Avon 40-7 Walcot
Bath Combination Cup
By Steve Bird
Avon emphatically resolved the contest between Bath’s two highest placed junior sides as they comprehensively demolished Walcot by 40 points to 7 to cruise into the semi final of the Combination Cup.
For much of the first half in front of a large crowd of almost 300 people, the two sides cancelled each other out as they probed for openings but, after the break, Avon cut loose with a splendid display of controlled attacking rugby. By half time, Avon had built up a 9 nil lead as Rob Fitch kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty and two well taken drop goals. Walcot meanwhile threatened through their sharp backs but were repelled by outstanding Avon defence typified by the committed tacking of Chris and Damien Sawyer. Avon showed their customary power as a lineout drive and two successive short range scrums were held out by determined Walcot defence, whilst Walcot equally showed their talents on the counter attack as their centre was only denied by the covering Dan Griffin.
However the second half proved a different story as shortly after the interval Avon started to put the phases together, recycling the ball out of the tackle to stretch the visitors defence across the field before Ben Hurd finished off a flowing movement for a try converted by Fitch. Then came the try of the match as neat Avon handling kept the ball alive with supporting runners Stuart Dilloway, Nick Tribe, Scott Book, Chaz Meddick and Ben Hurd creating the opening for skipper Kai Harwood to charge over for an outstanding team try.
Shortly afterwards following a decisive incursion from James Leeming, Harwood added his second try from a well rehearsed lineout drive as the Avon pack started to exert their superiority. With Fitch converting, Avon opened up a 28 nil lead and soon mounted another attack deep inside the Walcot 22 only for the visitors centre to intercept and run the length of the field for a converted try under the posts to reduce the deficit.
Stung into reaction, Avon responded with another fluent attack with Ben Dilloway and Kane Book leading the charge before the ball was recycled to Harwood to complete his hat trick. With the result beyond doubt, Avon unloaded their bench for replacements Chris Mutlow, Josh Harding-Wyatt and Bradley Bray making his debut. Then came the icing on the cake to bring up the 40 points as Ross Atherton scythed through the centre on a diagonal run to the corner before slipping the ball inside to Jake Dixon to power over for the final try.
Next week Avon return to league action as they entertain Cheltenham at Hicks Field.
Photos with thanks for Sam Cox Photography