Yatton wilt in heat of the second half to confirm relegation
PUBLISHED: 11:12 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 25 April 2018
Yatton were relegated after this home defeat against Midsomer Norton, but will play many local teams as they drop down to the Somerset Premier League.
Yatton 31 pts
Midsomer Norton 38 pts
Followers of local amateur rugby, living in the North Somerset Times area, are in for a real treat next season when 30 per cent of matches in the high standard of the Western Counties North League will be practically played on their doorstep.
The percentage of near local matches within this league was nearly going to be 50 per cent, but it looks likely that Chew Valley will be successful in their play-off for promotion to the South West Division, taking a slot vacated by relegated Clevedon. Yatton will drop down to Somerset Premier to play against Nailsea & Backwell as Gordano, Somerset Premier League winners, are elevated to take Yatton’s spot.
The competing local sides in Western Counties North next season are very likely to be Clevedon, Avonmouth, Winscombe and Gordano.
As a warning to other sides, it is worth noting that had Yatton not been deducted 10 points for ‘a mix of administrative errors off the field’ they too would be in the league to enjoy next season’s bonanza, sitting just in front of Winscombe.
Yatton welcomed back some injured players, but were forced to try-out some Colts due to absence and lack of depth on the bench.
Yatton set off at a blistering pace and picked up their bonus try after 18 minutes of play with young Joe Bell, drafted in at scrum-half, converting three out of four. Norton showed how dangerous they could be once in the red zone and crossed over for a converted try.
Yatton’s try rate faltered, but when Bowyer went over for the fifth try just before the turnaround, at 31-7, Yatton thought that they had done enough to secure a final victory in the Western Counties League.
After the break, Norton brought experienced players off the bench and blasted through the centre for a converted try within the opening minute. Yatton resisted the onslaught for the rest of the third quarter, but they began to wilt.
Missed tackles let in Norton’s third converted try and the rest of the afternoon was theirs as rifled kicks to touch got them out of their 22, pace through the middle their further two converted tries, a conceded penalty conversion cemented the lead and well drilled pick and drives to run the clock down.
Yatton 3rd XV 17 pts
Cheddar Valley 2nd XV 7 pts
Yatton started the stronger side and were able to retain the pressure throughout the match.
Pat Sausen scampered over for the opening try of the afternoon, followed by a storming captain’s try from Dave Hepworth, who broke free to gallop over for his first-ever senior try.
Cheddar scored in the second half, but Yatton were adamant that they were not going to throw away their lead this time. Soon Harry Hobbs was unleashed to barge his way over for a well-deserved try.
This was a great display from the home side, with man of the match Nick Hughes showing the way on many occasions. This also marked the end of a hard, yet enjoyable season.