Weston Athletic 13 Bridgwater & Albion II 12

THE Athletic's season finished with a win over Bridgwater and Albion, who comfortably beat them in the first match of the season.

THE Athletic's season finished with a win over Bridgwater and Albion, who comfortably beat them in the first match of the season.

It is fair to say that Bridgwater have had a successful season and came to Weston confident the win against Athletic would give them promotion.

Athletic took the field with their usual mix of youth and experience, with old stalwarts Hill, Matthews, Wheatley, Fish and Noszkay in the pack supported by young backs Trott, Burns, Hazzard and Prime. Bridgwater attacked from the kick-off and soon scored an unconverted try.

Against the run of play, Athletic took the lead when Trott, on his own five-metre line, created space and was met by Burns who opened up the Bridgwater backs.

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Supported by his older brother, Burns off loaded to M Burns who linked with Hazzard, the fourth pair of hands, and he skipped out of a final tackle to ground beneath the posts for a magnificently worked try, with Young collecting the extras.

Bridgwater were soon back in command and with the first half closing the visiting hooker drove over from short range. The extras collected, Bridgwater regained the lead 12-7.

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Hill rang the changes at half-time, substituting himself for Hunt and Wheatley for Lavender and with injuries in the backs Monelle moved to centre to see Fraser join the pack.

Weston took the restart and a knock-on by Bridgwater saw a more stable scrum from Weston and, for the first time, the Bridgwater pack, dominant in the first half, appeared to be under pressure.

A final change in the pack saw Fish replaced by Grimes and Matthews moved into the second row. Athletic were now enjoying themselves, driving Bridgwater continually off their own ball and forcing errors from what had been the cornerstone of their success.

Down played a storming game, disrupting Bridgwater's play at every opportunity and as Weston kept their discipline the Bridgwater team's frustration became ever more vocal. Weston's continued pressure eventually resulted in penalty opportunity for Young to pull the score back to 12-10.

In the final five minutes Bridgwater conceded a telling penalty within the range of Young and he duly converted.

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