Bridgwater & Albion 31 - 14 Keynsham
The home side’s second row Arron Kelly was prominent in the early stages with some strong carries and Keynsham repelled several promising attacks. A break by centre Luke Plummer again threatened Keynsham’s line but the final pass did not go to hand. Keynsham’s Dan Moody retired with a shoulder injury after about 25 minutes and was replaced by Josh Hughes, Gareth Bradnock moving to wing and Rob Breckon switching to full back. On an excursion into the home side’s half Breckon did a “Devon Loch” *(see below). On the half hour Paul Cooper was yellow carded inside the 22 giving Kelly the opportunity to bludgeon over from short range following a line out, Stuart Heal converted to give the home side a 7 point start.
They followed up more or less from the kick off with a kick and chase from winger Ryan Bartlett, the kick just going too far. Nevertheless, they continued to take advantage of the one-man advantage they enjoyed and went further ahead with an unconverted try by their most potent attacking threat namely full-back Will Munroe. The same man made a break shortly thereafter, fed winger Barnett for a third try, converted by Heal to make the score coming up to half time 19 nil.
A very protracted first half (55 minutes!) was brought to an end with a try for Brad Newton converted by Sam Challenger bring the score to 19-7. It was to be hoped that Keynsham would turn the game around in the second half as they would then have the advantage of the strong tail wind which benefitted BARFC in the first half.
Signs were good with early pressure but a wonderful try was conjured up by the home side. A counter attack saw them sweep both sides of the pitch and cover fully 75 metres end in a try for Kyran Devitt, duly converted by Heal; bonus point secure and a 26-7 lead. Oakley Goodland and Darren Uren joined the fray at this point, Jack Weston and Matt Coghlan retiring. John Pearce gave the Black and Ambers renewed hope sniping his way over the whitewash and again Challenger added the extra points. 26-14.
Bridgwater added a 5th try through Luke Plummer, Heal inexplicably missing a simple conversion to bring it to 31-14. Keynsham exerted significant pressure on the home defence in the closing 10 minutes but despite a yellow card offence followed by uncontested scrums were unable to close the gap any further.
So, back down to earth with a bump. Keynsham were not out classed but could not cope with the 8 changes from last weeks squad. They had the edge in the set pieces but the home team were far slicker with their ball handing from 1 – 15.
*” Devon Loch” was a race horse that famously fell over when about to become winner of the Grand National – talk to anyone over 65!