WITH the overnight rain making conditions tricky and a Winscombe team coming to the Mannings off the back of two big wins, this was never going to be a walk in the park for Drybrook, writes Chris Tingle.
It is a measure of where this team had got to, that there was an air of disappointment in not securing a bonus point despite what turned out to be another excellent victory.
Winscombe started well and with conditions suiting their big pack they were able to put the home side under early pressure, resulting in two penalties to give them a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes of play.
Drybrook eventually began to get a foothold in the game and a good break by Brad Morgan earned them a penalty which was kicked into touch five metres from their opponents line.
A well-executed catch and drive led to a try for hooker Cai Rogers and a fine conversion from Sonny Greenman put the home team into the lead by a point.
The Drybrook lads were now in the swing of things and numerous attacks were only thwarted by the greasy ball not always going to hand.
Winscombe continued to battle hard but were giving away a lot of penalties as they came under increasing pressure, culminating in a yellow card for their prop forward after he took the lifting player out of the lineout.
Drybrook capitalised with a try from hard working wing forward Casey Morgan. Greenman added the extras and the home team moved to 14 points.
They came close to extending their lead on the stroke of half-time but Rogers was held up over the line and the visitors were happy to go into the break only trailing by eight points.
The second half started well for the Drybrook team a good attack involving Luke Roberts and Danny Price led to the ball coming back at pace from the maul and captain Mitch Bourne took play up to the Winscombe 22, where they were forced to concede a penalty for not rolling away. Greenman coolly dissected the uprights and Drybrook moved into a 17-6. This was soon to become 24 points as Drybrook returned the restart kick with interest leading to a great converted try from scrum-half Sam Moreton-Smith.
With Drybrook holding a comfortable lead the game drifted into a stalemate with neither side being able to unlock the defence of their counterparts until the 37th minute when Winscombe scored a well-engineered try in the top corner. A fine conversion gave the visitors a sniff of a bonus point, but to Drybrooks credit, they played out the remaining minutes of the game in control and earned a penalty to put the game to bed and give them a hard earned 27-13 victory.
Winscombe are a far better side than their league position suggests and they will cause a lot of teams problems this season.
Drybrooks back row again performed well and some solid defending and enterprising attack from their backs will mean they go into the game away at Gordano in two weeks-time with six wins from seven games.
Worthy of mention were South African referee Lels Bonnano who handled the game superbly and of course Man of the Match for Drybrook, Joe Tingle.