MATCH REPORT: Old Reds 2nd XV 7, Winscombe 1st XV 36
From the moment Winscombe destroyed their opponents at the first scrum, the writing was on the wall for Old Reds as the visitors cruised to a comfortable victory.
However, despite a prolonged period of pressure in the home 22, it took 22 minutes for Winscombe to open the scoring as Reds defended doggedly.
When the line was finally breached it was unsurprisingly thanks to a pushover from five metres, credited to Will Thomas, with Steve Pugh converting. The initial position was set up by forging runs from forwards Dan Fryer and Matt Truscott.
Winscombe kept the pressure on and Pugh kicked a simple penalty just after the half-hour. Eventually Reds put together some good passages of play but when they did manage to breach the first line of tacklers, they were up against a determined cover defence.
In the tricky cross-wind, Reds failed to convert a simple penalty and Winscombe were soon back on the attack. Truscott’s firm tackle took the pace out of a home attack, allowing winger Niall Dunkley to intercept on halfway. He still had a lot of work to do but managed to go over under the posts for a try converted by Pugh on 38 minutes.
After the break, Reds kicked the restart straight out and Winscombe took advantage of their dominant scrum as Thomas fed secure ball on halfway to Lewis Podpadec and he sent Owen Howell on a surging break down the right.
He got into the 22 before good handling sent Dunkley over in the opposite corner, with Pugh making use of the cross-wind to add the conversion for a 24-0 lead.
The bonus-point try followed ten minutes later when Podpadec used more dominant scrum possession to make a break before the ball was quickly recycled and sent wide along the back-line. An initial overlap to put away the left winger was spurned but Fryer drove the ball on to set up a ruck from which Thomas drove over for his second try.
Reds came back into the game in the final quarter as they drove down the slope but a tired Winscombe side were indebted to their secure scrum.
Pugh kicked from just inside his own 22 and the ball bounced fortuitously into the hands of the chasing Dunkley on his ten-metre line. He showed great presence of mind and determination to sprint all the way to the corner, with Pugh converting on 64 minutes.
With a Winscombe player down injured, Reds pulled seven points back when they crashed over after a period of good driving play, but the visitors fought hard to prevent any further scores.
MATCH REPORT: Nailsea & Backwell 2nd XV 5, Winscombe 2nd XV 43
With a team featuring only six players who played in the 42-point defeat to Nailsea & Backwell 2nd XV earlier in the season, Winscombe 2nd XV were comfortable winners this time.
The backs defended well and the forwards had control in all departments including the breakdown. Superiority was such that in the second period, which was brought to an early end by the referee, Nailsea only once got out of their own half.
Vice-captain Matt Dodd had his best game of the season, debutant Adam Kouidri excelled and Andy ball was influential. The seven Winscombe tries were scored by Louis Hooper, Lucas Humphrey, Kouidri, Matt Hoy-Green (2) and Wes Cox (2).
After a difficult start to the season, often travelling short of players, Winscombe have now won three games in a row.