Excellent match in front of large crowd sees 12th win of season
Avon gained revenge for an early season loss at Weston Super Mare as they clocked up a convincing 38 – 14 victory.
The first half was low on scoring but high on energy and commitment as the two sides cancelled each other out in a full blooded encounter which left them level on 7 points apiece at half time. Avon had taken an early lead after multiple phases of recycled possession allowed Stuart Dilloway to break through for the opening try, converted by Jonny Batchelor. Weston responded as their scrum half finished off a period of sustained pressure to touch down near the posts for a converted try.
The remainder of the first half saw the two well matched teams probe for openings but be denied by excellent defence before Avon exploded into life after the interval. A change in tactics to attack closer to the breakdown saw Avon’s powerful runners in Josh Hiscoff, Xander Davis, Ian Burnell and Josh Harding-Wyatt launch searing surges across the gain line. With a groggy Dilloway forced to leave the field early in the second half, a reshuffle allowed Ben Hurd to come on into the back row and Ollie Flight to move to fly half where his tactical kicking kept Avon on the front foot. Meanwhile Hurd acted as a catalyst for Avon’s revival in a man-of-the-match performance, scoring a pushover try with almost his first touch of the ball to give Avon the lead.
In an inspired spell, they quickly added another two tries within 5 minutes as leading try-scorer Alex Gapper finished off another powerful forward drive. Then from their next attack with the visitors defence sucked into midfield, the ball was moved wide to speedster James Leeming on the wing who sprinted over in the corner to open up a healthy lead with the bonus point try.
Although skipper scott book had a running engagement with the physio throughout the match, he produced a typical all-action performance in the lineout and the loose to inspire his troops and it was no surprise when another spell of intense pressure was rewarded as Davis and Hurd burst out from another close quarter drive with the ball interlocked in their arms as they powered over the try line. Referee Roger Gilson, who officiated well throughout, awarded the touch down to youngster Davis although the predatory Hurd was still claiming the try long into the night.
Weston had always looked dangerous when they spread the ball wide and continued to play their part in an entertaining match and were rewarded for their endeavour with another converted try. With 10 minutes to play, they continued to throw everything into attack in search of another two tries to achieve a bonus point but became unstuck inside their own 22 as a long range attack was intercepted by prop Chris Mutlow who trotted through for his easiest ever try. With Batchelor adding his 4th conversion, this completed Avon’s 12th win of the season and keeps them in 3rd place in Somerset Premier. Next week, Avon make the trip to Glastonbury to face Tor.