South West One (W)
Thornbury 15, Bridgwater & Albion 10

BRIDGWATER & Albion put in another impressive performance but, for the third week running, they lost out by a single score to a side above them in the table and had to be content with a bonus point, writes Richard Walsh.

Thornbury made the best start in the wet conditions and, almost from the kick off, Richardson made a good break followed by a kick through that was just cleared by the Albion defence.

Thornbury continued to create pressure and took the lead on six minutes when Tom Williams slotted a penalty.

The hosts continued to have the best of the opening 20 minutes, but they had it far from all of their own way as Brad Talbot and Tom Fournier burst through for the Albion sadly to no avail. 

On 25 minutes Thornbury extended their lead when, following a penalty, Jack Hussey scored a try that Williams converted.

Albion fought back hard and series of moves involving Rob Gurnett, Ollie Dunn and Talbot took the visitors close but they were repelled in the end.

The visitors produced another good attacking move but sadly the last pass was forward and nothing transpired.

The Somerset side eventually got their rewards on 39 minutes when they were awarded penalty after Thornbury failed to retreat which Kyran Devitt kicked over.

Bridgwater weren’t quite done, and just a minute later a great break by John W Hill was stopped just five metres short of the Thornbury line as half-time arrived with the score at 10-3.

Albion came out strongly from half time and were quickly deep into Thornbury territory when Hill cleared from defence, Devitt kicked into the 22 but Gurnett was just held up short of the line.

On 47 minutes the visitors' pressure was rewarded when Talbot went over far a try which Devitt converted to level the scores.

Thornbury came back quickly, however, and four minutes later flanker Williams scored an unconverted try.

Bridgwater had the best of the final half hour of the match but, despite spending much of the time in their opponents half, they were unable to score again and the game ended 15-10 to Thornbury.

This was a very brave performance from an Albion side that showed a number of changes from the Exeter University game,and played in very difficult conditions and they will feel disappointed not to have taken more than a bonus point from it.

Bridgwater and Albion: Jay Owens, Rob Gurnett, Brad Talbot, Ollie Dunn (capt), Kyran Devitt, Tom Fournier, John W Hill, Ethan Trebble Westlake, George Sluman, John Roberts, Arron Kelly, Bryan Webb, Craig Blyde, Matt Hastie and Matt Ranson.

Replacements: Gavin Knight, Shaun Mahoney and James Brakes.

Reflecting on the game, head coach Simon Morrell said: “The biggest compliment we can pay the team is that they were really upset only to get a point from the game at Thornbury. 

"Most teams would be happy to get a point, especially against a side that ran in 50 against Cullompton the previous week.

“We had to change several of our players from the week before, but despite this we were still cohesive and competitive which was a huge plus for us. Our defence was pretty impressive throughout against a big Thornbury pack.

“Yes we are frustrated but we will take the point we got from the game.

“We have got seven games remaining, so if we can win five of them we will end up in the top third of the table.

Looking ahead to this week’s game at Keynsham, who are also in mid table, the head coach said: “We can expect a pretty similar sort of game on a heavy pitch that will probably slightly favour them.

He added: “However we will have a few of the boys who were missing this week back available and we are chomping at the bit now to go there, put in a performance and get some points.”