SPARTANS 0 MIDSOMER NORTON 22 / WINSCOMBE 3 MIDSOMER NORTON 31
Norton headed up the M5 once again on a wet, miserable day to play against Spartans RFC.
The most difficult part of the day was the travelling, getting changed in a confined space, and then walking for half a mile to get to the pitch. The game itself was, in all fairness, pretty easy. Great discipline was shown by the Mendip men, who were in Green for the day, as they managed to keep a cool head and didn’t react to the attempts to turn the game into a scrap by Spartans.
Late hits and weak attempts at intimidation were laughed off as Norton scored early on through Mitchard, who raced through under the posts after a break from the impressive Sam Church. Taylor converted and Norton looked to capitalise on a good start.
A second try came from a lineout close to the line where Tom Fear intelligently drove through when Spartans attempted to not make contact, and therefore not let Norton maul. A quick pick-and-go by Robbie Fuller followed and Norton were two tries up. The third was to come at the end of the first period; after some excellent tackling and pressure, Ben Palmer hacked through to score.
The second half was an attritional, and quite frankly boring affair that mainly involved Norton camping in Spartan territory, whilst the home side worked hard and defended their line admirably. Norton were delighted to get a bonus-point try with the last play of the game from a maul scored by skipper, Tom Fear, and the away team thoroughly deserved full points due to their patience and discipline.
Midsomer Norton’s First Team set off for another away game in the rain for the rearranged fixture with Winscombe under lights on Friday night.
The home side started in spirited fashion down the hill, exchanging penalties to make the score 3-3, but it was Norton who scored the first try through Alex Mitchard. The veteran centre has been rolling back the years recently and was on wrecking ball form again, bouncing off tackles and making the opposition pay with an excellent score. Taylor converted and we went into half time at 3-10.
With the slope in their favour in the second period, Norton dominated territory through powerful play up front, and decisive tactical kicking allied with a relentless kick-chase. It took just five minutes for Connor Schuster to score with his first touch after yet another break from the all-action scrum-half, Luke Murphy. The third try was on seventy minutes, and came from a scrum close to the Winscombe line, where Murphy wriggled over after combining with Joe Button from the base.
It was then déjà-vu as the Mendip men showed patience to work their way towards the line, hunting for the bonus-point try. It was down to the last play of the game, as it was last week, and James Abbott was put through by Tom Clark to score under the posts. Taylor converted to maintain a perfect kicking display from the tee, making the final score 3-31.
A special mention must go to the returning Matthew Edgell, Connor Schuster and Scott Goddard, who all applied themselves well and got up to speed straight away.
Seventeen-year-old Noah Watts also had a solid start to what will undoubtedly be a long and successful career, after coming on in the second half on the wing.
Two away games in difficult conditions resulting in two bonus-point victories with no tries conceded in a fortnight highlight the ferocious defence and game management that has been very pleasing to see. Preparations now start for the visit of unbeaten League leaders, Stroud, to Norton Down next Saturday.
Stroud are a fine all-round side and this will be a game worth watching, so we hope to see a bumper crowd cheer us on. See you there.