MATCH REPORT: Winscombe 1st XV 8 Midsomer Norton 1st XV 27
Midsomer Norton moved level on points with Somerset Premier leaders Chew Valley with a bonus-point win at Winscombe.
Both packs looked to get the upper hand early on and the home side’s scrummaging caused Norton more problems than they were used to.
The visitors, however, opened the scoring from a scrum in the Winscombe 22. Norton’s front five secured the ball and back-row Ben Parker burst over in the corner.
Norton added to this when Rob Fuller threw a miss pass and winger Ross Miller beat his man to power up the line and dive over the whitewash. Both conversions were missed and Winscombe soon got on the scoreboard themselves from a penalty.
Ian Tiley pushed Norton further ahead when a clever kick from the back of a scrum landed in Ben Taylor’s hands and he switched with centre Alex Mitchard, who avoided the would-be tacklers to score under the posts.
Taylor added the extras and the bonus point was secured when Fuller took a pop from Tiley to score Norton’s fourth try before half-time.
The visitors fell asleep in the opening ten minutes of the second half, in which time Winscombe scored a try in the corner following a clever chip. Norton then lost winger Miller to the sin-bin for ten minutes due to repeated infringements.
Captain Matthew Denning and Tiley shared strong words with their team and this kicked them into life. They immediately went down the other end and Denning himself touched down from the back of a rolling maul following a well-executed catch and drive from a lineout.
As the game entered the final period a hail storm and serious-looking injury to a Winscombe player meant the referee blew his whistle early and both teams hastily retreated to the changing rooms.