BRIDGWATER and Albion took a welcome break from league action on Saturday to record a thrilling 28-27 victory at Winscombe in the Somerset Cup, writes Richard Walsh.
A young Albion side including several players making their senior debut took the lead after just five minutes when Jon Hill and Oskar White combined well to earn a penalty which the latter kicked.
The home side came back strongly and shortly afterwards a Dursley penalty levelled the scores.
The next period of play was very even with both sides running the ball well and playing open rugby. However in the 26th minute an Albion penalty resulted in Hill scoring a try which White converted.
The visitors maintained the pressure and two minutes later White broke from 35 metres to score an unconverted try to leave the score 3-15.
Winscombe bounced back strongly and after 33 minutes reduced the arrears when Rutherford scored a try which Dursley converted.
Just before half time Dursley kicked another penalty for Winscombe and then almost on the whistle White slotted one home for the Albion making the score 13-18 at the break.
Winscombe started the second period forcefully and were straight onto the attack. But despite the pressure the visitors’ defence held firm and eight minutes after the re-start a 30 metre break by White resulted in winger Ross Mark crossing for a try on his debut which White converted.
Again Winscombe regrouped and came back in the attack and on the hour flanker Oscar Brown scored a try with Dursley adding the extras.
Four minutes later a battling George Sluman won a penalty that White kicked which made the score 20-28 with a quarter of an hour remaining.
The hosts were far from done and a second try from Rutherford that was converted by Dursley brought them to within one point of the Albion.
The last passages of play saw Winscombe pressing hard to find the victory but the visitors defended well and held on to secure a narrow but deserved victory.
Albion’s director of rugby, Geoff Sluman, said: “It was nice to play in the historic Somerset Cup this week when the players were ‘relieved’ of the pressures of league rugby and could just go out and enjoy playing.
“A large number of the lads that have played a lot of first team league rugby were rested and that gave other players the opportunity to stake claims for places.
“That is exactly what this cup competition is about for us at the moment, so to do that and come away with a win was very pleasing.
“I want the lads that played to know what a great performance and result that was for us against some determined opponents.”
This weekend league rugby returns with the first team at home to Sidmouth (3pm). It will be preceded by the Friends of Bridgwater & Albion Rugby Club autumn lunch.
Bridgwater: Roger Drabble, Ross Mark, Alex Newman, Lewis Plece, Tom Road, Oskar White, Jon Hill, Ollie Davies, George Sluman, Rowan James, Ethan Trebble Westlake, Louis Staples, Tom Hopkins, Tom Hopkins, Karolis Urbonis and Gavin Knight. Replacements: Jake Roberts and Jay Owens (both used), Dan Beacham and Taylor Galloway.