Newent made to work hard for win at Albion

By Forester Reporter   |   Reporter   |
Saturday 19th February 2022 5:00 pm
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James Dean with ball in hand for Newent. Picutre: Georgina Gardiner.

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South West One West

Bridgwater & Albion 23-29 Newent

THE GREEN Army’s second away win of the season came at a high cost with Tom Webb and Tommy Devries sustaining serious knee injuries.

Newent were made to work hard for the win against a Bridgwater side whose skilled and spirited display belied their position at the bottom of South West One West, writes Simon Barker.

Injuries caused the visitors to reshuffle their backs for this game, with Doug Long moving to outside centre and Tommy Devries to full back.

The vacancy on the right wing was filled by Harrison Montgomery-Madsley, making his debut.

The replacements included two front row men in Dave Boon and Luke Williams with Moloni Bulanauca providing cover for the backs.

It was the backs cover which was needed most, as openside George Phelps finished the match playing at outside centre.

A chill and blustery wind blowing straight down the pitch from the town end was sure to have a big influence on the game – the touchline sages reckoned it was worth at least ten points – and the home side had it at their backs for the first half.

They established an early lead, when at the first scrum they shunted Newent off their ball to win a penalty which was kicked by the reliable boot of fly-half Stuart Heal.

This experience didn’t stop Fred Nottingham from trusting his fellow forwards when he opted for a scrum after Newent won a penalty 15m from the Bridgwater line.

His decision was vindicated as the scrum advanced and the ball was shipped to Tom Webb.

Not for the first time this season, the fly half’s delayed pass combined with Dan Fletcher’s good line enabled Newent’s inside centre to cross unopposed and touch down behind the posts for a try converted by Long.

Heal cut the lead to one point with another successful kick after Newent were penalised for a high tackle 40m out.

This signalled a long period dominated by the hosts, with intelligent kicking by Heal and full back Oskar White keeping Newent pinned in their own half.

The visitors defended with their usual determination, but Bridgwater were patient and eventually Taylor Buller closed out a sequence of pick and drives to cross for a try converted by Stuart Heal.

A great break from Newent’s No 8 Ben Vincent lifted the siege, but he lacked support and was pinged for holding on 30m from the Bridgwater line.

Heal drilled the resulting penalty into touch seven metres from the Newent line – a testimony to the strength of the wind as well as the excellence of his kicking – and from the line-out the Bridge pack drove up towards the line before scrum half Jon Hill took advantage of the lightly defended fringes of the maul to cross for the hosts’ second try.

Heal’s conversion extended the hosts’ lead to 20-7.

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