Winscombe forced to dig deep for late victory

PUBLISHED: 09:42 20 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:42 20 January 2017

Si Thompson.

Si Thompson.

Archant

Winscombe were forced to dig deep to keep their unbeaten record against Wiveliscombe.

Winscombe 25 pts

Wiveliscombe 21 pts

Winscombe had to dig deep to secure a last-minute, bonus point win against a determined Wiveliscombe outfit on a day that saw former skipper Dan Fryer win his 250th cap for the club.

Early possession and territory belonged to Winscombe and this pressure was soon turned into points when the Wiveliscombe fly-half spilt the ball 20 metres out and opposite number Owen Howell scooped up to sprint through for the opening score.

The Winscombe pack continued to take control of possession, however, the strong Wiveliscombe defence was proving difficult to break down and handling errors thwarting any attempts to put width on the ball.

Wiveliscombe managed their first major foray down field and were richly rewarded with seven points after a series of powerful drives from their loose forwards. From the restart, Winscombe were obstructed and hit back immediately with a successful penalty from Sam Dearsley.

With half-time in sight, a Wiveliscombe break found them deep in Winscombe territory once more and after several penalties, the visitors scored a well-constructed try with an old school penalty wall move to take a six-point lead into the break.

After a missed Winscombe penalty attempt failed to reduce the deficit, Wiveliscombe struck again with their third converted try of the game from a line-out drive into the midfield.

Now 13 points adrift, and with the prospect of losing their unbeaten league run, Winscombe’s intensity and accuracy increased dramatically. A break pushed them into the 22 and after line-out possession was secured, Howell grabbed his second try, hitting the line and pace and powering over.

Howell soon had Winscombe on the attack once more, finding great field position with the boot to force the Wiveliscombe pack onto the back foot and with a spring in their heels, the Winscombe pack took full control of the closing exchanges.

Two impressive line-out drives brought scores for Luke Fisher and Arron Ford, before Dearsley hit the final conversion from wide out to complete a character-fuelled 15-minute spell in which Winscombe delivered 17 unanswered points to steal the game away from the spirited visitors.

Winscombe now travel to Old Reds 2nds on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.

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