackles knocking players backwards.

The opening exchanges were tough and testing with everyone looking for some momentum. Matson defended well and turned the early pressure around with a superb clearance kick in to the Petherton half. The home team moved the ball across the backs but were met with some resolute tackling from Jack Coles and Carl Jones . Petherton played their way in to the game mainly through the forwards but this time all the backs joined in and after a series of drives Mac Taylor darted over and in the difficult wind Sam Williams made the conversion look easy (0-7).

The exchanges were still physical but with the pitch making it difficult both teams showed individual skills and this time it was for Matsons forwards to get the upper hand and roll over the line for a well worked try (5-7). The match stayed between the two ten yard lines as defences showed their metal with Dan Morgan, Dominik Griffin and Greg Charlton fully committed to every collision. Petherton made the first clean break when John Gallagher and Ben Freeman released Henry Gliddon down the flank who turned inside and after another series of short breaks the ball bobbled around and landed in the hands of Eryk Lazinski who shot over and under the posts for Williams to convert (5-14).

Petherton looked comfortable but Matson had other ideas and only some solid defending by Lewis Allen and Sam Chillingworth prevented another home try. Matson kept on the pressure and again showed some patience to force their way over to narrow the gap (10-14).

Petherton playing down the slope ideally needed another score before half-time to give themselves some breathing space and with some lung busting efforts from Arron Gibbs, Charlton and Morgan Pethy were in a strong position for Nic Sestaret to somehow find a gap and reach over, Williams added the two on the whistle (10-21)

The second half began with both teams again committing everything and giving nothing cheaply! Matson used the slope wisely and began to use the chip kick to find spaces which kept Chillingworth, Allen and Gliddon on their toes. The home team grew in confidence and used the ball well in the miserable conditions to score their third try (15-21).

It became increasingly difficult to recognise anyone but Pethy from one to fifteen battled tirelessly typified by Griffin all raised their game after more strong work from the forwards who linked with Gallagher and Freeman. Pethy camped themselves in the home team 22 and after a slick drive Gibbs shot over, Williams converted (15-28).

The match entered the last fifteen minutes and Matson came in to their own and monopolised possession and held field position. Taylor, Lazinski, Williams, Jones, Coles and Charlton all must have had a double figure tackle count in the last minutes. However, Matson had other ideas and worked their way over for try bonus point (20-28). From the restart it began again with Pethy forced back and just as it looked like the Matson backs had broken through Gallagher and Freeman shut them down! The relief was short lived as Matson moved their way up field and again camped on the Pethy line, some unrecognisable face turned it over and Pethy played smart to run down the clock and huge relief on the final whistle to end a morale boosting victory.

Team – Sam Chillingworth, Lewis Allen, Ben Freeman, John Gallagher, Henry Gliddon, Nic Sestaret, Dominik Griffin, Arron Gibbs, Mac Taylor, Eryk Lazinski, Greg Charlton, Jack Coles, Carl Jones, Sam Williams, Dan Morgan

Replacements: – AJ, Callum Fitchew, Connor Perkins