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North Petherton 32 - Bridgwater & Albion 10

Friday 6th April 2018

Report By Jacob Beleski

A dominant display from North Petherton hooker Sam Williams helped propel his team to a convincing 32-10 win over local rivals Bridgwater and Albion at Beggars Brook on Friday night.

Williams – playing his 250th match for the club's first XV – celebrated the occasion with a 27-point haul, including a hat-trick of tries.

Pethy started the stronger of the two sides and opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Williams found himself on the end of some slick passing and crossed in the left corner.

The hosts were reduced to 14 men when prop Carl Jones was yellow carded for a professional foul, and soon after Albion claimed their first points through a penalty to Stuart Heal.

Pethy then found themselves hammering away at the Albion line, only for some staunch defence to repel their attacking waves.

The pressure eventually proved too much, however, as Williams crashed over for his second try, this time in the right corner.

As he had after his first try, Williams converted from wide out to extend Pethy's lead to 14-3 heading into the halftime break.

Both teams knew the importance of striking first in the second half, and it was Pethy who again started the stronger of the two sides.

A string of penalties led to Albion player Craig Blyde receiving a yellow card, and Pethy quickly capitalised, with Williams crossing for his third try from a rolling maul.

Albion then produced their best patch of play in the match, with flanker Ollie Dunn leading from the front with ball in hand.

Their persistence finally paid off when centre Rob Gurnett produced a moment of magic out of nothing, scything his way through the Pethy defence to score a memorable individual try.

Heal converted to close the gap to 19-10, and all of a sudden it was anybody's match heading into the final quarter.

Both sides received another yellow card in the final 20 minutes, but it was Pethy who took the initiative heading into the closing stages.

Territory became the most important factor for both teams, and Pethy's ability to stay down the right end of the field led to two kickable penalties, both of which were successful from the boot of Williams.

The game was as good as won with Pethy leading 25-10 in the dying moments, and a stirring effort from No 8 Arron Gibbs had the home crowd on their feet as he scored under the posts to put the final touches on a high-quality match.

It was an impressive team effort from the home side, who have given themselves a chance of securing a top-five finish with two matches left to play.