Old Bristolians Home 18th Oct ’14

Avon Rugby 28-13 Old Bristolians
Western Counties North
Hicksfield
18th Oct 2014

By Steve Bird

Avon clocked up their 5th win of the season and earned another try scoring bonus with this 28-13 win against Old Bristolians in Western Counties North.

Avon welcomed back prop Chris Mutlow after a shoulder injury but were disrupted by further injuries to Ben Hurd, Chas Meddick and Damien Sawyer. This was coupled with a blustery wind and some indifferent handling in the backs; helped to interrupt their normal rhythm. The first half was fairly uneventful apart from a lineout drive that the visitors held up over the line and a penalty apiece until, on the stroke of half time, Ollie Flight made a scintillating break which was continued by Jake Dixon before Nick Tribe scored his first try for the club in the corner.

An 8-3 half time lead seemed precarious when faced with the strong wind in the second period but Avon upped their game to take control of the match. Winger James Leeming provided the spark as he set off on a mazy run to open up Bristolians defence before the ball was moved wide for Tribe to squeeze in for his second try at the opposite corner.

Rob Fitch converted and, although the visitors added a second penalty, Avon started dominate as their powerful forwards recycled possession and made the hard yards through Dixon, Kane Book, Ian Burnell and Ben Dilloway.  With hooker Sam Book joining his 2 brothers in the pack, several drives were repelled close to the line before Kai Harwood scored a trademark try off the back of a surging 5 metre scrum.

A momentary lapse in concentration from the restart allowed Bristolians to get in behind the Avon defence and, despite a tremendous tackle from Ross Atherton out wide, the visitors managed to slip the ball back inside for a well-taken converted try. This spurred Avon on to respond with their 4th try after a line out drive created the position for a Tribe to complete his hat-trick.

Fitch then slotted a penalty to finish off a strong second half performance which leaves Avon in 5th place ahead of next week’s tricky visit to 6th placed Chosen Hill.

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Avon 2nds suffered their first defeat of the season but remain top of Somerset 3 and could yet be awarded the match points as Old Bristolians were unable to field a front row. The match was therefore played with uncontested scrums which took away one of Avon’s strengths and resulted in a loose and fairly patternless game. Avon’s tries were scored by Matt Tresher (2), Josh Harding-Wyatt and Alex Morris on his 30th birthday.

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