Kings hope crucial victory is the beginning of a rise up table

Friday 28th October 2016 2:15 pm

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Kings' Ben Newman goes over in the corner

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South West One West

Kingsbridge 25,

KINGSBRIDGE welcomed Midsomer Norton to High House, on Saturday in a crucial match for both sides.

Prior to the game, the Blue and Whites were sitting third from bottom of the table on seven points, with the visitors occupying the position immediately below them on two points.

A win here for either team would make a huge difference in the battle to stay in touch with the rest of the teams above them in the league.

The visitors opened the scoring in the seventh minute as Kings­bridge were penalised for a side entry at the ruck and the quickly taken tap, from 10 metres out, saw Norton cross over for the opening try to make the score 0-5.

Kingsbridge reduced the deficit almost immediately to 3-5 as fly-half George Jones converted a penalty for the hosts, while a similar effort on 15 minutes went narrowly wide.

Play fluctuated from end to end, with both defences tested fully during the rest of the first half, until on 31 minutes a break along the top touchline from centre Ben Glover set up possession in the Norton 22.

From here the ball was moved along the backline, where centre Ben Newman surged through a gap in the visitors’ defence to touch down for the hosts’ opening try and to put the home side ahead at 8-5.

Kingsbridge lost their influential captain Glover to injury shortly before the half-time interval and the visitors wasted little time in retaking the lead once again.

From a penalty Norton elected to go for the corner and the resulting line-out saw them catch and drive and take the hosts back over their own line with the rolling maul.

With the conversion added, Norton held the lead 8-12 at the break.

Early in the second half Kingsbridge reduced the gap to 11-12 as Jones was successful with a penalty kick – awarded for a high tackle near the Norton 22 – before Kingsbridge went on to take the lead midway through the half with their second try.

A break off the back of the scrum from number eight Tom Meat­yard near the halfway line saw the ball moved to scrum-half James Trout and then on to full-back George Ban­field, who used his pace to ease through a narrow gap in the visitors defence and pull away to touch down wide out.

Jones converted to see Kingsbridge go 18-12 ahead.

As the game entered the final few minutes, Kings were forced into resolute defence as a series of line-outs deep in their 22 saw Norton put the home line under severe pressure.

The home forwards, however, dug deep and took play back towards half way.

With time ebbing away, a break in midfield saw home centre Greg Parrott chip the ball over the advancing Norton defence and collect the favourable bounce near the 22 with the line at his mercy.

Despite being tackled just short of the line, he was able to offload to fly-half George Jones, up in support, who touched down near the posts for Kingsbridge’s third try. Jones converted the score himself to put the Blue and Whites clear at 25-12.

There was just enough time for the restart, but not enough for the visitors to influence the result. A good win for Kingsbridge, who will look to climb the table during the coming weeks.

This Saturday sees the first XV make the long journey to Matson, while the A XV play host to Crediton IIIs in the Devon Merit Table at High House, with kick-off at 3pm. Kings­bridge Colts are away to Tavistock Colts in a friendly.

Kingsbridge A XV were hampered by late withdrawals for their Devon Merit Table game at South Molton. They travelled with 14 players and were loaned a player by the home side to ensure the game went ahead.

The Blue and Whites battled valiantly in going down 25-20, with tries from flanker Jack Evans, full-back Matt Moysey and winger Olly Harmer. Moysey also added a penalty and scrum-half Ed Howlett a conversion.

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