Close Win at Minehead
By Steve Bird
Avon came away from this tough venue with a 22-15 win but were made to work hard by a lively young Minehead side.
Two early tries for Sam Book and Alex Gapper, both converted by Jonny Batchelor, perhaps lulled Avon into a false sense of security. Although playing down the slope and with the wind, they were guilty of not taking their chances and over-complicating the situation.
With Minehead looking to move the ball at every opportunity, it was no surprise when they scored a try and a penalty to close the gap to 14-8 at half time.
Then, dominating long spells of the action after the break, they moved the ball wide well and threatened on the outside, twice being denied scores only by try-saving tackles from man-of-the-match Batchelor. Meanwhile, Avon's forward power was rewarded as Chris Sawyer finished off a catch and drive to crash over for a try in the corner.
Not to be outdone, Minehead reduced the deficit to 4 points with another converted try to set up an intriguing finish. Using their strong bench well, Avon gradually took control and closed out the game with a late penalty from Rob Fitch to leave their hosts with a well-deserved losing bonus point.