2nd Team Match Reports
Midsomer Norton II 22 Hornets III 0
21st April 2018
Midsomer Norton II 69 – Yatton II 27
The seconds ended the season on a high with an eleven-try victory over Yatton in the sweltering heat, in front of their supporters at Norton Down.
Norton started brightly and took the lead with when Murphy and Moss scored early tries with typically powerful running. Yatton pulled some points back just before a much-needed drinks break midway through the half, but a refreshed Lewis Dyer added a third after cutting a superb line to slice through the defence. The bonus was secured before half time when Alex Davis scored after a fine break from Andrew Davis. However, a couple of lapses in concentration saw the away side score twice again before half-time ensuring there was still work to do in the second half.
Despite their best efforts, the away side began to tire and after the break Norton made sure of the victory. Lewis Dyer decided to it was easier to crash through than around the defence to score his second of the match before Andrew Davis, Silk and Matthew’s strong charges got them on the scoresheet. Although Yatton pulled more points back in the second half, the game was over by the time Kemar Active Barrier Stewart danced his way over the whitewash. The icing on the cake came from returning winger Sam Church, who despite his protests at having to play in the back row, marked his return to action with two scores.
The result leaves Norton in a commendable fourth place. With a young side there is plenty to build on ahead of next year when they will hope to push for promotion
24th March 2018
Midsomer Norton II 14-41 Cheddar Valley
A brave Midsomer Norton performance was not enough against runaway league leaders Cheddar Valley, who ran away with the match in the second half.
Norton started brightly and after a success of good drives opened the scoring through Luke Murphy. Ben Palmer continued an impressive start to life at Norton by scoring midway through the first half as Norton went in just five behind at the break.
However, despite Norton’s best efforts Cheddar Valley took control of the second half and scored a number of well worked tries to secure a bonus point victory that puts them within touching distance of the league.
17th March 2018
Midsomer Norton II 20-10 Stothert & Pitt II
The seconds registered their third bonus point win in as many games, on the coldest day of the season at Norton Down.
With strong winds and even snow falling, this game was a battle from the off and Norton fell behind after five minutes as the away side controlled early possession. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful and the elements made kicking for goal an impossible task all afternoon. However Norton bounced back after the superb Tyrone Moss dived over the line after a typically powerful run. Nath Fear gave Norton the lead shortly before half time when he crashed over from 5 metres after the home side had travelled almost the length of the field with pick and goes.
The home side were now in control of the game and dominated the second half with a mixture of picking and going and clever kicks for territory. When Stothert & Pitt failed to deal with one such kick, Moss took advantage of the situation to extend Norton's lead. The away side hit back quickly in bizarre fashion when Norton lost their concentration in a maul, but captain Hawkins made sure of the victory after he danced over the line following a strong line-out drive.
Once again Norton showed tremendous spirit and application in tough conditions to keep their fine run of form going. Next week the seconds host top of the table Cheddar Valley at Norton Down.
10th March 2018
Walcot II 0 – 40 Midsomer Norton II
After a couple of weeks off because of the weather, the seconds returned to action with a commanding six-try victory at Landsdown.
The away side started the game aggressively and made the breakthrough through prop Gareth Williams, who cut a fine line off the back of a ruck to cross the whitewash. Luke Murphy, who kicked superbly from hand and the tee, added the first of his five conversions. Norton ramped up the pressure and extended their lead almost immediately. After receiving the ball from kick off, the ball was spun wide to winger Kemar Active Barrier Stewart, who ran a superb try in from distance.
The away side now had the bit between their teeth and secured the bonus point before half time as centre Ben Matthews, who bullied the home side all afternoon, twice powered over to give Norton a healthy 26 point advantage over atthe break.
With such a commanding lead, Norton played maintained their control and delivered a mature second half performance which brought them two more tries. First, Luke Murphy got a deserved try in the corner after a long period of attacking pressure, before Alex Davis scored in typical fashion, picking the ball off the back of a ruck and running in from just over 30 metres.
The away side were delighted with their performance, delivering some entertaining attacking play and once again offering a resilient defensive performance that kept the home side off the scoreboard.
Next week the seconds will look to make it three wins in a row when they host Stothert & Pitt at Norton Down.
17th Feb 2018
Gordano II 17-27 Midsomer Norton II
The seconds got back to winning ways with a hard-fought bonus points victory at Gordano.
Norton started brightly and Ben Murphy opened the scoring in the corner after strong carries from Matthews and Packer. However the difficult conversion attempt was unsuccessful and Norton found themselves behind almost immediately. A fine move from the Gordano backs saw the home side score in the corner, adding the extras from a difficult angle. The first half became a scrappy affair and Gordano kicked a penalty to extend their lead to five points.
Neither side were able to impose control on an even first half, but the game was sparked into life just before half time. First Norton retook the lead when Alex Davis scored from the back of a ruck and Luke Murphy converted. But the lead didn’t last long, as Gordano drove over from short range and converted after a controversial penalty decision.
With the game in the balance, Norton dusted themselves down and delivered a dominant and mature second half performance to secure victory. After good spell of early pressure Ty Moss danced past defenders to even the score. Norton continued to push hard throughout the half controlling possession and territory and finally took the lead when Moss released Schuster to cross the whitewash. Murphy calmly added the extras before securing the game with a penalty from range 5 minutes from the end.
Norton will look to build on this impressive victory in a fortnight’s time when they face Stothert & Pitt II at Norton Down.
20th Jan 2018
Midsomer Norton II 24-5 Hornets III
The seconds returned with a win after a week off with a comfortable bonus point victory at a very muddy Norton Down.
The home side threatened from the off and took the lead early on when Mitch Rose, already once denied by the full back, ran a crash ball from a ruck and found a huge gap to run in under the posts. Murphy calmly slotted the extras. However Norton’s lead was cut to two almost immediately after hesitation in defence allowed Hornets to kick through and score.
As the pitch deteriorated, a gutsy Norton side continued to put pressure on in attack with Rideout superb in the lineout, and were strong in defence making a number of big tackles. Nor deservedly extended their lead to seven just before half time when a strong driving maul went over in the corner, with Rose’s hands again last on the ball.
The seconds knew there was a lot of work to be done in second half as Hornets had ten sets of fresh legs on the bench. However the home side started the second half aggressively and managed to pull away on the scoreboard. After a strong scrum and some good work at the breakdown, substitute Jamie Rose picked up from the back of the ruck and finished from close range.
With the game increasingly scrappy, Norton secured the double over Hornets late on when Andrew Davis fell on to the ball after another period of pressure from the home side. Murphy added his second kick of the afternoon to extend their lead to 19. Next week the seconds face a trip to West Super Mare.
16th Dec 2017
Bristol Telephones 22 - 22 Midsomer Norton II
The seconds made their first trip to Bristol Telephones and headed into the Christmas break with their second draw in a row.
With Telephones having ended Cheddar’s unbeaten run the previous week, they continued where they left off, going wide to score the opening try in the first few minutes. However Norton soon bounced back to take the lead, with Scott Goddard powering through the last defenders over the whitewash after a period of intense Norton pressure, with Murphy calmly adding the extras.
Norton controlled much of the half, and their dominance in the scrum allowed Bicknell to crash over from close range and Murphy extended their lead to 14-5 at the break.
The away side received a wake up call at the start of the second half when an quick Telephones try cut their lead to two, but the away side were soon back on top. Another dominant scrum allowed Goddard to break off the back, and Knight fed Bicknell, who was unstoppable from close range. Although Murphy could not add the extras from out wide he soon extended the lead to 10 points with a penalty, after Telephones desperately tried to stop Norton extending their lead further.
At this stage Norton were comfortable, but with 15 minutes to go the game changed dramatically. Telephones’ prop received a sinbin for stamping, and remarkably discovered that throwing an embarrassing hissy fit was not enough to stop him leaving the field. However this caused the game to go to uncontested scrums, and Telephones rejigged their team accordingly. Norton, unable to do the same, were now on the back foot in a game they had been dominating. Despite the prop’s return from the bin, the game never went back to contested scrums and Norton lost Knight for a phantom high tackle. This allowed Telephones to run in two tries in the last ten minutes to level the game.
Despite letting the lead slip late on, this was a good performance from Norton in a tough away fixture. They now sit just two points off second place with three consecutive home fixtures to look forward to when the season resumes in January.
9th Dec 2017
Old Reds II 24-24 Midsomer Norton II
The spoils were shared as Norton snatched a late draw with a fantastic try for Lewis Dyer.
Norton raced into an early lead in this tough away fixture after Jack Packer crossed the whitewash after a spell of early pressure. This was soon extended when Kemar Active Barrier Stewart scored a fine solo run, swatting away defenders and successfully getting the ball down over the line.
However, this was never going to be an easy fixture and a back and forth first half ensued. First Old Reds got themselves on the scoreboard back with a try of their own before flanker Scott Anderson broke free to restore Norton’s lead. With this Johnson slotted his second conversion with their third of the half. Again Old Reds bounced back, creating overlaps out wide and by half time Norton’s lead was cut to just two points.
Playing up the hill in the second half, a physical affair remained scoreless until late in the half. A box kick from Old Reds bounced horribly for the away side into the hands of their onrushing number eight, and with the try converted Norton trailed by 5 with just minutes to go.
All was not done however, and after good work from Stewart, Lewis Dyer picked the ball up on his own 22 and managed to bamboozle the weary defence to score a sensational try at the death.
Norton remain in a strong position in the league despite a bruising run of fixtures and will look to head into the Christmas break on a high note away to Bristol Telephones next weekend.
2nd Dec 2017
Midsomer Norton II 15-10 Oldfield II
The seconds moved into third position in the league, after they bounced back from the previous week with a brave and gritty performance to end Oldfield’s 6 game unbeaten run in a tense encounter.
The home side took the lead early on after a spell of pressure by Norton’s makeshift pack released Sam Knight. Sam’s superb pass out the back of his hand set Goudie free to score in the corner. However second placed Oldfield were going to be no pushovers and were level within 5 minutes when Newport scored following a strong line out drive.
The share of play was even for much of the half as both sides attempted to take control of a scrappy, physical affair. However Norton clinically managed to earn a half time lead when Andrew Best exploited the space created by Bicknell’s fine blindside run to finish in the corner. Murphy added the extras to make it 12-5.
Playing up the hill in the second half, Norton extended their lead almost immediately. A committed kick chase led to a penalty in front of the posts, which Murphy coolly slotted. However, once again Oldfield bounced back, and Moxham went over from close range to set up a tense final half hour with just five points in it.
With many players carrying injuries and only five recognised forwards left on the pitch, Norton put in a superb defensive effort to withhold lengthy spells of Oldfield pressure near their own line. Norton bravely held back their attacks and tackled superbly - with Drew Davis’ performance again notable as he won numerous turnovers on one leg.
In truth both sides would feel their gargantuan efforts deserved something from the game but it was Norton who succeeded in a nail biting final ten, eventually taking control of the game away from the away side and forcing enough of the game to take place in the opposition’s half. When Knight kicked the ball in to touch they could finally celebrate a fine victory that epitomised the spirit of the side.
Norton now face two away games against Old Reds and Bristol Telephones before the Christmas break.
25th Nov 2017
Cheddar Valley 22 – 0 Midsomer Norton II
League leaders Cheddar Valley maintained their fine start to the season as they made it eleven wins out of eleven on a cold day in the Mendips. However, Cheddar were made to work for it during a battling performance from a committed Norton side, with the home side saying that it was the toughest fixture they had played all season.
The first half was an intense battle with only five points separating the sides. Playing up the hill and into the sun, Norton matched Cheddar Valley for much of the half, defending with commitment and dominating at scrum time. When the ball went wide centres Murphy and Dyer both made yards, but despite beating defenders the final pass always eluded Norton.
At the start of the second half the away side had their best spell of the match, playing with more width and pace Cheddar Valley were placed on the back foot as Norton began to gather momentum. However the travelling side could not convert their dominance into points, with Jack Johnson being stopped inches from the line by a resolute Cheddar side.
As the game entered the final quarter Cheddar’s quality began to show and their number 10, who was the afternoon’s stand out performer, dictated the pace of the game with his hands and regularly relieved the pressure with the boot. As Norton chased the game eventually the power of Cheddar won through as they added three second half tries to take the game away from Nor.
Despite the score line, the seconds can take many positives from their performance and commitment in what is on paper their toughest fixture of the season against a side that look likely to win the division. Next week Norton take on second place Oldfield at Norton
11th Nov 2017
Midsomer Norton II 31 – 17 Walcot II
The seconds moved to third in the table with a bonus point victory, despite a scare against a battling Walcot side.
Norton were bright early on and raced into the lead within ten minutes. Scrum half Johnson broke with the ball and managed to kick into space. Good work from the forwards secured the loose ball to create a platform and nobody was stopping Callum Bicknell from close range. Murphy added the extras, as he would superbly for all four tries that afternoon.
Norton doubled their lead after twenty minutes when Jack Johnson peeled off the back of the driving maul to dash over the whitewash. However, despite Norton’s early dominance, it was clear this wouldn’t be an entirely straightforward afternoon when the away side took advantage of their own lineout to bundle over, although they were unable to convert.
The home side bounced back quickly from this initial setback and extended their lead to 16 points after half an hour when Tom Rideout went over in the corner following good work from Knight and Dyer.
In a first half which seemed to go on forever, Walcot stunned the home side with a quickfire double salvo just before the break. First Walcot took advantage of some missed tackles to score, before adding another after a penalty was given for offside against one of the Norton backline. This cut the lead to four at the break.
Norton endured a frustrating opening to the second half as they failed to find their rhythm. However once Murphy coolly slotted a penalty to calm the nerves after 55 minutes, the home side soon regained the dominance they had earlier in the afternoon. The win and the bonus points were secured soon after when Johnson sniped from the back of a ruck to grab his second of the afternoon.
Another satisfying win for Seconds leaves them in a strong position in the league table before the break, after which they face a challenging fixture away at league leaders Cheddar Valley.
30th Sept 2017
Weston Hornets III 22 – 34 Midsomer Norton II
A dominant performance on Hornets’ artificial turf gave the Seconds a thoroughly deserved away bonus point win, to move within a point of Cheddar Valley at the top of the table.
After a cagey opening 20 minutes, Norton were soon in the ascendancy as they got to grips with the playing surface. The first half became a family affair, with Joe Knight opening the scoring from close range midway through the first half, vaulting a ruck to get the ball down, before brother Sam Knight showed off his trademark lightning pace to finish off a a breakaway move he had started himself. However, despite their on field dominance Norton could not pull away on the scoreboard as Hornets responded to each of Norton’s tries with scores of their own. The Seconds had to take the lead for the third time that afternoon to secure a half time advantage. After a period of pressure in the home side’s 22, hooker Rex Nineham pounced from close range to leave the score at 17-12 during the interval.
In the second half Norton took control of the game to secure the win they deserved, although they found themselves immediately pegged back again after Hornets pounced on a Norton handling error deep inside their own half to bring the scores level. Nor responded with the same spirit and determination that has led them to victories in recent weeks. The Second’s domination up front was rewarded with a succession of penalties in the Hornet’s half, which were ruthlessly dispatched by the right boot of Tom Rideout, who kicked superbly to add 12 points to his first half conversion.
With Hornets now chasing the game Norton put the match to rest with two minutes to go. Dynamic prop Sonny-Bill Bicknell raced down the wing before offloading out of the back of his hand to send Jack Rideout over the whitewash in the corner. Hornets grabbed a late consolation try after a controversial penalty from the kickoff, but Norton will be thoroughly satisfied with their afternoon’s work against their opponents, many of whom regularly play two divisions above.
Next week Norton look to continue their strong start to the season as they take on Hornet’s bitter rivals Weston-Super-Mare at Norton Down.
16th Sept 2017
Whitehall II 12 - 17 Midsomer Norton II
A last gasp from substitute Scott Anderson saw Midsomer Norton snatch victory despite a disjointed performance.
Both sides came into this game with two wins from the opening two fixtures, but Norton started much the brighter, and could already have been ahead when Murphy opened the scoring with a fine try. The centre chipped it over the heads of the defensive line and finished well after the full back failed to gather. Despite this bright start, the longer the game continued, the scrappier it got and the away side grew increasingly frustrated. Nor butchered several fantastic opportunities before half time that could have taken the game away from Whitehall. Instead they held just a slender five point lead at the break.
Playing down the slope, Norton started the second half brightly and had two tries held up before Jack Johnson doubled their lead when he reacted quickest to the ball shooting out of the back of a scrum deep in the home side’s half. However after this score, Whitehall took firm control of the game and were rewarded after a period of a period of possession that and finished well in the corner. Whitehall added the extras and cut the lead to three. Now firmly in the ascendency, Whitehall appeared to have secured victory after powering over from close range with just two minutes to go.
However, for the second week in a row, Midsomer Norton fought right until the end to win the game. Winger Sam Church chased strongly to catch the restart and after recycling the ball Anderson danced over from the 22 metre line with seconds left to go. Rideout added the extras, which was followed by the sound of the full time whistle to the relief of the away side.
When interviewed after the game, second team captain Julian Hawkins admitted it was a tale of chances butchered but praised the side for their communication and spirit throughout the match. The seconds will defend their 100% record next week at Norton Down against Bristol Barbarians.
9th Sept 2017
Midsomer Norton II 24 - 23 Bristol Telephones
After an opening day stroll, Midsomer Norton overcame a much tougher challenge and delivered a performance full of grit and determination to finally overcome a brave showing from a well organised Bristol Telephones team.
Although Norton started brightly, they found themselves a try down early on in unfortunate circumstances. After appearing to steal a line out deep in their own half, the ball bounced unfortunately allowing the Telephones number 8 to power over from close range.
Nor soon found themselves camped in the opposition 22 for a lengthy period, but finding it harder to create chances than the week before frustration set in. The home side tried to force things too much and a succession of penalties allowed Bristol telephones to clear their lines and double their lead.
However, Norton finished the half in the ascendancy when young winger Finn Goudie finished in the corner with the last play of the half. Murphy superbly slotted the conversion from out wide to level the score at 10-7.
However, this did not rattle the newly promoted Bristol side, who completed last season unbeaten. Telephones added two more tries in the opening twenty minutes, both from penalties given away close to the try line. At this stage Norton were struggling to gain possession of the ball but continued to fight and drag themselves back into the contest.
A period of forward pressure was rewarded when Kemar Active Barrier Stewart took advantage of a huge gap created from an intelligent backs move to cross the whitewash. This week he remembered to hold on to the ball and with the conversion added suddenly the lead was cut to 3.
The last twenty saw Norton dominate the game but time was running out. Telephones extended their lead to 6 with a well taken penalty but at this stage Norton were in no mood to give up. A passionate performance was rewarded when scrum half Jack Johnson broke from the back of a driving maul to score. Murphy calmly converted and the seconds finally took the lead for the first time in the match with five minutes to go.
After a draining game the home side remained calm in possession and saw the match out impressively. A late penalty from Murphy drifted wide but knocked valuable seconds off the clock. The restart let to a line out for the home side, and when Knight gleefully booted the ball into the clubhouse, Norton could finally reflect on a hard-fought victory brought about by a spirited team performance.
2nd Sept 2017
Yatton II 0 - 50 Midsomer Norton
It was the perfect start for Midsomer Norton as a strong second team squad delivered a commanding eight try victory under the tutelage of new captain Julian Hawkins.
The away side dominated from the off and should probably have been ahead before winger Sam Church, who performed superbly in the less familiar flanker role, turned their early dominance into points with a pushover try. Murphy calmly added the extras, as he would a further four times that afternoon.
As the first half continued, the young Norton side continued to dominate upfront and outwide. This dominance allowed the imposing figure of scrum half Jack Johnson to pounce and increase their lead soon after. In no mood to let up, Dyer added a fine score after he danced over from the 22 metre line and touched the ball down despite trying his best to be tackled after crossing the whitewash. Norton secured a commanding half time advantage when Mattick emerged from a scrappy midfield and running from half way before finishing superbly under pressure in the corner.
Yatton were a sizeable outfit, but the Norton pack dominated throughout thanks to the dynamic back row of Sam Church, Dick Wood and Andrew Davis. Number 8 Wood was involved in two second half tries, offloading for Church before scoring himself from the back of a driving scrum. Murphy increased his own points total for the afternoon with a try before Mattick scored his second of the afternoon after a superb run form his own half.
The afternoon was nearly rounded off in style by substitute Kemar Active-Barrier Stewart, who was released after a sweeping team move, but the chance of a memorable try was squandered as he declined to hold on to the ball after crossing the line. This proved to be the last action of a thoroughly satisfying afternoon.
This Saturday, the seconds will look to build upon this display when they host newly promoted Bristol Telephones at Norton Down.
28th Jan 2017
Midsomer Norton 2nds 33 WSM 3rds 6
Midsomer Norton 2nds welcomed Weston-Super-Mare to the home of rugby. Weston kicked off and the whole pack worked as a team as they all watched the ball bounce around before it went into touch. Fortunately, Norton got over this immediate setback and played some aggressive front-foot rugby, aided by excellent kicking from the half backs and a strong scrum.
Weston opened the scoring with a penalty after a series of silly infringements where Norton were too eager to get their hands on the ball. This lead lasted all of 2 minutes as Jason Holmwood broke through several tackles due to running a superb line. The conversion was added by Ben Moon who made a welcome return to the fold.
Towards the end of the half the lineout started to resemble something you would see in a senior rugby match rather than under 8’s and the scrum continued to dominate, with Williams, Bicknell and Backhurst making things tough for Weston providing good ball for Button to go on mad-dog rampaging runs.
The new look backline showed their class with the two young centres remaining elusive throughout and tackling well and the back three put out fires whilst being a constant threat out wide. Anderson finished clinically on the right touchline in the second half after Blackmore had displayed serious pace before passing to the youngster. He also claims he scored another try at some point and that one was probably really good as well.
In the end there were 5 tries, 3 in the first half and 2 in the 2nd. Joe Button scoring one of these from close range. A very enjoyable game played in a good spirit and it was great to see Lloyd Edgell and Luke Short come on and added some extra beef in the final quarter. Finally, a special mention to Jack Packer who we all hope recovers from his nasty knock on the ear at the end of the game.
7th Jan 2017
Midsomer Norton 2nds 41pts V 10pts Chew Magna 3rds
Midsomer Norton 2nds continued a fine run of form with an impressive team performance in the mud at Chew Lane.
The cherry and whites started strongly and sustained pressure led to two early tries. Following good work from the forwards the side were able to spread the play to send centre Schuster over the line to take the lead. Almost straight from the resulting kick off Norton stole possession and quickly spread the ball wide to winger Dyer, who beat his defender with a strong hand off to run in for another score.
However, Norton suffered a setback, losing captain Blackmore to a nasty looking injury after he tackled with his mouth but the side withstood a spell of pressure before rallying once more with two further tries before half time. Hooker Backhurst went over from a driving maul before winger Hughes secured the bonus point with a surging run. Chew’s only points of the half came from a penalty after the referee judged their had been an infringement at the breakdown.
Playing up the hill in the second half, the imperious Norton pack continued to bully their opposition and regularly made huge ground in the scrum. Somewhat inevitably Norton pulled further away after the impressive Mitch Rose scored after Norton drove over the line from a line-out.
Despite the score line, Chew continued to battle and scored their only try of the game from close range ten minutes from time. However Norton were determined to have the final say and Flanker Fear scored a fine solo effort before makeshift centre Devilla forced his way over the line. Rideout converted three tries to leave the final score at 41-10 to Norton.
17th Dec 2016
Midsomer Norton 2nds 13pts v 10pts Stothert and Pitt 2nds
A new look 2nds side with a blend of youth and experience took the field in good spirits determined to enjoy their afternoon against Stothert and Pitt 2nds. The first half may well go down in history as possibly the most boring in living memory with no score to either side despite Norton being camped in the oppositions 22 for much of the time.
The teams exchanged Penalties after the break and Norton looked more dangerous with ball in hand when Murphy came on in the centre. Winning ruck ball and dominating the scrum, the Norton Pack worked hard throughout and were rewarded for their efforts when the ever improving Schuster sniped from a 5 meter scrummage to score under the posts.
Stotherts replied with a try of their own but a late penalty by Murphy made the score 13 v 10 and that is the way it ended.
So, victory for the 2nds and the annual Port Circle festivities were made all the sweeter. With the amount of injuries and absences in recent weeks the future looked bleak, but after this second half performance and a belly full of port the outlook is one of optimism, once the hangovers have cleared. Onwards and upwards.
5th Nov 2016
Midsomer Norton 2nds 11 vs Old Edwardians 15
For the second game in a row Midsomer Norton 2nd’s lost to a last minute try after leading for the majority of the match. This was however, the most committed and complete all round performance of the season so far against an unbeaten Old Edwardians side. The key to Norton’s early success was a dominant lineout and all round defence aligned with tactical kicking.
Scott Anderson scored after a well-rehearsed lineout move for the first try of the game before Old Eds fly half calmly chipped a drop kick, making the score 5 v 3. Tom Rideout then kicked two penalties and Edwardians scored an unconverted try. The victory looked to be going to the home side at 11 v 8 until Norton failed to clear their lines and an interception followed by an obstruction lead to a yellow card and dangerous field position. Old Edwardians then crashed over after some heroic last ditch tackling to snatch the win.
29th Oct 2016
Hornets 3rds 21 v Midsomer Norton 2nds 19
Norton travelled to Weston for a top of the table clash against Hornets 3rds. The opening exchanges saw both teams unable to break through each other’s well organised and strong defences. Territory was key and Norton were able to force their opponents into their own half and Denning was able to score from a scrum close to the line. Rideout converted and Norton looked like taking a 7 v 0 lead into half time until Hornet’s 6’5” centre steamrollered the Knight brothers to score before the break, making it 7 - 7.
In the second half Norton increased their intensity. Anderson lead the way with exemplary work rate in the loose, and Holmwood’s strong running was a constant threat from full back. Norton took the lead from a good team move and then an inspired long range interception try; both scored by dangerous diminutive dynamic hooker Luis Davila. The game looked safe and Norton were dominant until two unfortunate late scores meant that Hornets were somehow able to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Norton now look forward to hosting league leaders Bath Edwardians this Saturday in a match up that promises to be a close game.
22nd Oct 2016
Midsomer Norton 2nds 22 v Bristol Barbarians 2nds 15
Norton narrowly overcame a hefty Barbarians team that belied their lowly league position with a committed display. Although Norton showed glimpses of their early season form, they were unable to capitalise from the chances created until Dan Moon broke the staunch Barbarian defence to score from close range. Dyer converted, but then the Barbarians scored 2 unanswered tries before half time to take a 12 - 7 lead.
Shortly after the break a penalty increased the lead for the visitors. It was at this point that Norton decided to up their game and take advantage of the excellent lineout ball and strong running. First Holmwood and then Anderson touched down, before Blackmore made sure of the try bonus point with 10 minutes to go. Dyer missed the rest of the kicks.
8th Oct 2016
Weston Super Mare 3rds 39 Midsomer Norton 2nds 19
Norton travelled to Weston with a young patched up side and despite injuries and illness put in a spirited and gutsy performance. Weston drew first blood but Nathan Fear latched onto a loose pass to score an excellent interception try to draw the scores level. In the process he damaged his shoulder to add to the ever increasing numbers of walking wounded.
Weston took a small lead into the 2nd half and then extended it as Norton ran out of able bodied defenders when the home team moved the ball quickly and hit some good running lines. To Norton’s credit they fought back heroically, even when down to 14 players due to injury, to score two successive tries from Backhurst and Rose. Mitch Rose in particular was impressive throughout both in the set piece and the loose. He created turnovers, put in some big hits and played with the type of spirit that lifts the whole team.
Norton will be looking forward to being able to recall a number of more experienced players for the next league game but will take away positives from this loss. The set piece was solid and a never say die attitude was evident throughout.
17th Sept 2016
Midsomer Norton 2nds 45 v Chew Valley 3rds 13
The start of the game was initially poor with the kick not going the required 10 meters but from the resulting scrum the Norton pack were able to apply pressure resulting in the Chew fly half throwing a wild pass that scavenging expert Sam Church was able to pounce on and run in for an early try. Even though his drop kicks were not quite on the money, Murphy fresh from target practice in Kenya was deadly off the tee striking 5 out of 7 conversions through the uprights.
Edgell with two tries from a combined total of 2 meters, Withers, Powney and Parfitt got themselves on the scoresheet but the highlight was a great individual run by Lewis Dyer who beat three players within a foot of the touchline to race into the corner.
The game was played in a good spirit and this was an improved performance on the previous week. The score line would have been more to Norton’s liking if they had taken more chances when overlaps appeared and if the scrum had not gone uncontested during the second half due to injuries to Chew players. Plenty to work on but the signs are positive for the upcoming trip to Cheddar.
10th Sept 2016
Stothert and Pitt 2nds 7 v Midsomer Norton 2nds 41
Arriving at Stothert and Pitt full of confidence after their opening day performance, Midsomer Norton 2nds started strongly building up an early lead through some good handling and strong running. The set piece also started well with Stotherts finding it hard to gain a foothold in the game, especially when combined with ferocious tackling and line speed of Norton’s defence.
Despite this bright start and some exciting moments of continuity and individual flair, the overall performance was somewhat frustrating due to a lack of intensity and structure in attack and an inability to move the ball into the space created quickly and efficiently. Norton were a real threat every time they had the ball but too often suffered from white-line fever that became contagious, transforming easy try scoring opportunities into an undignified pile of bodies resulting in scrums rather than a try.
2nd’s captain Blackmore is looking forward to a structured and improved performance next week at home to Chew Valley. Intelligent and unselfish decision making, aligned with a higher tempo and ruthlessness is required. This needs to become second nature for future tougher challenges ahead.
3rd Sept 2016
Midsomer Norton II 91 vs Old Culverhasians 0
The much anticipated start of the Somerset 2 North campaign at Norton Down saw Norton get off to a flyer with an impressive, relentless and disciplined win. From the kick off Norton gathered the ball and immediately used the wind to their advantage by sending it deep into Old C’s territory resulting in a try from the stolen lineout.
Midsomer Norton completely dominated possession in the set piece and produced some excellent handling in the slippery conditions, combined with hard direct running that Old C’s were unable to cope with as they simply ran out of defenders.
This was every inch an excellent team performance so picking out individuals seems pointless, however, Will Edgell’s powerful running in the loose is something worth noting. Indeed, Old Culverhasians certainly won’t forget the experience of trying to tackle him. Edgell was disappointed to have to drop into the back row because he was enjoying playing so well at prop. His 4 tries will come as some consolation and he will get his wish of playing a full game at prop if he keeps performing like this.
Next week the team travel to Stothert and Pitt and expect nothing less than another disciplined and committed performance resulting in a bonus point victory.
18th Jan 2016
Midsomer Norton 2nds 63 Old Culverhaysians 0
Midsomer Norton 2nds continued their fine run of form this weekend with a convincing victory at home to Old Culverhaysians. With conditions considerably better than those of recent weeks the backs were looking forward to getting their hands on the ball and playing some running rugby at long last. Playing down the hill first half it wasn’t long before they were doing this.
The ball going wide courtesy of the solid platform the forward back were setting. Jack Johnson distributed well at 9 and good lines of running saw the Norton backs often make yards, however silly errors in the final third cost them early tries. First on the score sheet was Tom Rideout, a strong break off the back of the scrum by Will Edgell, who showed deft touch for a man so big saw Rideout cross in the corner. From thereon Norton looked sharper, Joe Knight often dealt well in collecting kick offs, Daff Evans went on a lomu-esque jaunt down the wing and Edgell again showed that deft touch when putting in Slater towards the end of the first half, the ten still with much to do shrugged off the remaining defenders to crash under the posts.
Nath Fear playing in his preferred position of the wing was on a brace by half time and Jack Rideout, not to be outdone, joined his older brother on the score sheet after managing to collect a tricky pass to touch done in the corner. The only down side to the half was what looked to be a nasty injury to Lewis Dyer, who the team wish a speedy recovery.
The second half continued much the same, Sonny Ben Taylor displayed a wide range of offloading skills which freed his centre partner Tom Powney who twice crossed the white wash, Nath Fear was able to cross for his hat-trick and Kev Herbert made a rare appearance on the wing to grab a score of his own. Edgell also added to his impressive tally for the season with the final score 63-0. Norton travel to Old Bristolians next weeked.
9th Jan 2016
Nailsea and Backwell 2nds 15pts Midsomer Norton 2nds 38pts
Midsomer Norton 2nds carried on their winning ways with a trip to Nailsea and Backwell this weekend. With many local fixtures cancelled due to the heavy rain the team were greeted by a very wet pitch and it was obvious this was going to be a game won upfront. Norton started the game playing up the hill and into the wind, but weren’t as sharp as they needed to be. Poor communication from kick off and indiscipline in defence saw Nailsea set up camp in the Norton 22 and it wasn’t long before they grabbed the first score of the game.
This was the wakeup call that Norton needed and from there on in they dominated the game. Strong scrummaging from the front row of Backhurst, Bicknell end Edgell gave the backs a good platform to work from, the boot of Ben Moon put Norton in the right areas, Joe Knight jumped well in the line out and an immense return from injury for Jamie Rose saw him constantly making hard yards. Norton grabbed 2 scores in the first half with Rose and Knight getting on the score board, Moon converting both.
The second half saw Norton come out the starting blocks sharper, good work on the wing saw Jason Holmewood grab himself a brace, one as the result of a beautiful no look offload from Sonny Ben Taylor. Both Rideout’s impacted the game, Jack slicing through the opposition defence to set up Jack Johnson and Tom hacking the ball ahead for Nath Fear to collect over the line. Nailsea however had a strong finish to the game and managed to score twice from close range despite fierce defence from the back row.
The game finished 38-15 to Norton who remain top of the table.
2nd Jan 2016
Midsomer Norton 2nds 14 Weston Super Mare 3rds 0
Midsomer Norton played host to Weston Super Mare 3’s in conditions much different to those that the two played in earlier this season but the result was the same.
On wet windy day at Norton down the hosts began solely with the aim of utilising their superiority in the pack. This started immediately with Richard Slater putting Norton in the ‘Mendip corner’ and Midsomer Norton dominated the resulting scrum on the Weston 5m line. After a few more strong phases from the forwards, a sniping Jack Johnson went over the whitewash. Slater added the conversion to make it 7-0.
Slater’s kicking continued to pin the opposition within their own 22 and no matter how hard the visitors attempted to deal with the pack,Weston could not cope with the front row they had dubbed ‘ the blancmanges’ and were forced to walk back 5 meters at almost every scrum.
Clever kicks to touch proved a strong tactic with Norton dominating the line-out thanks to a combination of Joe Knights strong jumping in the second row and the visitors hooker struggling to throw straight in the blustery conditions. Norton managed another score in the first half, a well worked offload from Tom Powney helped to release the young gun Luke Murphy who battered his way through the tiger like defence. Slater was again on target with the boots taking the score at half time to 14-0.
Norton were expecting a hard second half uphill and against the wind. Something which wasn’t helped by Kemar Stewart being sin binned within a minute of coming on to the pitch after not retreating 10 when the opposition took a quick tap penalty. Whilst centres Powney and Murphy offered much with the ball, they had nothing to do in defence as WSM’s backline failed to get the ball beyond 10.
A strong back row performance from Norton ensured that WSM’s forwards did not penetrate Norton’s iron wall defence in the second half and Norton won this clash to provide breathing space at the top of North Somerset 2
5th Dec 2015
Midsomer Norton 2nds 12 Old Reds 3rds 22
Midsomer Norton 2nds saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an end this week with a home loss against Old Reds 3rds. Norton started playing down the slope with the strong wind at their backs. However it was the visitors who dominated the early exchanges, strong running and good work round the fringes saw them make inroads into Norton territory.
Norton’s lack of discipline saw them gift penalties and it wasn’t long before it was 5-0 to Old Reds. Despite the try being fairly central the strong winds saw the conversion missed. From the resulting kick off Norton started to get a grip on the game and spent some time in the opposition half. A penalty was kicked to the corner and the pack crossed the whitewash following good line out ball and a well organised rolling maul. Slater converted.
The rest of the half saw Norton in the oppositions half but they struggled to make holes in a well organised Reds defence, this combined with the awful conditions led to a very stop start for the rest of the half. Norton did however find themselves 12-5 to the better at half time, good play again by the pack saw prop Will Edgell run a solid line from close range to cross the try line for the 8th time this season.
The second half was always going to be hard, conditions meant fast ball was nearly impossible and the unpredictable wind played its roll. Reds utilised it well and often put Dyer and Jeffery under pressure at the back. The difference between the two sides was the Old Reds number 8, Hooper. His strong carries gave Old reds the front foot and he scored a second half hat trick to take the game of Norton’s reach with the final score at 22-12. Norton will be looking for a return to form away at Imperial this weekend.
21st Nov 2015
Midsomer Norton 2nds 45 Gordano 10
After a prolonged break of 4 weeks Midsomer Norton 2nds returned to action this weekend with a home game against Gordano sharks. Both sides went into the game knowing the result would be important with each of them competing for a place at the top of the table. The game started with Norton playing down the slope with the wind in their face. Norton got off to a flying start, Richard Slater made the ball hang in the wind and confusion amongst the Gordano defence saw Nath Fear collect the ball and make yards towards the line. A couple of quick hard lines from the pack saw Julian Hawkins crash over from close range to get Norton’s first score of the game, not soon after good phase play saw the Luis Devila score in the other corner and Slater converted. The next 10 minutes however saw Gordano get a grip on the game, they crossed the white wash and converted a penalty to close the gap, and another score from Norton saw the teams head into half time 17-10.
The second half was all Midsomer Norton both the pack and the backs linked well and whenever Gordano ran with ball in hand big hits from the likes of Tom Powney in the centres saw any attacks quickly sniffed out. Norton used the wind to their advantage and played most of their rugby in the Gordano 22, Tom Hillier and Joe Knight in the second row helped Norton dominate line outs which gave the backs good set piece to work with. The visitors did have a spell of possession towards the end of the match but a determined Norton continued to deny them points. The game finished 45-10 with Julian Hawkins, Luis Deville and Will Edgell getting two a piece, while Nath Fear took the tally for the day to 7. The win sees Norton return to the top of the table.
24th Oct 2015
Midsomer Norton 2nds 22 Stothert & Pitt 2nds 3
Midsomer Norton 2nds returned to action this week in the North Somerset 2nd division looking to extend their unbeaten streak to 6 games in a row against Stothert and Pitt.
Norton started the day on the top of the table and were keen to stay there. Wet conditions suggested this would be a day for the forwards to dominate, however with Stothert’s lacking a front row the game was to be played with uncontested scrums. Playing up hill in the first half Norton started well, the returning Ben Matthews ensured they won good line out ball and despite not being permitted to dominate in the scrum Norton’s large pack dominated the driving maul, often marching Stothert’s back up the pitch towards their try line. Richard Slater made good breaks from 10 and used the boot to pin the opposition deep. When Stothert’s did have possession Norton’s defence stood strong and excellent work by flanker Luis Deville saw their ball slowed down and turned over. The first try of the match came courtesy of Will Edgell who crashed over from short range following a period of sustained pressure. However indiscipline at the breakdown saw him leave the pitch after receiving a yellow card. With the extra man in their favour Stothert’s spent time in the Norton’s 22 and left with 3 points to their name. Once back up to fifteen men Norton’s dominance resumed, good line out ball led to another rolling maul and Daff Evans peeled off the back to score out wide.
At half time the team spoke about looking to kick on and claim the bonus point win, heading out for the second half this showed, however with the wet conditions and a few wayward passes saw their attempts often fall short and most of the second half was spent scrummaging.
Now playing downhill Norton used the slope and kicked in behind the Stothert’s defence, strong kick chasing from Steve Forse led to confusion amongst the opposition defence and following some scrappy play Joe Knight collected the ball and dived over for Norton’s third score of the game. This came despite the team being back down to 14 men following further indiscipline. The final try of the day was scored By Rich Slater who again managed to find a hole in the opposition defence, good footwork saw him skip past the full back and cross under the posts. The game finished 22-3 to Norton who remain top of the table.
19th Sept 2015
Midsomer Norton 2nds 59pts v 17pts Nailsea and Backwell
Midsomer Norton 2nds hosted Nailsea and Backwell this weekend looking to continue their perfect start to the season. With a side very similar to the week before Norton started the game playing up the hill and they began brightly scoring almost immediately after strong running from Dav Evans and Jay Harvey drove deep into Nailsea’s half and Nath Fear ran the ball in from 30 yards. However, Nailsea didn’t let the early score faze them and quickly responded with a try of their own. Further strong running from the forwards led to a couple more tries before the break, but missed tackles and a lethargic display without the ball meant that an experienced Nailsea replied to almost every Norton score with one of their own and went in only a few points down at the break.
Despite this at half time Norton felt they were the team who should have controlled the game and stern words in the half time team talk saw them start the second half much better than the first. With forwards winning good ball for the half backs Forse and Slater the backs attacked on the front foot and it wasn’t long before the tries started rolling in. With Nailsea only bringing a bare 15 their experienced pack began to tire and Norton’s youth took hold of the game. Nathan fear continued his impressive run of form with a hat trick, Luke Murphy added a brace, the returning Dav Evans crossed the line along with Marlo Sawyer who continued to build on his impressive comeback which began the week before. Steve Forse also found his way across the line as did Will Edgell taking his tally for the season to 3. With the final score at 59-17 Norton walked away worthy winners with another 5 point haul.
12th Sept 2015
Weston-s-Mare III 22 - 27 Midsomer Norton II
A young Midsomer Norton 2nd team travelled down to Weston on Saturday looking to build on their impressive start to the season despite a much changed line up. Norton start strongly, with good defence from an attacking kick off they forced Weston to clear their lines and found themselves with a lineout just inside their own half. With Goddard and Knight both jumping well Norton won good possession and set up a good attacking platform for the backs.
Naturally so early in the season errors occurred, and the game was rather disjointed. However Norton were dominating the set piece, with Bob Davies scrummaging superbly, this worked in their favour and after more good line out ball Nathan Fear broke from the back of the maul to score in the corner. It wasn’t long before yet more dominant forward play led to prop Callum Bicknell burrowing over from close range to double Norton’s lead. However after this Norton let their grip on the game loosen and Weston took full advantage. With the lead at 10-7 it was important that Norton responded well and they did this from kick off, with the returning Sawyer putting in a huge hit on his opposite number as Weston tried to run the ball back.
Norton dominated the rest of the half and after drawing in Weston defenders Scrumhalf Knight saw a gap around the fringes and was able to coast in from range. The second half saw Norton again start strongly and after a long period of time in Weston territory the penalty count began to grow, the boot of Slater helped Norton pin the opposition on their 5 meter line and from another penalty Will Edgell crashed over from short range. Weston again replied with a score of their own and the scores were close at 20-17 heading into the final 20 minutes.
However Norton didn’t let the Weston score shake them and it wasn’t long before Edgell had again crossed the line, Slaters conversion giving the boys a 10 point lead. Weston did close the gap after another score but in the dying moments of the game Norton defended strongly, turning scrums against the head and clearing their lines to see the game out. The team will be looking to build on their strong start this weekend at home to Nailsea.
21st March 2015
Midsomer Norton 2nds 19 North Petherton 2nds 7
Midsomer Norton travelled away to North Petherton this weekend with confidence high following their much deserved victory against Bridgwater 2 weeks before. The game started with Norton playing downhill with the wind in their faces. The early exchanges saw both sides trying to play expansive rugby in the good conditions, however neither were able to break the others solid defence and silly errors led to a series of set pieces. It was here that Norton began to get a grip on the game, the returning B Matthews aiding the lineout greatly and the strengthened scrum securing Norton ball whilst making life extremely difficult for the home team. After a series of good phases including strong carries from the likes of D Evans and R Fuller, as well as breaks from B Moon and T Powney Norton found themselves with a lineout in the opposition 22. The ball was taken cleanly at the front and the driving maul that followed sent Norton over the line with D Evans claiming the spoils. His fourth score in two games. B Moon slotted the conversion from wide on the right.
It was another set piece which led to Nortons second score, after North Petherton were penalised at scrum time, just 5 meters from their own line R Fullers quick thinking allowed him to tap and go, burrowing over in the corner.
The rest of the half saw the hosts on the attack, however great defensive work by openside A Davis, and big hits out wide from the likes of K Stewart prevented the home side from scoring on several occasion and Norton went into the break 12-0 up.
With the wind now behind them in the second half Norton were able to execute their game plan and frequently kicked to the corner, pinning North Petherton in their 22. It wasn’t long before they found themselves on the score sheet again, a good blindside move saw K Herbert offload out of contact for D Backhurst to collect and dive over the line. Norton were then unlucky to have a bonus point try disallowed for crossing, again following good offload play.
Petherton however didn’t give up and were rewarded with a try of their own following ill-discipline and soft defence by Norton within their own 22. The tap penalty was taken quickly and the try scored under the post.
The game finished Midsomer Norton 19 North Petherton 7, Norton will look to continue the run of form they have discovered at home to Chard next week.
13th Dec 2014
Midsomer Norton 2nds 21 V Wellington 2nds 38
Midsomer Norton 2nds have had a tough season through Injuries and blooding younger players and currently find themselves at the foot of the Somerset League 1, on Saturday they took on fellow strugglers Wellington in a game that would, on paper, be closer than previous games. Norton had a mix of experience in the Midfield and youth in the pack and on the wings and hoped this mixture would bear fruit.
Wellington got the game underway playing up the slope and with the low winter sun in their faces, but they were quicker to adapt to the conditions with their bigger stronger pack putting a lot of pressure on the smaller Norton front 5 in the rucks and the line outs, luckily for Norton the 1st scrum would not occur until mid way through the 2nd half but Wellington were dominating the break down area. It was they who took the lead after only 3 minutes with a try from James Devlin converted by Mason, previously in the season this would have led to Norton rolling over and conceding more, but gradually they got their way back into the game, the tactical kicking off Penny combined with the strong running of Powney and Slater meant that Norton were becoming more and more of a threat and eventually got on the score sheet when Davis went over for the score from a tap penalty that was converted by Penny, but Wellington were soon back in front when John went over again converted by Mason, then the stronger Wellington pack drove Bererton over the line to leave half time score 19-7 to the visitors.
As the 2nd half started Norton realised the strength of the sun in their eyes that caused problems not just on the high ball but also every time the ball was passed though the hands. Wellington upped their game using the conditions to set Coles away to Increase their lead. Norton then had one of their best periods of play of the season as they kept ball in hand and caused problems for the home defence, The evergreen Richard Slater was on hand to crash over for a try, and then following excellent play from the forwards attacking the Wellington line and sucking in the defenders the ball was eventually spun wide and Penny’s cross field kick was gathered by the predatory Lovell for the touchdown and when Penny added his third conversion of the afternoon Norton were suddenly only 3 points down. However the optimism was soon quelled when Mason and Davey scored the final 2 tries of the game to secure the win for Wellington.
Norton can take great pride from the game and its good for the youngsters to play in these hard close games but can also learn from playing alongside the likes of Richard Slater who turned back the clock with an excellent all round performance.
October 18, 2014
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 29 Vs Yatton 2nds XV 17
Midsomer Norton 2nds finally bought an end to their winless streak this weekend with a victory over Yatton 2nds.
It was Yatton who started the sharper of the two sides, having won the toss they chose to play down hill with the elements and it wasn’t long before they pinned Norton back in their 22. A penalty was awarded when Norton failed to roll away in the tackle and Yatton elected to take a shot at goal. However the fly halfs attempt drifted just wide and Norton were able to briefly clear their lines.
Yattons next visit to Norton territory ended with the games first points being scored, a sharp backs move from a solid scrum saw Yattons fly half break through a hole in nortons defence. The ball went wide and the try was scored. This proved to be the wake up call that Norton needed and from the following kick off a solid pack chase saw Norton gain valuable ground, the forwards worked tirelessly and solid carries from the likes of Dav Evans and Bungle, as well as several breaks up the wing by Kemar helped Norton gather momentum. The pressure being piled on the Yatton defence eventually showed as Alex Mitchard, returning from injury, cut a line to ghost through and cross for nortons first points of them game.
It wasn’t long before Mitchard was again involved in the game, this time off the back of quick second phase ball Norton went wide, Steve Penny, Rich Slater and Mitchard all showed great hands and Lewis Dyer came onto the ball at pace to give Norton the lead. Penny converted. Norton were keen to keep applying pressure and after Sam Church won good lineout ball the forwards set up camp just outside the yatton 22, the ball again found its way to Mitchard, this time in acres of space and he was able to cross for his second of the game.
Yatton soon found their feet again and towards the end of the first half they began to dominate possession, this led to a successful 3 points and following confusion amongst the Norton defence a try from the back of a scrum. Norton however responded with a try of their own, following scrappy play within the Yatton half Mikey Evans, Norton’s hooker, managed to punt the ball towards the opposition line. He won the footrace that followed and was first to pounce on the ball.
At half time Norton led 22-17 however would now be playing downhill with the wind behind them. Unfortunately the game became disjointed in the second half, there were long pauses in play for injuries to Yatton players and both sides tempers began to fray. Norton’s only score of the half came from an inspired piece of play by blindside flanker Ed Cook. Having called for the ball to go blind Cook had the vision to thread a grubber kick between the last line of Yattons defence which Joe Travetti read expertly, he outstripped the retreating Yatton defence to fall on the ball and score Norton’s fifth of the game. Steve penny slotted the conversion from wide on the right.
Nortons defence remained solid for the remainder of the half, Joe Knight and Sam Church putting in several hits on the Yatton fly half who was trying his best to get his side back in the game. The final whistle blew with the score 29-17. A big thanks must be given to all those who turned up to cheer the team on.
Hard cheese for Midsomer Norton 2nds as Cheddar Valley make the most of missed opportunities
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 3 Cheddar Valley 1st XV 5
Midsomer Norton 2nds missed a late penalty and had a try disallowed as they slipped to a narrow home defeat against newly-promoted Cheddar Valley on Saturday. Following a series of heavy defeats, Norton were determined to get a win on the board and were boosted by the return of several players including Jack Rowles and Rich Martin.
The game started at a frantic pace with Cheddar Valley on the front foot. Norton’s defence stood strong initially, repelling several attacks in and around their 22, but this came at the expense of James Abbott who was forced off with a knock to the head. Cheddar were patient and eventually drew in enough Norton players to create numbers out wide, then put the ball through the hands before crossing the line.
They again began to attack from kick-off but Norton absorbed the pressure well, with Sam Church tackling relentlessly at flanker. When Norton finally got their hands on the ball, Lewis Dyer made a fantastic break and beat several players to take play from inside his own 22 to the opposition half. The centre partnership of Martin and Rowles both made good yards but Norton’s support was never quite quick enough to ensure they were able to retain the possession in order to make it count.
Ben Taylor kicked well from hand, giving Norton good territory, and eventually the pressure told when the referee awarded a penalty in the Cheddar 22 which Taylor slotted. Norton continued to have much of the possession in the second half, with debutant Daryl Lambert carrying extremely well to make valuable yards. Having forced Cheddar to clear their lines from deep, the Norton backs were able to launch a counter-attack and Tom Rideout used his pace to beat several defenders on the outside before crossing the line. However, he was adjudged to have put a foot in touch and the try was disallowed.
Norton were then awarded a penalty with just minutes to go but were unable to send the ball though the uprights as Cheddar held on.
Midsomer Norton were thrashed by high-flying Keynsham 2nd in their first home game of the campaign.
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 5 Keynsham 2nd XV 73
September 20, 2014
Norton actually got off to a fantastic start as Richard Slater went long from kick off and a solid chase from the pack forced Keynsham to kick away possession.Early carries from Ollie Newton and Ed Cook helped Norton gain yards but Keynsham defended well and soon pinned Norton in their own 22.
Keynsham’s dominance in the set-piece showed as they crossed the tryline off the back of a lineout maul. However, Norton did not let their heads drop and they were back in Keynsham territory following a good touch finder from Louie Dyer. The hosts got on the scoreboard when Sam Knight offloaded brilliantly out of the tackle to send Rob Crouch over in the corner on his return to the game following nearly a year off.
These proved to be Norton’s only points as Keynsham began to get a grip on the game, scoring a series of tries before half-time. Keynsham continued the onslaught after the restart but Norton showed real grit in defence, with wingers Jack Johnson and Kemar tackling well out wide, while Kev Herbert and Nathan Fear continued to work tirelessly around the breakdown.
Youthful Midsomer Norton 2nds show promise but are stung by Weston Hornets
September 6, 2014
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 10 Weston Hornets 2nd XV 84
A young Midsomer Norton 2nd XV started their season on Saturday with a trip to the coast to play Weston Hornets. The Norton team started well, challenging their own kick off and pinning Hornets in back in their 22 for a lengthy period, Matt Edgell and Jamie Rose both making good yards with strong carries early on.
Norton crossed the white wash once only for it to be disallowed, the referee determining there had been a foot in touch. However Norton didn’t allow Hornets to clear their lines and Rose scored the first try of the game off the back of a strong catch and drive from the lineout.
Norton returned to the Weston 22 from kick off, B Edwards used good feet to get agonisingly close to the line but Norton failed to capitalise. This would be the last time they saw ball for a while as the pacey Weston back line started to find their feet and ran in a series of quick tries. Things got harder for Norton with fly half Dyer having to leave the field, and by half-time Weston were well in control of the game.
However Norton started the second half much like the first and a strong break by Edwards followed by a good support line from S Knight saw the captain gather the ball to cross the line. Before long Weston had regained control of the game and several slick backs moves led to them crossing the line several times in quick succession.
Their dominance continued throughout the half and it wasn’t until the last ten minutes that Norton found themselves with possession again. Callum Bicknell and Matthew Denning both carried well and Norton had several lineouts in the Hornets 22 but were unable to grab any further consolation points. Norton seven Nathan Fear deserves a mention for working relentlessly throughout the match
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 31 – 27 Chard 2nd XV
With the first team having a weekend off the seconds took centre stage on Saturday when they hosted Chard in Somerset 1. The seconds put in a good performance to edge a closely contested game and earn a four try bonus point win.
The hosts started well and were soon on the score sheet when fly half Adam Sinden profited from a well worked backs move to dummy his way over. Full back Tom Rideout added the conversion.
As was typical of the game though, each time Norton threatened to pull clear, the visitors responded with a score of their own to ensure they remained in touch.
Norton moved further ahead when some good play close to the line by the pack committed the Chard defence. A long pass from scrum half Ian Tiley allowed prop Matt Edgell to put winger Chris Harper in at the corner.
Back came Chard as they pounced on a loose ball in midfield before Norton scored twice in quick succession.
Firstly Edgell was on hand to power over from close range and soon after Harper doubled his tally as he went over in the corner to seal the bonus point which Rideout converted.
Chard fought back before half time when the referee awarded a try to their winger when Edgell clearly grounded the ball first and this saw them well in the hunt at half time.
The second half saw the game continue in a similar manner with both sides making considerable inroads into each other’s territory
Chard scored a try and threatened to retake the lead before Sinden burst through the defence to score the clinching try. Rideout again converted to put Norton nine points clear.
There was still time for Chard to score one more try but Norton held on to win by four points.
Star men for Norton were number eight Jamie Rose who made a number of storming runs and centre Jack Rowles who was impressive throughout on his return from injury.
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 17 – 40 Weston Hornets 2nd XV
With a number of players called up to the first fifteen the seconds found themselves with another new look line-up on Saturday as they entertained a powerful Weston Hornets side. Flanker Dave Dury and Sam Church made their debuts, and along with a gutsy performance from prop Ollie Newton they showed much promise for the future. Despite the changes the youthful Norton team, who were dwarfed by their visitors, put in a really committed performance which saw them claim three well deserved tries. They couldn’t prevent the visitors from claiming the win but can be very satisfied with their efforts.
The visitors threatened to race away in the opening quarter as they grabbed two quick tries before Norton hit back. Several close range drives allowed hooker Dan Backhurst to go over for a well taken try.
The visitors used their size and experience to exert pressure on the home defence and they breached the defence twice more before half time to give themselves a 26 – 7 lead.
The second half started in similar fashion but the longer the game went on the more Norton’s youthful side controlled possession. Hornets added two more tries before Norton dominated the closing quarter.
Lock Jamie Gimson was on hand to power over for a try after he stole the ball at a ruck.
Soon after winger Sam Church capped an excellent debut performance with a try in the corner when the ball was whisked along the back line. Stand in centre Dayne Swift fired out a long pass to give him the space and Church beat his man with ease to score out wide. Rideout converted to bring the game to a finish.
Old Sulians 1st XV 24 – 10 Midsomer Norton 2nd XV
A young Midsomer Norton second team travelled up to Lansdown last weekend to face Old Sulians.
Norton started the game promisingly with the forward pack making some big carries early on to give the halfback partnership of Martin Blackmore and James Abbot good ball to try and get the back line firing.
Abbott kicked well early on and Norton pressed well pinning Sulians back. The pressure eventually showed and after a few half breaks winger Ross Miller intercepted the ball in his own half to run the ball in for Norton’s first points of the game, Abbott converted off of the upright.
From the kick off the pack again helped Norton advance up field, big carries from props Ollie Newton and Dayne Swift as well as good support play from the back row saw Sulians impede several times at the breakdown, giving Norton a shot at goal, which Abbot converted. However these would be the only points Norton would score.
Sulians started to get a grip on the game towards the end of the first half, and managed to cross the line after a series of phases only to be held up by good defence from Norton. Despite this frantic defence and big hits, especially from flanker Andrew Davis, they put the ball through the hands to score out wide.
Poor discipline saw Norton go down to 14 men at the end of the half.
The second half started off where the first finished with Sulians quick out the blocks compared to a sluggish Norton who now had a makeshift back line following injury to F McDermott.
Sulians went on to score another try and a series of penalties following yet more ill-discipline from Norton taking the final score to 24-10, a convincing victory for Old Sulians.
Yatton 2nd XV 7 – 16 Midsomer Norton 2nd XV
Midsomer Norton travelled across the Mendips on Saturday in high spirits after a run of recent results that has seen them climb up the Somerset 1 league ladder. A mixture of youth and experience has seem them put a winning run together that culminated in the beating of league leaders Clevedon at home the previous week. If Norton were really keen to be seen as realistic challengers in this league then they needed to back up these results against teams like Yatton who found themselves mid table.
In the absence of regular captain Ian Tiley, veteran Fly Half Steve Penny took over the reins and choose to play down the slope with a slight wind at their back first half. It didn’t take long for Norton to get into their stride, strong running from centres Edwards and Abbott and the back 3 of Sinden, Harper and Rideout combined with sloppy first up tackling from the home side meant Norton were camped in the oppositions 22 for long periods of the opening half. Yatton had to fall foul off the laws to stop the onslaught and Rideout opened Norton’s account with an early penalty. The forwards then got their hands on the ball showing their strengths in the set piece, regular props Williams and Rodgers were joined by the returning and much missed Merrigan in the front row and they were dominating the scrums, allowing the back row front foot ball to attack with, Jamie Rose, Andrew Davis and Tom Fear were always on hand in open play and it was from one such attack that the ball eventually reached the hands of Ben Parker who crashed over in the corner to put Norton 8 points up. The home team though soon got their game together and gradually worked their way back in to the game, showing they had set piece moves of their own, when they scored from a catch and drive from a line out that was converted to bring them back within a point. The Norton pack then regained the upper hand keeping the ball tight and dominating the line out through Bens Mathews and Parker and Tom Fear. Jack Johnson playing only his 2nd ever game at this level at scrum half marshalled the troops superbly and was on hand to direct Jamie Rose towards the line for the last try before the ref brought the half to a conclusion.
At half time coach Tiley and conditioning coach Hillier highlighted that Norton had dominated in patches but these patches were too few and far between, Norton had to put these spells together if they were to come away with a win.
The 2nd half was a much more cagey niggly affair with the home side getting on the wrong side of the officials who brandished 2 yellow cards for Infringements and had to give various warnings and penalties against them. Penny was able to keep working the touchlines but Norton were unable to make the territory and possession count. The fresh legs of Blackmore, Silk and Wilkinson came on and added to the attacking options but Norton’s only reward from the half was a penalty from the boot of Rideout. At the final whistle Norton knew they had been in a battle but one that they could have won more comfortably if they had kept their foot on the gas and not had so many periods off the boil, but a wins a win and travelled back over the Mendips with the points in the bag. Next week they are on their travels again when they make the shorter trip to Wells.
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 15 – 10 Clevedon 1st XV
The seconds bounced back from last week’s loss at Imperial when they recorded an excellent victory against league leaders Clevedon. Despite being outscored two tries to none the home side earned the win from a solid defensive display and repeated pressure on the visitor’s line. This coupled with a faultless performance with the boot from winger Tom Rideout saw them home.
With a number of enforced changes the home side gelled together from the off and took the game to the opposition. This allowed them to exert pressure with the strong running of centres Finn McDermott, Tom Matthews and flanker Andrew Davis keeping Clevedon on the back foot.
Rideout kicked the first of his five penalties when Clevedon strayed off side in midfield, and he stretched the lead again before half time with another well struck effort.
In between both sides were playing some good rugby but a number of handling errors thwarted both their efforts. For Norton both Rob Crouch and Jack Johnson had encouraging debuts, backed up by the hard work of stalwarts like Tom Hillier and Julian Hawkins who got through a prodigious amount of work.
The second half saw Celvedon have slightly better of field position but Norton were competing manfully in the tight and set pieces, with Oliver Nash to the fore in the lineout. Eventually though Clevedon worked an opening and their winger raced over for an unconverted try.
Norton fought back and again Rideout was on hand to increase the lead before Clevedon pounced with a second try to put them narrowly in front as the game entered the final quarter.
The home side showed their resilience though as backs and forwards combined to good effect. This enabled Rideout to reclaim the lead, which he further extended soon afterwards.
All that was left was for the Norton defence to remain strong, which it did, aided by a number of handling errors from the visitors which saw the home side hold on in relative comfort for a well deserved win.
Next week the seconds are on the road as they travel to Yatton.
Imperial 1st XV 31 – 18 Midsomer Norton 2nd XV
The seconds travelled to Bristol to take on Imperial on Saturday in what proved to be an entertaining game. Despite losing the Norton side were very much in the running for most of the game and played some excellent rugby.
The opening stages were nip and tuck with Norton dominating possession but it was the hosts who broke away to score first.
Norton soon came back at them. The ever reliable scrum allowed quick ball to be swept wide where full back Adam Sinden’s show and go left the home sides defence flat footed, allowing him to race in at the corner.
Imperial began to exert some pressure but time and again good defence kept them at bay. Norton also had several attacks of their own which saw them come close to taking the lead.
It was the hosts who eventually took the initiative when they seized on a loose ball and raced away to take a 14-5 lead, which they then further increased before half time.
Norton again came back strongly after the break. A penalty from Tom Rideout pulled them back within a score after some prolonged pressure from the visitors.
Imperial pulled further clear as they again pounced on some loose Norton play to score a try before Sinden added a long range drop goal to keep Norton in the hunt.
Norton responded with a push over try after some good approach play, which was converted by Rideout but the hosts proved just too strong as they scored again to close out the win.
The Norton side can take great heart from their performance, with the youthful back row of Grant Silk, Tom Fear and Jamie Rose showing a great deal of promise for the future.
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 32 - 24 Crewkerne 1st XV
The seconds put in a dominant first half performance against visitors Crewkerne on Saturday to all but seal the result by half time. Using the strong winds to their advantage they pinned the visitors inside their own twenty two for long periods. This enabled them to score five tries to claim a bonus point before the half time whistles.
The first score came when some good close range work by the pack enabled captain Ian Tiley to take the ball up the blindside and dummy his way over for arty in the corner.
Good kicking from Steve Penny, Tom. Ride out and Jamie Rose kept Crewkerne on the back foot and from here it was the pack that did the damage. From another close range series of drives the ball was worked to prop Adam Wilkinson who charged his way over rom close range. ride out adding the conversion.
The line out was an area of superiority for the home side and this allowed them to register further tries. The first foreseeable came from an impressive catch and drive that saw lock Tom Hillier surge over the line.
Crewkerne hit back with a penalty after a brief period of pressure but Norton hit back twice more before half time when Rose grabbed a brace of tries from strong forward drives from line outs. Rid out added a further conversion from out wide to give
Norton a 29-3 half time lead.
The second half saw the elements now in Crewkerne's favour and despite their best efforts they were just too far behind to ever seriously mount a comeback threat. Norton's defence held firm at key periods and Rideout added a penalty to ensure the home side held on for a well deserved victory.
Next week the seconds are on the road when they travel to Hornets.
Old Reds 3rd XV 10 – 20 Midsomer Norton 2nd XV
The seconds ground out a hard fought win on Saturday when they travelled to Brislington to take on Old Reds. Having lost out in a closely fought fixture the previous season they were happy to return with a win but will feel a little disappointed that they didn’t secure the bonus point. Their cause wasn’t helped by howling wind and heavy downpours of rain which made the handling conditions very difficult.
The visitors started sluggishly but after a repelling some early Old Reds attacks they broke from their own half/ The ball was expertly recycled down the line to allow winger Tom Rideout to race into the corner.
Instead of kicking on from here Norton relaxed a little too much and spent too long in their own half. When the back line again attempted to run from deep the final pass was spilled and this allowed the Old Reds winger to kick ahead. He narrowly won the chase to the line to bring the scores level.
Norton began to settle into their well rehearsed pattern of play. This saw them driving round the fringes and eventually the Old Reds defence buckled. The ball was switched back to the blind side and number eight Jamie Rose powered over in the corner to give Norton the half time lead 10 - 5.
The second half continued in similar fashion. Norton were beginning to control possession and field position but the slippery ball caused a number of mistakes to be made.
Rideout kicked a penalty to increase the lead before Norton scored the decisive try. Good work by the pack allowed the ball to be shipped wide where winger Chris Harper went over in the corner. Rideout added the conversion to put Norton well clear.
Old Red’s fought back in the closing stages to score a close range try but the result was by this time secure for the visitors.
Norton are at home to Crewkerne on Saturday. 3pm kick-off.
Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 26 – 26 Old Sulians 1st XV
Midsomer Norton took to the pitch on Saturday hoping to build on the previous weeks convincing away win at Chard. They entertained an Old Sulians side who themselves have had an up and down start to the season and were looking to put a winning run together. On paper the Norton team looked very strong with most of the starting 15 having played first team rugby in the last 12 months and all of them having aspirations to return to the higher level.
Sulians got the game underway and it quickly became evident that Norton had the upper hand in the scrum, however the referee didn’t see it the same way and continually penalised the home team for a variety of infringements that led to a very fractious and niggly encounter. When the ball was allowed out of the set pieces both sides showed an eagerness and ability to play rugby but far too often play was brought back.
Sulians were the first to break the deadlock when they went over for a converted score following strong play from their forwards in the lose, Norton soon hit back when Ross Miller anticipated a wide pass and intercepted to race away from his own half to score under the posts, Tom Rideout adding the extras to bring Norton level. There then followed a period of more frustrating play of free kicks, penalties and various discussions between referee and captains, in between when play broke out defences were on top, with big hits coming in from the Norton pack. During this time Norton lost front rower Darren Barnes, Tom Clarke in the back row and centre Byron Edwards to injuries. As half time approached it was the visitors who managed to put a series phases together and scored with the last play of the half to take a 14-7 lead.
Calm heads were called for at the interval by coach Richard Slater and captain Steve Penny. If Norton could put as much energy into playing rugby as they did at questioning the decisions the game was still well within their grasp. This call to arms seemed to work as Norton started the second half with the bit between their teeth.
Strong running from Jamie Gimson, Tim Sheppard and Tyrone Moss gave scrum half Martin Blackmore good ball to distribute to the backs. It was from one such phase that the ball was spread wide to winger Lee Withers who broke up the top touchline. There followed an excellent exchange of passes between the forwards and eventually the ball was worked to Andrew Davis who was on hand to dive over.
Norton took the lead shortly afterwards as more forward pressure allowed the ball to spun to Penny who dummied a pass to inside centre Julian Hawkins that opened up a gap for him to speed through and score under the posts. Again Rideout added the conversion.
Norton were now in the ascendency and calm heads were needed. Unfortunately Sulians had other ideas and scored 2 unanswered tries to give them a 26-19 lead going into the final minutes. Norton thought they had scored when Number 8 Jamie Rose crashed over in the corner but the referee ruled he had put his foot in touch. Norton were not to be deterred and from the line out Moss was able to disrupt and the ball was recovered allowing Gimson to crash over. Norton had secured the 4 try bonus point but were still 2 points down and with the conversion on the touch line and kicker Rideout off injured this seemed all Norton would get from the game, but up stepped Miller to cooly slot the ball between the uprights and give Norton the draw their play deserved.
Castle Cary 1st XV 31 – 19 Midsomer Norton 2nd XV
The seconds travelled away to Castle Cary on Saturday for what proved to be a hard fought game of rugby. With a number of changes in personnel the new look seconds proved that there is considerable strength in depth at the club. Given more time together as a unit they could even have claimed a victory against a well drilled Castle Cary outfit.
Norton began playing down the slope and their impressive pack began to wear down the Cary eight. Quick ball was spun into midfield where Byron Edwards repeatedly broke the first line of defence on an impressive debut.
Cary though gradually fought their way into the game and began to lay siege to the Norton line. Some impressive defence kept them at bay but eventually they went over the first score.
Norton fought back almost immediately when a surging drive from the pack enabled number eight Jamie Rose to touch down. Fly half Steve Penny added the conversion.
The visitors then lost a man to the sin bin and this allowed Cary to claim another try to put them back in the lead. They extended this lead on the half time whistle when Norton failed to clear their lines and Cary scooped up the loose ball to score.
The second half was mainly dominated by Norton, especially in the scrummage. Cary had little answer to the Norton packs power and gave away numerous penalties. Flanker Tyrone Moss was unlucky not to score from one attempt but flanker Andrew Davis was on hand to force his way over.
Cary then responded with two well worked tries to ensure they remained just out of touch.&