Avonmouth travelled down to Wadebridge for their last game of the season knowing that whatever outcome the result was this would not affect their position in the table after they secured the playoff spot last weekend against Thornbury. Despite this Avonmouth were looking for a good win and a strong performance to keep momentum rolling ahead of next week’s clash against Salisbury.
With a strong wind and a carnival atmosphere in Cornwall Avonmouth would be playing against the very strong breeze in the first half. Kicking would be reduced to a minimum and Avonmouth did very well to adapt their game plan to the conditions. Straight from the kick off Avonmouth knocked on and the ball was caught by a ‘Mouth’ player infront of the ball leading to a Camels penalty 5 seconds in. No mistakes made the score 3-0 Camels.
From the second retstart of the afternoon Avonmouth made no error and eventually there was a build up of quick pace and tempo set by ‘the Mouth’ was outstanding and holes were being opened up by strong forward runs from Curtis Dash, Greg Long and Chuckie Evans. With Avonmouth gaining decent ground the ball was on many occasions spun wide by the Avonmouth backs that looked to capitalise on their overlaps. However this pressure and intensity came to nothing as errors at the break down or failing to commit enough bodies would end up in a Wadebridge turn over or penalty.
A long boot down field from the Wadebridge centre gave them a strong position just outside the Avonmouth 22. Disruption and steals from Dash and Matthews in the line out didn’t give the Wadebridge line out an easy ride and they were able to regain possession for the ‘Mouth’. Playing phases and making good ground Avonmouth were able to work their way into the Camels 22 before simple hands down the line was well finished by inform winger Chris Hamilton who stepped around the first defender and finished with his pace. Taylor was unable to convert, score 3-5 Wadebridge.
Avonmouth looked very much in control of the first half and were dominating possession, but again mistakes would be their down fall and they were not able to take advantage of the vast amount of ball they had. Camels defended well and forced a penalty out of Avonmouth and took another shot at goal to put them back in the lead at 6-5.
A flurry of Wadebridge attacks came to nothing as hard hits from Chris Boyle and Sam Thompson in the centres stopped any chance of a score. At the break, Camels lead 6-5.
Avonmouth now how the advantage of the wind but this didn’t seem to make any difference to Wadebridge who like Avonmouth did in the first half, play a good possession game and were rewarded as they broke through some weak tackles. The Wadebridge winger couldn’t find the full back outside of him, but the referee judge Hamilton to have deliberately knocked the ball out of play resulting in a Wadebridge penalty. The Camels opted for the scrum. Trying for the push over Wadebridge was well held by the Avonmouth pack; the Camels number 8 picked and looked to crash over but was stopped short of the line. A continuous amount of phases eventually led to a break through Wadebridge had been looking for in the opening 10 minutes of the second half and they crashed over for a converted score taking the score to 13-5.
Avonmouth restarted the game and holding at the break down from Wadebridge led to an Avonmouth penalty right in front of the posts. Taylor slotted the points, the score now being 13-8 Wadebridge. Wadebridge failed to kick the ball over the 10 metre mark and Avonmouth were awarded a scrum on the half way. Charlie Reynolds who had only just got onto the field replacing Gary Collier was immediately involved in the action. A training ground move was taken on by Reynolds who blistering pace carved the Wadebridge back line and scored in the right hand corner. Taylor missed the conversion, Wadebridge 13 Avonmouth 13.
Wadebridge played the better rugby in the second half and broke Avonmouth tackles on a regular basis. Which then lead to the defining score. An opening out wide was spotted by Wadebridge, who slung to big passes together to find their right side winger who scored in the corner. The conversion missed, the score 18-13.
Avonmouth had a couple of chances to finish off the game at the end, but again their mistakes would get the better of them and the more frustrated the ‘Mouth’ got the more frequent the mistakes became. Wadebridge closed out the game with the final score 18-13 to a well drilled Wadebridge side.
Avonmouth have a busy and very important two weeks ahead of them. Next Saturday the boys travel to Salisbury RFC who finished runners up in South One West (East) to battle out for promotion into National 3 next year. Then 5 days later Avonmouth are then involved in the Charles Saunders Bristol Combination Cup final against league rivals Thornbury at the Memorial Stadium.
C’MON THE MOUTH!
Match report:- Matt Belbin