Yatton 1sts 24 = Winscombe 1sts 26
a fight for local bragging rights
Yatton 24 Winscombe 26
As well as the usual fight for local bragging rights this local derby was an important game in the battle to avoid the drop back into the Somerset Premier League with Yatton more in need of the points than their opponents. Judging by the joyous whooping of their supporters as their speedy, elusive right winger ran in under the posts from halfway for Yatton's second try only one minute after their first they could see the spoils coming home. Right from the kick-off Winscombe had been unable to clear their lines by either kicking or carrying with Yatton going immediately wide at every opportunity, opening the scoring with the sixth attempt through their powerful left winger in the sixteenth minute.
But Yatton had already demonstrated their frailty at the set piece and this was suddenly compounded by conceding four penalties in quick succession as Winscombe retained possession with a series of drives close in. The almost inevitable outcome was a try for Alec Chase from the base of a five metre scrummage with Sam Dearsley adding the conversion. Winscombe hung on up the slope for the next eight minutes against some powerful running by the Yatton centres and would have been relieved to turn around only 12-7 down.
Five minutes into the second half they were happier still as two quick penalty awards gave them another set piece five metres out. A driving maul from the line-out was held out but from it a training ground move involving all seven backs saw James Flower shrug off two tacklers to score out on the right. Dearsley's excellent conversion put Winscombe into a lead that had looked unlikely up to that point.
It was the Hampshire referee's whistle that turned the game again as Winscombe then gave away five penalties, two stupidly for opening their mouths. On the hour Yatton missed an attempt at goal but as Winscombe tried to escape up the narrow side having regained possession from the drop-out a blind pass was intercepted by the home scrum half for gift of a try to snatch back the lead. The response was immediate. Yatton were penalised at the breakdown trying to drive forward from the restart and once again Winscombe had been given a five metre attacking platform. This time the driving maul was effective allowing Chase to fall over the line for his brace and Winscombe were back in the lead.
From the next restart Yatton went wide to run out of defence but were forced into touch and three lost line-outs later Winscombe were on the front foot driving into the twenty-two. Scrum-half Jim Robertson spotted the gap at the side of a ruck and skipped in under the posts untouched for a cheeky bonus point try and a nine point lead with eight minutes remaining.
Yatton came right back into the game countering from every desperate clearance kick by Winscombe eventually getting over the line only to be held up in the dying minutes. They scored in the right corner from the five metre scrummage but were brought back by the referee to do it again and this time were awarded a penalty try. It earned them two bonus points but Winscombe moved eleven points clear of them into eighth place with safety now odds on.
Yatton provided more moments of entertainment but their set piece was inferior with Aaron Ford, Aled Corcoran and Stuart Warren feeding off Dan Fryer's accurate throwing and stealing a couple and Simon Thompson and Adam Scrase anchoring a solid scrummage. Jim Merryfield and Owen Howell shored up the midfield against strong opponents and the few times they were given the ball the