League Leaders Secure an Efficient Win
Bridgnorth 52 Walsall 7
Walsall faced another tough encounter last Saturday as they travelled to Shropshire to take on a Bridgnorth team who were hoping to confirm themselves as the league champions. Although they gained maximum points with this latest victory, they still require one more point before they can start their celebrations. The final score of this match did not really reflect the competitive nature of the game. Walsall started well and were soon encamped deep in Bridgnorth territory. Unfortunately a pass was spilled and an opportunity was lost. They soon re-established an attacking position as a strong Weston tackle turned over possession and the backrow of Bennett,Williamson and teenager Nathan Blackwood were soon making defence breaking runs. Regrettably, the Walsall effort was often terminated by the referee’s whistle with penalties often being awarded against them in the contact area. Ironically, the referee missed an obvious knock-on that led to the opening score under the Walsall posts. A strong drive off a lineout gave the hosts their second try within ten minutes. The visitors got on the scoreboard after Naylor made the initial burst, then a fine kick and catch by Weston took play into the Bridgnorth twenty two. A rare penalty for Walsall was dispatched into touch, then an excellent catch and drive resulted in a try for the hard working Simon Weaver with Weston adding a touchline conversion.
The hosts hit back soon afterwards with a try after a kick through bounced kindly. The referee continued to penalise Walsall and a very,very harsh yellow card for No8 Williamson proved to be a crucial decision. The ensuing ten minutes saw the visitors concede nineteen points and thus lose any chance of making it a competitive game. Bridgnorth scored two tries before the interval and another early in the second half.Once Walsall had their full complement of players, they produced some very good phases of play with the introduction of Liam Taylor, Andy Fitzgerald and Adam Ahmadani making an immediate impact. The visitors created a couple of try scoring chances but wrong options were taken. The hosts added to their try tally as they broke out of defence and a kick ahead rebounded off a Walsall player into the hands of an opponent for an easy touchdown. During the final quarter Walsall had periods of defending and full credit has to be given to the whole team for showing such a committed attitude. Walsall centre Richard Clarke had already produced some bone crunching tackles. While the backrow were always well supported by Mike Benson and Simon Weaver with captain Neil Pittaway producing several superb cover tackles. Bridgnorth full back Biddell broke through for a late try and added his sixth conversion to complete the scoring.