Record smashed by ram­pant Avon team

Bath Chronicle - - SPORT -

Avon reg­is­tered their high­estever league vic­tory as they an­ni­hi­lated Bristol Bar­bar­ians 108-5 in Som­er­set Pre­mier. The newly pro­moted Bar­bar­ians were ruth­lessly ex­posed with half of last sea­son’s suc­cess­ful team re­tir­ing or mov­ing on to other clubs and felt the full force of an in­spired Avon per­for­mance as they ran in 18 tries in a ram­pant per­for­mance where every­thing clicked into place. With Alex Gap­per and Tom Bore­ham pulling the strings at half-back and Will Hay­ward putting in an im­mense shift in the loose, Avon had a con­stant sup­ply of front foot pos­ses­sion which they ex­ploited with a mix­ture of pow­er­ful run­ning and deft off­loads. The main ben­e­fi­cia­ries were Zak Har­wood with four tries in a manof-the-match per­for­mance at cen­tre and Xan­der Davis, who cel­e­brated his 20th birth­day with an­other four-try haul. Debu­tant Iain Par­ris also marked his de­but with a hat-trick of tries on the wing. An­other land­mark was set as the three Book broth­ers also scored a try each in the same game for the first time in their ca­reers as hooker Sam, prop Kane and skip­per Scott all touched down. De­spite the Baa-baas never giv­ing up tack­ling, Avon led by 41 points at the in­ter­val as their pow­er­ful run­ners sucked in their op­po­nents’ de­fence be­fore util­is­ing the gaps out wide to keep the scoreboard tick­ing over. Play­ing down the slope in the sec­ond half, Avon con­tin­ued in the same vein with a dev­as­tat­ing dis­play of multi-phase sup­port which yielded fur­ther tries for Chas Med- dick, Dan Grif­fin, Ian Bur­nell and Jonny Batch­e­lor, who also added six con­ver­sions. To their credit, Bar­bar­ians con­tin­ued to put in a spir­ited per­for­mance to the fi­nal whis­tle and scored an ex­cel­lent con­so­la­tion try af­ter a mazy run through mid­field. Tom Bore­ham (2) and Zak Har­wood also added con­ver­sions to com­plete the scor­ing to lift Avon to fourth in the league. Mean­while, Avon 2nds launched their cam­paign against Frome 3rds in the Bath Com­bi­na­tion Merit Table. Play­ing an 11-a-side match in line with the ethos of the com­pe­ti­tion, Avon lost 38-5 but wel­comed back Steve Ea­ley from Aus­tralia and new South African prop Wayne Geerts. ■ WALCOT A young 2nd XV out­fit sal­vaged a bonus point in a tough away fix­ture at Old Reds, man­ag­ing to score 24 points against a welldrilled home side. Af­ter a deep kick down­hill Walcot were im­me­di­ately un­der pres­sure, pinned down in their 22 and af­ter seven min­utes of re­lent­less tack­ling against a big Old Reds pack, even­tu­ally con­ceded an early try. This was the pat­tern for the first 20 min­utes and Walcot con­ceded an­other, this time com­ing from a pow­er­ful run from the op­po­si­tion fly-half. The vis­i­tors then man­aged to get their hands on the ball for the first time and good run­ning from flanker Alex Stephen­son and cen­tre Ash­ley Hobbs got Walcot into the op­po­si­tion’s half for the first time. How­ever, af­ter a pe­riod of good pres­sure the Old Reds winger man­aged to in­ter­cept a pass and run the length to make it 19-0 on the halfhour. Walcot be­gan to fight back and won a penalty which fly-half Nick Dag­ger kicked deep into the home half, find­ing touch well in­side the op­po­si­tion’s 22. In the re­sult­ing li­ne­out the im­pe­ri­ous Ricky Messer leapt well and Walcot got the drive go­ing, even­tu­ally cross­ing with Tom Reed touch­ing down from a well-ex­e­cuted set-piece. They started the sec­ond half brightly with a snip­ing run from Hooker, Chris Martin cre­at­ing space out­side. Scrum-half Louis Mul­lane re­cy­cled well and Dag­ger stepped his op­po­si­tion num­ber and went in un­der the posts. With Old Reds dom­i­nat­ing the scrum and Walcot strug­gling to get their backs go­ing, the hosts scored two unan­swered tries to snuff out any hope of a come­back. The vis­i­tors crept back into the game, how­ever, and looked threat­en­ing with ball in hand with some great run­ning from John Sin­clair and the cen­tre pair­ing of Toby Brown and Hobbs caus­ing prob­lems. Brown stepped through the de­fence and scored un­der the posts in the 52nd minute. Old Reds scored again to make the score 36-17, but Walcot fought back again and af­ter a lot of pres­sure Mul­lane picked the ball up from the back of a ruck and broke through a tackle to stretch over the line and se­cure the de­served bonus point. Old Reds scored one more try and it fin­ished 41-24. Back row/prop, Alex Phan­tis won the Nando’s Bath Vault’s Man of the Match with a great all round dis­play. Walcot en­joyed a beer af­ter­wards cour­tesy of spon­sor Brick­worker.

PIC­TURE: Paul Gil­lis

Nailsea & Back­well get a hand­ful of what­ever they can to stop a Stothert & Pitt 2nd XV break at the week­end, when the Corston side tri­umphed 47-17 in a friendly en­counter

The Walcot 2nd XV opened their cam­paign with a 41-24 de­feat to Old Reds

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