Tribute South West One West
Bridgwater & Albion 21, Clevedon 10
BRIDGWATER & Albion battled to their second successive victory on Saturday as they beat local rivals Clevedon 21-10 in an enthralling encounter, writes Tony Pomeroy.
First-half tries from Ollie Dunn and Will Kerry fired Albion to the win, whilst fly-half Stuart Heal added 11 points from his trusty right boot.
On a pitch that, by the end, resembled a paddy field, Clevedon had first use of the elements but it was the home side with early dominance.
A great run by Bryan Webb, playing out of position on the wing gave them field position and it was left to Heal to kick a short-range penalty for the opening score.
Immediately, Clevedon hit back and when Bridgwater offended at a tackle, Mike Taylor equalised with a 35 metre penalty that went over via the crossbar.
The Bridgwater pack then put together a superb driving maul that went from halfway deep into the Clevedon 22 and when the ball was recycled, Bridgwater eventually scored through Ollie Dunn - Heal converted easily for a 10-3 lead.
From the kick-off, Bridgwater scored a try that would have been remarkable in good conditions let alone in those in evidence on the day.
They ball was moved left and went through half a dozen pairs of hands before it reached Kerry for the second time on the visitors 10 metre line - and he cruised through the visiting defence for a wonderful try.
There was no further score before half time although Clevedon scorned three points by opting for a scrummage instead of a very kickable penalty when Spellissy was shown the first of his yellow cards.
At the same time Hastie left the field with an injury that will probably keep him out of the game for some time.
Bridgwater changed into white shirts for the second half but to little avail as within ten minutes, the sides were again almost indistinguishable.
Despite being down to 14 men with Spellissy in the bin, Bridgwater started the half in control and Heal extended their lead with a short range penalty.
Indiscipline by Bridgwater - throwing the ball away at a lineout – then cost them a penalty.
But Clevedon opted for a scrum and, following concerted pressure on the home line, eventually were credited with a try from second row Alex Giltrow - converted by Taylor to narrow the gap to 18-10.
Almost immediately another Heal penalty took the score to 21-10 and much of the final quarter was played deep in the Bridgwater 22.
Clevedon were awarded a series of penalties and with five minutes to go, the referee lost patience with the home defence and gave Spellissy his marching orders with a second yellow card.
Clevedon thought they had scored with two minutes left but the referee awarded a penalty to Bridgwater under their own posts.
A couple of good kicks and a spirited run by Joe Bussell out of defence meant there was no further scoring, as Albion came away with the four points, while the visitors left with nothing.
Albion head coach Kevin Innalls was pleased with the result in the difficult conditions. He said: “We started well and the second try was brilliant. We had to defend for a lot of the second half, but again we ground out the result in the mud.”
With them now on 38 points, some 16 points clear of the bottom three, Albion can look forward to another season in South West One West and concentrate on the visit of North Petherton next Saturday (February 8).