Poor away run ended in fine style for Midsomer Norton
By Somerset Guardian | Friday, February 24, 2012, 09:00
Taunton 2nd XV 10 Mid Norton 1st XV 53
Midsomer Norton ended a run of three successive away defeats with a comprehensive win.
Eager for a return to action after losing two matches to the icy weather, Norton began in positive fashion. Captain Matthew Denning took the ball from the kick-off and Ben Parker then broke a number of tackles to set the tone for the rest of the game. Continual pressure on the Taunton defence eventually saw full-back Ross Miller go over in the corner.
A knock-on from the restart led to Norton being adjudged offside in midfield and Taunton's kicker slotted a penalty to cut his side's deficit.
Adam Sinden's restart kick was seized by lock Jamie Gimson with a trademark leap and the ball was taken on by centre Robert Fuller. It took several opponents to haul him down but Taunton then conceded a penalty for entering a ruck at the side. Sinden kicked to the corner where the visitors drove over the tryline with flanker David Sawkins claiming the touchdown.
Sinden then began and ended a flowing move involving Parker and flanker Joe Button, who burst to within five metres of the tryline before the ball was worked back for Sinden to score out wide.
Five minutes before the break, the visitors switched off and Taunton broke away from their own 22 to score under the posts. Norton's lead was a slim 15-10, even though they had been in the ascendancy almost throughout.
As Taunton fell away under an increasingly impressive Norton onslaught in the second period, Norton ran in six further tries with Taunton failing to respond at all.
Miller added his second try of the day, there was a brace from Denning with Button and Ben Moon also among the scorers. Moon booted four conversions to seal the victory.
Mid Norton 2nd XV 7 Walcot 2nd XV 7
The seconds also got back in the swing after the freeze-up with an error-strewn home draw against Bath side Walcot.
Heavy rain led to slippery conditions, making handling difficult and the contest something of a stop-start affair.
The Norton pack coped the better in the first half, playing up the slope and into the wind. They controlled possession and drove hard around the fringes to set up a number of good attacking opportunities.
Number eight Steve Dunster was strong in the tackle and young flanker Jamie Rose battled hard at the breakdown, but Norton were unable to make the decisive move.
With the conditions in their favour in the second half, Norton were rocked when Walcot pounced on a loose ball and won the foot race to score a converted try.
Norton's response was almost immediate. Prop Matt Edgell did the initial damage with a surging run, and a close-range shove allowed hooker Dan Backhurst to pounce for a try. Full-back Steve Penny added the conversion to pull the sides level.
Both sides had chances to win the game as play opened out a little. Walcot missed a couple of kicks at goal and Norton squandered an overlap with the last play of the game.
On Saturday, Norton travel to Keynsham.