Winscombe finish on top in derby basement battle
PUBLISHED: 09:19 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 16 March 2018
Winscombe came out on top in a basement battle with near neighbours Yatton.
Yatton 24 pts
Winscombe 26 pts
As well as the usual fight for local bragging rights, this local derby was an important game in the battle to avoid the drop back into the Somerset Premier League with Yatton more in need of the points than their opponents.
Judging by the joyous whooping of their supporters as their speedy winger ran in under the posts from halfway for Yatton’s second try only a minute after their first, they could see the spoils coming home.
Right from the kick-off Winscombe had been unable to clear their lines with Yatton going wide at every opportunity, opening the scoring with the sixth attempt through their powerful left winger in the 16th minute.
But Yatton had already demonstrated their frailty at the set piece and this was compounded by conceding four penalties in quick succession as Winscombe retained possession with a series of drives close in.
The almost inevitable outcome was a try for Alec Chase from the base of a five-metre scrummage with Sam Dearsley adding the conversion. Winscombe hung on for the next eight minutes against some powerful running by the Yatton centres and were relieved to turn around only 12-7 down.
Five minutes into the second half they were happier still as two quick penalty awards gave them another set piece five metres out. A driving maul from the line-out was held out, but a training ground move involving all seven backs saw James Flower shrug off two tacklers to score, converted by Dearsley.
Winscombe then gave away five penalties, two for opening their mouths. On the hour, Yatton missed an attempt at goal but as Winscombe tried to escape, a pass was intercepted by the home scrum-half for gift of a try to snatch back the lead.
The response was immediate. Yatton were penalised at the breakdown and once again Winscombe had been given a five-metre attacking platform. This time the driving maul was effective allowing Chase to fall over the line for his brace.
From the next restart Yatton were forced into touch and three lost line-outs later Winscombe were on the front foot driving into the 22. Scrum-half Jim Robertson spotted a gap and skipped in under the posts for a bonus point try and a nine-point lead with eight minutes remaining.
Yatton came back into the game after they scored in the corner, but were brought back by the referee to do it again and this time were awarded a penalty try. It earned them two bonus points, but Winscombe moved 11 points clear of them into eighth place.
Yatton provided more moments of entertainment, but their set piece was inferior with Aaron Ford, Aled Corcoran and Stuart Warren feeding off Dan Fryer’s accurate throwing and stealing a couple.
Simon Thompson and Adam Scrase anchored a solid scrimmage, while Jim Merryfield and Owen Howell shored up the midfield.