Old Reds shut out Chard as results give them more Christmas cheer
CHRISTMAS came early for Old Reds who powered to an impressive 32-0 home victory over Chard in South West One West, and then celebrated in style as news filtered through that promotion rivals North Petherton and Camborne had both lost.
The results mean that Reds now trail leaders Petherton by only four points – the gap was 13 points two months ago – and are nine clear of third-placed Camborne with 12 more rounds of games to go.
There was also deep satisfaction at avenging a 24-15 reverse at the start of the campaign and keeping a clean sheet as the forwards once again laid a platform for victory with player-coach Saul Nelson at the heart of a dominant scrum.
The former Bristol and London Welsh hooker, flanker Sean Fox, lock Chris Pursell and skipper Jed Hooper crossed for tries with the remaining points coming from the boot of Jack Steer.
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Thornbury, meanwhile, withstood a late battering to hold on for a superb 15-10 home win over Camborne in extremely heavy conditions.
The South Gloucestershire outfit trailed 10-3 at the turnaround but two tries in four minutes in the third quarter swung the match.
First, hard-working scrum-half Jak Evans crossed, Tim Stephens converting after landing a first half penalty. And winger Rich Bennett then polished off a move which featured a crucial contribution from Rob Higgitt.
Two Mike Taylor penalties were all Clevedon had to show for their efforts in a 12-6 reverse at Paignton, while Cleve slipped 19-13 at Oldfield.
In National Three South West, Weston-super-Mare ran in seven tries for a 46-3 success at bottom side Maidenhead.
Centre Sam Smee, wing Marco Oupoh, prop Dave Swann, scrum-half Dan Waldron, flanker George Sparks, lock Ash Russell and full-back Ross Bennett crossed with James Mackay adding four conversions and a penalty.
Avonmouth, meanwhile, were disappointed to suffer a second narrow defeat of the season against Amersham & Chiltern. The Bristol side were on target to end the year on a high, leading 16-13 seven minutes from time only to concede a converted try. Earlier, Avonmouth were awarded a penalty try converted by Andy Taylor who also landed three penalties.