Victory keeps promotion on line for Winscombe

Winscombe recorded another victory to keep up their push for promotion.

Winscombe 65 pts

Hornets 2nd XV 12 pts

Two recent defeats and the loss of two key players has put steel into Winscombe’s game as, for the third successive season, they look for promotion.

Hornets were on the wrong end of a passionate performance in which skipper Dan Fryer set the example. This attitude will be tested to the limit on Saturday in a must-win game at the home of league leaders Yatton.

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Winscombe opened the scoring from a line-out and Will Thomas touched down at the bottom of a driving maul. Sam Dearsley added the conversion with only five minutes on the clock.

Another stolen line-out, useful kicks by Rutherford and Howell and strong carries by Fryer and Luke Fisher saw Howell again came into the line to create an overlap for James Flower to touch down.

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After a series of close drives by Hornets, a hefty forward broke some tired tackles with a powerful run for a converted try.

The hosts hit back when an incisive run off the tail of the line-out 15 metres out produced some space on the short side which Howell utilised to provide Thomas with his brace.

Hornets responded within three minutes, taking a quick penalty on halfway and shifting play out to the left winger who kicked down the touchline and won the chase to touch down in the corner.

Winscombe’s response was equally swift. A clearance by Rutherford was chased down by Ben Burke to set up a series of forward drives. Howell and Stewart came into the line to give Burke a try.

After the break, Winscombe ran in seven unanswered tries with Hornets suffering a series of injuries and finishing with only 14 men on the park.

The first came when Thomas fed Rutherford to send Stewart dancing down the left touchline to score in the corner. Good work by Jim Merryfield, Howell and Fryer led to Simon Thomson touching down.

The next try came when Thomas drove from a third strike against the head and when he was stopped just short, substitute Louis Hooper’s clever inside pass sent Fisher in under the posts. Merryfield, making his 50th appearance, took over the kicking duties to add two points.

Four more tries were to come in the final 10 minutes, the first three converted by Merryfield. Howell burst through the midfield from twenty metres and soon after Flower did even better, running in from 50 metres.

Good work by Stewart and Howell set up Dearsley with a try, before Merryfield, Thomas and Stewart gave Dearsley a simple touchdown for a late brace.

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