Wadebridge were the visitors to The Athletic Ground last Saturday, the game was played in dank & dark conditions but credit to both teams who always tried their utmost to play an open running game despite the conditions under foot, writes Allyn Chetland. The R&Bs made numerous changes from their last outing; Backrow men Danny Lee & Will Hinchcliffe were unavailable due to illness & work commitments, Martin Walker & Tim Jenkinson replaced, George Hodgson started at fullback with Tyler Hart & Ryan Marke coming in the bench.
Playing towards the clubhouse in the first half The R&Bs started well & were soon camped deep into Wadebridge’s territory. Soon after Chris Kitto benefitted from his teams superior scrum to score the opening try of the match which was converted by Captain Paddy Jarman. Wadebridge reduced the arrears immediately, via a penalty, after The R&Bs failed to deal with re-start. Despite this setback The R&Bs again went straight back onto the attack, the pressure again told and George Hodgson crossed for a try which was again converted by Jarman following an excellent and well worked team attack. Wadebridge responded with a period of pressure themselves but could not breach The R&Bs defence. With 10mins of the half remaining Hodgson found himself with a bit a space just inside his own half and crossed for his 2nd try of the game, which unconverted, showing excellent pace and strength to out strip the would be tacklers in the process. The last 5mins The R&Bs found themselves desperately defending their own line, the desire not to let Wadebridge score was there for all to see and the half time score remained at 19-3 to The R&Bs.
The 2nd half started the same as the 1st with The R&Bs on the offensive, the visitors finding it difficult to contain The R&Bs three-quarters. A fine attack saw the ball find its way into the hands of winger Ash Harney who with quick thinking and even quicker feet bamboozled his way over for his teams 4th try of the game, Jarman once again made no mistake with the extra points to increase the lead to 26-3. Wadebridge replied with a converted try of their own to reduce the arrears which it must be said was no more than their efforts deserved. The wind was taken out of Wadebridge sails when Vinny Gordan intercepted a speculative pass to gallop unopposed to score underneath the posts from 45metres out which was again converted by Jarman. The R&Bs were now well on top at this point & replacement prop Ryan Marke, with a hint of a dummy and a sidestep, scored his teams 6th try of the match following another well organised attack. The try went unconverted to make the score 38-10 to The R&Bs.
A fine win for The R&Bs, despite the heavy conditions underfoot, backing up the excellent display from the previous week. 2nd row Regan Walker had his best game of the season so far whilst elder brother Martin, also had a good game starting for the first time this season. George Hodgson playing in the unfamiliar position at fullback looked dangerous all game and Vinny Gordan again had a fine game in the centre.
Next week Winscombe visit The Athletic Ground. The last time The R&Bs played Winscombe was in the final of last season’s Somerset Vase which The R&Bs comfortably won. However league rugby is different and for sure Winscombe will be looking to avenge the Vase defeat so a difficult & tricky game awaits for The R&Bs.
Squad: J.Richards, J.Dyke, O.Price, R.Walker, C.Kitto, T.Jenkinson, L.Phillips, M.Walker, D.Goldstone, P.Jarman(c), A.Harney, V.Gordon, C.Batts, N.Pitman, G.Hodgson, T.Hart, A.Davey, R.Marke