Tribute South West One West
Sidmouth 10, Bridgwater & Albion 27
BRIDGWATER & Albion bounced back from last week’s defeat against Chard with a 27-10 bonus point victory of lowly Sidmouth, writes Tony Pomeroy.
The visitors scored four tries through Taylor Buller, Ollie Dunn, Nick Spellissy and a penalty try, to ensure they elft Devon with maximum points.
Albion opened the scoring through Buller, when he fell on the ball following a powerful scrummage from the pack.
Home skipper, Dan Retter had a good chance to register his side’s first points with a 35m penalty but pulled it well wide.
Following a 40 metre driving maul, yet another Sidmouth offence deep in their own 22 saw flanker Beau Henrickson yellow-carded.
Heal kicked the resultant penalty, before missed another a few minutes later.
Bridgwater could not make numerical advantage count further although James Brakes was tackled into touch when a try seemed certain.
Rob Allen and Nick Francis combined well with a flowing 50 metre move that eventually came to nothing.
However, as the home side were restored to full strength, Bridgwater hammered away at the home line and eventually moved the ball left for Nick Spellissy to slide in for an unconverted try.
Two more searing individual 50 metre breaks, first from Allen and minutes later from Francis could have brought scores, as could another attempt at a push-over try, but the half time score remained at 13-0.
The second half started worryingly for the visiting supporters.
Bridgwater seemed strangely lethargic after the break and were penalised at the first scrummage - and Retter narrowed the gap with a penalty.
Then, Ali Blundell was yellow-carded for a technical offence in the 'red zone' and Sidmouth took advantage with a converted try to pull the score back to 10-13.
Bridgwater began to awaken from their slumbers and a series of scrums close to the home line saw referee, Tim Chandler, lose patience with the home side and award Bridgwater a penalty try, converted by Heal.
The bonus point try arrived just before the final whistle through livewire flanker, Ollie Dunn - who stole a loose ball some 40 metres out and found his path to the line totally unimpeded as he cruised in for a try converted by Heal.
Albion have a week off next weekend, before entertaining promotion chasing Hornets the following week (March 22).