3rd Team Match Reports
Saturday 21st April 2018
Wells 3rd XV 17 – 20 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The Thirds ended the season with a hard fought victory in sweltering conditions over near rivals Wells on Saturday. This bonus point victory saw them end the season in a creditable third place in Somerset 3 South.
Norton’s blend of youth and experience have developed over the year and it was great to see the growing crop of Colts players begin to make the transition from junior to senior rugby. Both sides had large squads and both were rotated to good effect to ensure everyone played their full part in the afternoon’s proceedings.
Norton dominated the first half and camped in the Wells half. The forwards competed well and the backs looked dangerous when they went wide. This allowed winger Greg Morgan to repeatedly break the line and he was eventually rewarded when he danced over for an excellent try.
His opposite winger Liam Shakespeare has really come on this year and he was soon on the scoresheet too, gaining his first senior try after a strong run to the corner.
It was a day of firsts as hard tackling centre Marcus Tuttle also claimed his first try for the club when he raced over before half time to give Norton a 15-0 lead.
The second half was a more evenly contested affair as Wells used the slope to their advantage. 3 tries threatened to pull them right back into the game but Norton held firm and scored a try of their own to clinch the game. Some good work down the blind side by fly half Swift allowed winger Liam Shaw to race down the touchline for a well deserved match winning try.
Captain Ian Tiley would like to thank everyone for their efforts this year and hopes to see them all back raring to go next season.
7th April 2018
Oldfield Old Boys II 0-64 Midsomer Norton II
On their final away trip, the seconds recorded their biggest win of the season with a ten-try victory at Shaft Road.
Both sides had struggled for numbers in the build-up, with injuries and 'The Clash' in Twickenham taking their toll. For the opening ten minutes Norton held a numerical advantage and raced into the lead. Both sides soon had a full complement of players, but the away side continued to dominate and wrapped the bonus point up midway through the first half.
The away side's new winger Ben Palmer's stole the show with his strong running and scored a hat-trick of tries on just his third appearance, the last of which scored on one leg as he hopped his way to the line, in a tired attempt to avoid a jug. There were also notable performances from fly-half Luke Murphy - who added a mesmerizing try to his seven conversions - and Andrew Davis who scored just hours after landing from his honeymoon.
To their credit Oldfield stuck at the fixture and made the game difficult where, possible but the away side were relentless and made ultimately the scoreline emphatic. Packer and Forse both scored after extremely well timed backs moves, whilst Dan Massey scored after some superb link-up play with his fellow forwards. Towards the end of the match, Silk and Knight effortlessly traded the roles of creator and finisher to complete the scorer.
Knight, who had dominated his ageing opposite number Ian B. Tiley throughout the game, received a sin bin in the closing minutes for a vicious high-tackle. However it was too little too late and Norton clung on to leapfrog the home side in the table.
The seconds will now complete the season with two home fixtures and the aim of finishing inside the top three.
10th March 2018
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 15 – 84 Wyvern 1st XV
The thirds lost out on Saturday when they entertained resurgent Wyvern in Somerset 3 South. The young Norton side certainly didn’t let themselves down though and made their opponents work hard for every score. Norton boasted 8 colts within their ranks, with 3 making their first ever senior appearances, flankers Josh Cater, James Kingsbury and winger Greg Morgan. All of them acquitted themselves very well and showed great promise for the future.
The visitors used their size and experience to score at regular intervals but Norton hit back following some good work from Morgan on the wing which enabled fullback Ben Johnson to go over in the corner.
Despite the heavy score line Norton held their own for long periods and deservedly added two more scores. The first came courtesy of Colt Joel Hawker who pounced on a loose pass to race away for an excellent score. The best was saved for last when scrum half Ian Tiley sold an outrageous dummy and stepped the covering full back to go over for his sides third try.
Ultimately Wyvern eased to victory but Norton can be proud of their efforts.
This week they are home to Yatton, 2.30pm kick off
17th Feb 2018
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 48-24 Cheddar 2nd XV
The thirds earned a well deserved bonus point win on Saturday as they gained revenge for a narrow earlier season defeat against Cheddar seconds.
The warm dry weather allowed both teams to play some good rugby but it was Norton who dominated the opening forty minutes outscoring the visitors 6 tries to 2. The pack were more than holding their own and the back line created a number of good opportunities. This allowed a flurry of first half tries.
Norton started at pace and flanker Tom Clark playing his first game for over a month bagged a first half hat trick. This was backed up by a fine finish from winger Ben Johnson, a poachers try from fly-half Stu Kelly and a further try from number eight Gareth Williams who powered over in typical fashion.
Cheddar hit back before half time with a couple of tries of their own to make the score 36-12 at half time.
Norton rung the changes to ensure their numerous subs also got involved. This they did with good effect in a hard fought second half. Both sides had periods of possession and pressure in an evenly contested second half. This led to two tries apiece, both Norton’s efforts coming from winger Kemar Stewart following a couple of thunderous runs. The kicking duties were shared with centre, Mike Evans kicking three and flanker Tom Clark adding one to make the final score 48-24.
20th Jan 2018
Wincanton 1st XV 19 – 19 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The thirds travelled to Wincanton on Saturday and came back with a hard earned but enjoyable draw. The wet weather made the pitch very heavy but both sides played some good rugby in the conditions. Former international referee Tony Spreadbury, who is winding down to retirement oversaw proceedings, and ensured both sides played the game in great spirit.
Norton had the slope in their favour in the first period and outscored the hosts 3 tries to 1. The first one came after some good initial work from centres Ben Matthews, Joel Hawker and hooker Ronnel Tayag. This allowed Norton to find some space on the left hand side of the pitch for full back Tom Rideout to go over. He added the difficult conversion from wide out to give Norton a good start.
This start got better in the second quarter when the home side were pinned in their own half by Norton half backs Ian Tiley and Mike Evans. The two Norton wingers also excelled as both Liam Shakespeare and Liam Shaw kept up the pressure on the home defence. Given the platform the pack took charge. Some strong drives from the veteran props Dave Williams and Tim Chivers were backed up by the second row of Tyron Dallimore and Dan Massey. This allowed the back row of Tom Hillier, Jason Taylor and Joe Knight to threaten around the fringes. This pressure ultimately allowed Knight to gain the next score when he was driven over from close range.
Wincanton played well up the hill and scored a well deserved try after a prolonged period of pressure but it was Norton who ended the half in the ascendancy when Dallimore was driven over the line for their third try, which Rideout again converted.
The second half saw Wincanton use the slope in their favour and as the game went on they increased the pressure. The Norton defence stayed strong, bolstered by the addition of flankers George West and Craig Harding, but they were unable to stop the hosts from scoring two second half tries to see them draw level.
The game ended with Norton having bravely defended their line, clearing to touch with both sides settling for a well deserved draw.
6th Jan 2018
Taunton 60 – 3 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The thirds played their first game of 2018 on Saturday when they travelled to unbeaten league leaders Taunton. Despite boasting a strong side Norton were undone by a quality team who are clearly going to cruise to the title. Due to internal issues Taunton have had to start again in Somerset Three South but providing they can keep their side together look more than capable of climbing the leagues.
Norton found themselves up against it from the start as the speed of the Taunton side allowed them to dominate the open spaces. Their pace enabled them to secure the bonus point before half time. Norton battled well though and stemmed the flow with some excellent defence, especially in the second period when the game became more even. Hooker Tom Holloway made a welcome return for the club, along with fly-half Rob Fuller who kicked Norton’s only points. Lock Ty Moss also put in a guest appearance as he made his way back to Cornwall where he is now based.
This Saturday Norton entertain Frome in their eagerly anticipated return league fixture, kick off 2.15pm
18th Nov 2017
Wyvern 2nd XV 24 – 3 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The thirds travelled to Taunton to play Wyvern side on Saturday and despite the final score had a very entertaining afternoon. Norton began well and some organised hard hitting defence kept the hosts on the back foot. It was Norton who eventually took the lead when some good punchy play through the middle from centres Jack Packer and Ben Johnson earned a penalty that flanker Jon Swift dispatched between the posts. The first half was a keenly contested affair with the home side having the majority of possession but the attitude of the Norton players was never in question as repeatedly they won the defensive battles.
Wyvern finally edged ahead just before half time after a quickly taken free kick from a lineout allowed them to go over for the first try of the game.
The second half saw Norton playing up the slope and continue in the same mould as the first. Unfortunately with no replacements it was hard to maintain the same energy levels and Wyvern used their very large bench to good effect. Norton never gave up and made them fight for every point but the hosts eventually scored three further tries to seal a hard fought win. Norton can be very happy with their performance and it was great to see Stuart Kelly returning at fly half after a number of years abroad.
28th Oct 2017
Cheddar II 15 – 10 Midsomer Norton
The thirds travelled to Cheddar on Saturday and just lost out in a closely contested game. The strong wind made conditions difficult but both sides were keen to keep the ball in hand with Norton looking the most dangerous in the opening period. The Norton scrum was beginning to dominate and this enabled captain Ian Tiley to snipe over from close range after a prolonged period of pressure.
Number eight Tom Hillier was on hand soon after to double the lead when he pounced on loose ball at a lineout and charge d over the line.
Cheddar managed a penalty and then scored a fortuitous try just before the break when another penalty attempt missed. A freakish bounce saw the ball stay in field and their winger was adjudged to have been first to the loose ball.
The game then developed into a bad tempered affair with both sides losing players due to indiscipline before rugby resumed. Norton were reduced to fourteen men for the whole of the second half but showed their team spirit by refusing to buckle as the hosts laid siege to the line.
In the final five minutes the Cheddar pressure paid off as they went over for the game clinching try.
Norton finished the game on the opponents line but just couldn’t get the try they needed. Despite the loss there were a number of positives to be taken. Star men for Midsomer Norton were centre Jack Packer and flanker Sam Hughes who both had excellent games.
This week the thirds host Crewkerne at Norton down, 2.30pm kick off
7th Oct 2017
Yatton 12 Midsomer Norton 25
The Thirds continued their unbeaten start to the season when they travelled to Yatton on Saturday. The weather conditions were not ideal for fluent rugby, or goal kicking, but both teams battled hard with Norton eventually coming out on top with a bonus point victory.
Playing down the slope in the first half Norton had the better of the opening exchanges but were finding it difficult to get over the line. Some good Yatton defence saw a number of chances missed before winger Jack Packer powered over after a storming run.
The scrum was a key area for Norton which enabled them to exert pressure on the Yatton defence all afternoon. This enabled number eight Tyron Dallimore to pick up and drive over from close range to double Norton’s advantage.
Returning winger Joe Travetti was also on the score sheet before half time when he pounced on a well weighted cross field kick from fly-half Jon Swift.
With the wind at their backs Yatton came more into the game in the second half and scored when their burly fly half powered over from close range.
Norton hit back almost immediately when Swift stretched to the line after a period of good attacking play.
Yatton again threatened a comeback when one of their quick thinking replacements took a tap penalty and was under the posts for a converted try.
Norton however closed the game out in style. Winger Ben Johnson made valuable metres on the outside and his pass inside saw Ed Dickens power over for a well deserved try to clinch the win.
Norton have a rest week next Saturday before hosting Chard on the 21st October.
30th Sept 2017
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 19 – 5 Wincanton 1st XV
The thirds earned a hard fought victory on Saturday against a competitive Wincanton team who were previously unbeaten. The platform was laid by the pack who worked hard at the set piece to keep the visitors on the back foot. The outside defence was also strong, with some great tackles flying in from the centres Marcus Tuttle, Rob Kernutt and full back Billy Obern.
Playing down the slope Norton began strongly and some good kicking from fly-half ensured they kept Wincanton pinned in their half. Obern was unlucky not to score in the corner following a fine kick by scrum half Ian Tiley but Norton were not to be denied. A few phases later their hard work was rewarded when number eight Tom Hillier powered his way to the line.
The game became a little scrappy but Norton eventually put some good phases together and this time it was flanker Gareth Williams who burrowed over. Swift added the difficult conversion to give the home side a 12–0 lead at half time.
The second half remained fairly scrappy with both sides guilty of too many errors. It was Norton who clinched the game though when impressive flanker Lloyd Edgell charged over between the posts after some excellent interplay. Swift again converted.
Wincanton scored a late consolation which was due reward for their efforts but Norton saw out the final minutes to earn the win.
The positives for Norton were the showing of a number of the new members of the squad with Ed Dickens and fellow winger Joe Sleigh really getting stuck in. Hooker Ronnel Tayag was prominent around the pitch and replacements Craig Harding and George West also put in promising displays which bodes well for the future.
16th Sept 2017
Frome 3rd XV 17 – 32 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The thirds continued their excellent start to the season with a hard fought but well deserved win over local rivals Frome. They outscored their hosts 5 tries to 3 to secure their second winning bonus point victory of the season.
The opening quarter of the game was evenly contested with Norton looking dangerous out wide and Frome competing in the tight. Fly half Jon Swift kicked an early penalty and then Billy Obern the Norton centre scored an excellent try to open up a 10 point lead.
Frome hit back shortly after from close range before Norton added two further tries to take a commanding first half lead. Tom Hillier capped a vintage performance with a close range try following several surging runs. Obern also added his second, both of which were converted by Swift.
The second half became more disjointed and there was less free flowing rugby. This didn’t stop Norton from claiming their try bonus point when hooker Gareth Williams went over twice in quick succession to seal the game.
Thanks to a late flurry of yellow cards Frome managed to score a couple of consolation tries but Norton won the game comfortably. Special mention should go to winger Joe Sleigh who made his first appearance for Midsomer Norton.
12th Sept 2017
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 62 – 12 Wells 3rd XV
The thirds began their new season in Somerset 3 South in fine style on Saturday when they defeated Wells in an entertaining game. Both sides played some good rugby and scored some excellent tries. Norton eventually ran out comfortable winners but Wells battled all the way and took a full part in the game.
Norton began with the wind at their backs and took advantage of the conditions with some excellent kicking from man of the match fly-half Jon Swift. He kept Wells pinned back and from here Norton were able to dominate territory and possession. Tries were scored at regular intervals to secure the bonus point before half time.
Wells rallied and played some good rugby in the second period, scoring two well taken tries before Norton got their game back on track and finished strongly.
Altogether Norton shared 10 tries with the prolific Swift scoring a hat trick. Other try scorers were Gareth Williams (2), Sam Hughes, Ben Johnson, Nathan Morgan, Mike Evans and Ian Tiley. Josh Wildman and Ed Dickens had outstanding debuts which bodes well for the season to come. Norton travel to Frome on Saturday looking to continue their bright start to the season.
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 44 – 0 Chard 3rd XV
22nd Feb 2020
The thirds had a comprehensive victory on Saturday, running out winners by 44 points to nil against visitors chard. The wet weather didn’t stop the home side playing some good rugby and this enabled them to run in 8 unanswered tries to secure the bonus point.
Centre Mike Evans was first on the scoresheet as he pounced on an interception and raced away for the first try of the game which he also converted.
The Norton pack competed well against a large visiting pack and with the wind at their backs this ensured Norton controlled territory. From a prolonged period of pressure close to the line the ball was fed to fly half Jon Swift who went through the gap to score.
As the half wore on Norton continued to dominate possession and this allowed prominent flanker Bean to add two further tries to secure the bonus point before half time.
In the closing stages of the half following a surging run from lock Tom Hillier back rower Ty Dallimore found himself in open space and went over to give the home side a commanding lead.
The second half saw Norton playing into the wind but this didn’t really stop their momentum. Chard had a few periods of pressure and territory but committed home defence kept them out.
In between Norton scored a further 3 tries, a brace for centre Kettle and a further try for flanker turned scrum half Dallimore. Fly half Swift added a further conversion to seal the win.
Kingswood 26 – 20 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
1st Feb 2020
The thirds were on the road again this week after their original opponents Huish Tigers were unable to raise a side. This saw them travel to Kingswood for the second time this season for what proved to be an excellent game of rugby between two well matched sides. Both teams scored 4 tries apiece but it was the hosts who just edged it with a couple of key conversions.
The Norton pack were bolstered by the return of man of the match Daren Hebbard who played his first full eighty minutes in 10 years.
The opening stages were dominated by Norton as the pack worked well around the fringes. From one such passage of play the ball was worked wide to allow winger Liam Shakespeare to dive over for the first try of the game.
Kingswood hit back soon after when they capitalised on a missed tackle to go the length and score. They added two further tries to put themselves in the driving seat before half time.
Norton hit back in the second half when flanker Dev Maggs powered over for a well taken try which was converted by full back Fraser Collins. The thirds pulled even closer when centre Chris Barlow cut an excellent line to finish off a prolonged period of pressure.
The hosts weren’t finished though and scored a good try after Norton missed an important tackle around the fringes.
It was Norton who had the final say as scrum half Ian Tiley was stopped just short but second row James Todd was on hand to pick up and go over for a well deserved try.
It was an enjoyable game made all the more enjoyable by an excellent referee who really entered into the friendly spirit of the contest.
Oldfield 27 – 22 Midsomer Norton 3rds
25th Jan 2020
The thirds put in their best performance of the season on Saturday when they travelled to Bath for a friendly fixture against Oldfield. The game was played at a good pace with Norton dominating the early exchanges. This enabled them to score the first two tries as great support play ensured a plentiful supply of ball. Star man for Norton was number eight Will Edgell who weighed in with 2 tries as his strong carrying constantly kept the defence on the back foot.
Oldfield pulled a couple of tries back before but Norton had the final say of the half when full back Kieran Humphries went over out wide after some excellent interplay.
The second half saw Norton dominate territory but they were unable to make this dominance count. Hooker Mike Evans went over for a try but numerous other opportunities were missed and this allowed Oldfield to ring the changes and with fresh legs they managed to pull level before scoring with the last play of the game to take the win.
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 7 – 60 Chew Valley 3rd XV
18th Jan 2020
The thirds continued their season with a friendly against Chew Valley on Saturday. The game was played in good spirits with both sides playing a full part in a competitive first half. As the game wore on however Chew began to exploit the open spaces and ultimately ran out comfortable winners.
There was no sign of this later dominance in the first half in what was a very even affair. Chew always looked dangerous out wide but it was the Norton pack who had the majority of the possession.
The game started with Norton laying siege to the Chew line but some solid defence kept the hosts at bay and it was the visitors who profited when they seized on a loose pass and went the length of the field to open the scoring.
The visitors increased their lead with another try from distance when again they pounced on a Norton mistake.
Norton were not to be denied though and prop Will Rogers was soon on hand to capitalise from a number of effective pick and goes when he powered over from 5 metres out. The conversion was added by full-back Fraser Collins.
The second half saw Chew work the ball wide to their fast backs and on numerous occasions they breached the inexperienced Norton defence to earn a well deserved win.
Norton can be pleased with their first half performance and know they will need to tighten up their midfield defence in future weeks. The positives were the welcome return to action of veteran flanker Andrew Parker who had an excellent game. He was backed up by a number of younger members of the squad with Percy Francis and Dev Maggs worthy of particular mention.
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 19 - 31 Frome 3rd XV
7th Dec 2019
The thirds hosted local rivals Frome on Saturday for their first league meeting of the season. It was an entertaining game with both sides producing some good rugby but ultimately the bigger and more experienced Frome side won out against the more youthful Norton side.
The game was very much a game of two halves. Frome dominated the first period, playing down the slope, and scored 5 unanswered tries to put themselves into a commanding lead.
The second half saw Norton mount a spirited fight back. The pack began to dominate against the tiring hosts, and this allowed the fast and skilful Norton backs to come to the fore. Fly half Luke Williams grew into the game and ensured the ball was moved wide whenever he got the opportunity. This enabled strong running centre Kemar Stewart to score a well deserved try which was converted by Williams.
More good play from the backs set up field position and the Norton pack did the rest. Lock Tom Hillier was on hand on two occasions to power over from close range after prolonged periods of pressure. Scrum half Nathan Fear added one of the conversions to bring Norton back into
Unfortunately a couple of half chances were missed and Frome deservedly hung on for the win that
Next week the thirds host Huish Tigers in their last game before the Christmas break
Cheddar 1st XV 49 – 3 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
23rd Nov 2019
Despite the one-sided looking score line Midsomer Norton put in a brilliant performance on Saturday when they travelled to Cheddar Valley 2nd XV. The hosts side were bolstered by a large contingent of 1st team players after their game fell foul of the weather. This didn’t put Norton off though and they really took the game to their opposition. Such was their effort that they only trailed 5-0 at half time, before understandably falling away a little, late in the second half.
Norton’s full back Dean Evans made an excellent senior adult debut with a number of important tackles. He was backed up by some excellent play in the loose from flankers Ty Dallimore and Charlie Gumbleton. Lock Tom Hillier was his usual combative self and this helped Norton keep the hosts at bay.
Norton’s best attacking threat came from fly half Luke Williams who had a strong game, both in defence and attack. Several times Norton looked to open up the defence but were stopped just short. There was some reward for the visitors when Williams kicked a well-earned penalty in the second period.
The front row of Will Rogers, James Todd and Ronnel Tayag also deserve a mention after getting through a lot of work against a bigger opposition pack.
Norton are on the road again next week when they travel to Trowbridge in a Bath Combination friendly game
Kingswood 2nds 29 v Midsomer Norton 3rds 22
16th Nov 2019
A very different looking Norton thirds travelled to Kingswood in a prearranged game to introduce the under 18s colts players into the senior game.
This transition game took half a dozen senior players and twelve colts from Norton to play a squad of six colts plus twenty two seniors from Kingswood in what was billed as a friendly fixture. Both teams put in 100% and turned out to be very competitive until the final whistle.
From the kick off the home team used their massive weight and size advantage to run at Norton, and looked set to score after five minutes, until Charlie Gumbleton set the tone for the match by cutting his opponent in half with a fantastic tackle near the try line. His much larger opponent was winded and looked totally shocked. Minutes later Charlie again tackled another monster, his opposite winger to thwart the move.
After 10 minutes Kingswood opened the scoring but hit the post with the conversion to take the lead.
Almost instantly Norton hit back and with old and young linking well it was uncle Tim Sheppard who made the space and popped the ball to his nephew Tom Wiltshire, who scored under the posts. Archie converting to take the lead.
Second row Swifty was next to go over the try line as he received an offload and sprinted in from ten metres out.
Two tries from the home team regained the lead for them going into the break.
Another family debut at the start of the second half for Nor as Deadly senior came on to play with his son and nephew in their first senior game for the club together.
Swift got his second try after some good Norton pressure, a good catch from Zack at the front of the lineout enabled Swift to join the driving maule and flop over the line.
A quiet 10 minutes from the visitors led to two more home tries, and what would of ended up a score line that didn’t reflect the tightness of the game.
But with ten colts on the pitch now and minutes left. Norton clawed a try back after good hands, saw winger Maclaclan touch down in the corner.
With one last roll of the dice, again the ball got spun wide, unfortunately being knocked on when it looked like the game was going to end up a draw.
A disappointing weekend results wise for the seniors but the commitment of all the young colts against much bigger men and the confidence shown by the backs in attack was a massive positive for the clubs future.
Thanks to all of them and the oldies too for a great days rugby.
Man of the match for Norton was no7 Zack Neilson
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 34- 22 Keynsham 3rd XV
12th Oct 2019
With all other matches falling foul of the weather it was left to the 3rds to entertain the massed crowds at Norton Down on Saturday. This they did as they put in a spirited performance to run out eventual winners in a hard fought game against local rivals Keynsham.
Things did not start well for Norton as Keynsham seized on two loose passages of play to race into an early 14 – 0 lead. Norton looked to have hit back from a well executed driving maul but the referee was unsighted and the chance was gone. It didn’t take long however for Norton to claw their way back into the game. From a lineout deep in their half the ball was swept wide and some neat interplay between the backs set up the opportunity for fly half Jon Swift to dummy and weave his way to the line. Full back Andrew Best added the extras. Norton moved closer still when scrum half Richard Slater pounced from close range, following some good driving work by the pack. The visitors responded by scoring out wide to extend their lead before Norton number eight Tyron Dallimore went over shortly before half time. This left the game evenly poised with Keynsham leading 19 points to 17.
The second half was tightly contested but as the game wore on Norton began to break loose. Early in the half Keynsham added a penalty to extend their lead before Norton hit back. Prop Will Edgell profited from some good prolonged periods of Norton pressure as twice he was on hand to power over for his brace of tries.
Replacement Scot Goddard nearly went the length but was just stopped short but his feat was emulated soon after when Colts winger Harry Smith did just that and raced away for a well taken try, which he converted to seal the win.
Both sides played some excellent rugby in the conditions. From a Norton point of view it was great to see Nick Higgs return to action after a long lay off with a knee ligament injury.
Next week see’s all 3 teams at home for the first time this season. The 1st team will be looking to get back to winning ways in Western Counties North against Old Bristolians, the 2nd team have what already looks like a crunch league game in Somerset 1 against Old Sulians and the 3rd team are home to Taunton in Somerset 3 South. All games kick off at 3pm.
Martock 1st XV 12 – 28 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
28th Sept 2019
The thirds started their season in fine style on Saturday when they travelled to Martock for this rearranged league fixture. A new look side saw the combination of youth and experience come together to record a well deserved bonus point win.
Norton dominated the first half and some strong running saw centre Watts score two excellent early tries. One was all of his own making as he raced the length of the field. The other was set up by the experienced half back partnership of Ian Tiley and Richard Slater. A quick tap caught the home defence sleeping and a weaving run allowed the ball to be worked clear for the try. Both tries were converted by full back Harry Smith.
The back line continued to look dangerous every time they had the ball and this ensured Norton kept on top for the majority of the half
Martock hit back briefly when they had a period of prolonged possession and they eventually used their larger pack to push over from close range but Norton extended their lead in the 35th minute with a fine effort by winger Fraser Collins who raced over for a score. Smith again converted.
The second half was a more evenly contested affair as Martock dominated possession. This didn’t stop Norton from further extending their lead though when Smith took the ball out wide and cut back against the grain to score a clinical debut try.
From then on it was a stout defensive effort from the visitors. Martock were repeatedly repelled before they managed their only try of the second half when a series of Norton infringements saw them awarded a penalty try.
The bonus point win was an excellent start for the thirds who travel to Wincanton next week.
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 22 – 41 Tor 2nd XV
23rd March 2019
The Thirds rounded off their Somerset 3 South campaign against table topping Tor seconds on Saturday. The league leaders needed to secure a bonus point win to secure the title and this they achieved but only after Norton made them work hard for their win.
Tor were comfortably the strongest side the thirds had played this season but Norton gave a great account of themselves, earning a try scoring bonus point along the way. The Norton defence was very committed and kept Tor out for long periods to ensure a fairly tight and even game. The Norton scrum competed manfully throughout, led by a sterling performance from prop James Todd.
Tor proved their superiority when pouncing on any Norton errors to score a number of long range tries to secure the result.
Norton’s try scorers were fly half Jon Swift with a trademark dummy, Steve Dunster with a rampaging charge to the line and a brace from combative scrum half Dan Moon. Special mention should go to Henry McLachlan who made an impressive debut. His efforts were backed up by excellent performances from flanker Alex Higgs and centre Greg Morgan.
Next week Norton entertain a touring side from Tewekesbury, kick off at 1pm
Frome 3rd XV 38 – 10 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
9th March 2019
The thirds travelled to Frome on Saturday for a Bath Combination Merit fixture. Despite the loss the new look line up had a really enjoyable day’s rugby in a game played in good spirit by both sides. The hosts larger pack gave them the early advantage and this allowed them to dominate the first period which ultimately decided the result. As the game wore on though and some of Norton’s more experienced players entered the fray so the game became a more even contest.
Frome deserved the win but Norton didn’t go down without a fight. Especially pleasing was the performance of the very young back row of brothers Ralph and Ronnel Tayag and number eight Josh Carter. Prop James Todd also came to the fore as the game went on. Norton scored two well taken trys. One from centre Joe Sleigh who scored his first ever senior try as he powered over after some great handling from the backs. The second try was even better and followed better handling. This time it was winger Liam Shakespeare who went through his would be tackler for an excellent finish.
The team take a break from action this week as the Six Nations take centre stage before resuming on the 23rd April as they host league leaders Tor at Norton Down
Wyvern 1st XV 14 – 12 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
2nd March 2019
The thirds travelled to league leaders Wyvern on Saturday knowing that they would need to put in a very good performance if they were going to get anything from the game. As it turned out they were very unlucky not to come away with a win as the hosts scored a try on the final whistle to sneak a narrow victory.
Norton started well and man of the match Steve Dunster made several telling breaks. His dominance forced the home side to double up on him and this created space in the wider spaces. The Norton back line looked dangerous and this allowed Norton to deservedly take the lead. The ball was swept wide and some excellent passing and support play allowed centre Tim Sheppard to go over in the corner.
Norton dominated the remainder of the half but were unable to add to their score. Wyvern grabed a life line when they intercepted a wide pass and their full back raced away to give them a 7-5 half time lead.
The second half saw Norton again start well. Hooker Dayne Swift crashed over after a prolonged period of pressure, adding the conversion himself to put Norton back in the lead.
Norton thought they had sealed the win when flanker Drew Davis broke clear but with the line at his mercy he was brought back due to a serious looking injury to one of the Wyvern players and the chance was gone.
As they game wore on Wyvern fought their way back into the game. The last 15 minutes saw the Norton defence hold them at bay but unfortunately in the dying seconds the Wyvern number eight crashed over.
Despite the defeat Norton can be very happy with their performance. This week they are on the road as they travel to Frome for a Bath Combination fixture
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 48 – 10 Cheddar 2nd XV
23rd Feb 2019
The thirds were centre stage on Saturday as the other teams took a break from competitive league rugby. They entertained Cheddar looking to reverse their narrow loss in the previous league fixture. After an even first half they pulled away in the second half, to secure an 8 try bonus point win.
Norton started really well. Number eight Dafydd Evans carried strongly and the rest of the team fed off of this. Before long the ball was spread wide and full back Josh Rodd went over in the corner.
The lead was soon doubled when Evans went over from close range and it appeared Norton were in control.
Their visitors had other ideas however and fought back strongly to dominate the remainder of the half. They deservedly scored two tries of their own to pull level.
With the slope now with them Norton returned to form in the second period. Fly half Jon Swift found his kicking boots and this enabled Norton to exert more and more pressure.
This dominance enable Norton to secure the win with fine tries from Martin Blackmore, Dan Nesbitt, Andrew Best, and a brace for Josh Carter. The try of the game however was scored by snake hips Swift who dummied his way to the line for an excellent score. Best added one conversion and Nesbitt 2 others to seal a good all round team performance.
Next week the thirds are on the road when they travel to table topping Wyvern
Chard 3rd XV 0 – 12 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
26th Jan 2019
The thirds travelled to Chard on Saturday and returned with a well earned win. The conditions were poor and the narrow pitch suited the home teams style but it was Norton who ground out the win, with a mixture of committed defence and skilfull attacking play. The thirds had yet another new look team with Ralph Tayag making his debut on the wing and John Edgar in the back row. They were also boosted by the tactical nous of scrum half Richard Slater playing his first game in two years.
Norton started brightly and had a couple of early chances. Hooker Ronnel Tayag was just unable to field a cross field kick which would have brough the operning score. Soon after lock Nath Morgan was denied after cutting a grerat line through the home defence. He was held up over the line by an excellent cover tackle from the home full back.
Norton were not to be denied though as soon after Edgar’s surging run saw him power over from 10 metres out. Fly half Jon Swift added the extras.
Both sides had further chances but a mixture of solid defence and a greasy ball kept Norton to a slim half time lead of 7 point to nil.
The second half again saw both sides show plenty of endeavour. Chard preferred the tight game whereas Norton looked to spread the game out and use their youthful back line. This paid dividends mid way through the half when winger Fraser Collins took a pass and raced over in the corner.
Chard laid seige to the Norton line but Norton stood up to the task and cleared their lines to secure the win
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 34- 22 Wincanton 1st XV
19th Jan 2018
The thirds recovered from a half time deficit to taker the spoils in this Somerset 3 South league fixture. Both sides played their part in a well contested game, both earning try scoring bonus points.
The visitors started the brightest and raced into a 17-0 lead, scoring 3 unanswered tries before Norton began their fightback. Norton lock Dafydd Evans made an excellent return from a long absence with 2 well taken first half tries, one of which was converted by fly half Steve Penny to close the gap.
The second period saw Norton dominate for longer periods. Wincanton still managed to register a well taken try of their own but Norton gradually wore them down. This enabled number eight Will Edgell to power over for the first of his two tries of the afternoon as he powered over. Penny added the conversion. From the resulting restart flanker Nath Fear caught the kick off and raced fully 80 metres. He was brought down just short but when the ball was swept wide replacement centre Ben Matthews was on hand to go over for an excellent team try.
Edgell powered over once again to give Norton the lead and the win was sealed when winger Josh Rodd went over wide out for a well deserved try.
This week the thirds are on the road as the travel to Chard
Avonvale 2nd XV 38 – 23 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
12th Jan 2019
The thirds travelled to Bathford on Saturday to play Avonvale in their Bath combination fixture. Despite losing they put in a gutsy performance and showed some real application in scoring 4 tries. This effort forced the hosts to make use of their strong bench and ultimately pull clear in the final quarter.
Avonvale started the stronger and their fast running backs scored 3 tries in quick succession as they threatened to run away with the game. Norton dug deep though and their forward power saw them claw their way back into the game. Prop Will Edgell was excellent in the loose and was ably back up by the rest of the pack. The scrum was proving an area of real dominance and as Norton headed for the line captain Ian Tiley picked and went over for the visitors first try.
Soon after Norton were back in their opponents 22 and this time a powerful drive by the pack saw flanker James Kingsbury go over.
Full back Jon Swift added a penalty soon after to put Norton back in contention.
The second half was an evenly contested affair with both sides trading scores. Norton added two further tries, one following a surging run by centre Kieron Baker, and the second following another forward drive allowed flanker Josh Carter to be driven over the line. The hosts countered though and made the game safe with a couple of late tries out wide from their rapid backs.
This week Norton entertain Wincanton at Norton Down, 2.15pm ko.
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 15 – 24 Keynsham 3rd XV
8th Dec 2018
The thirds narrowly lost out to Keynsham thirds on Saturday in their Bath Merit Table game. The weather was horrendous but both sides did their best to produce some rugby in the cold, wet and windy conditions. Ultimately it was Kenysham who ran out winners 4 tries to 3 but it was an evenly contested game and Norton looked to be heading for the win at half time before letting the game slip in the second period.
Playing up the slope Norton spent long periods camped on their own line but their defence stood up well to the task. This limited Keynsham to one long range effort. Norton pulled level when lock Tom Hillier powered over from close range. Shortly before half time scrum half Dan Moon sniped over around the side of a ruck to give Norton a well earned lead.
With the wind now at their backs Norton looked well set but Keynsham played some excellent rugby to score three tries against the conditions.
Norton responded with a late score from replacement number eight Tyron Dallimore but Keynsham held on for a deserved win.
Norton are on the round this week as they travel to Wyvern for their last game before the Christmas break.
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 22-13 Old Culverhaysians 1st XV
24th Nov 2018
The thirds won an entertaining game on Saturday when they beat Old Culverhaysians from Bath in a closely fought contest.
The game was open from the start and despite the poor weather both teams displayed some excellent handling and good attacking rugby. Both sides were in contention but it was Norton who edged this Bath Combination Merit table game, outscoring the visitors 4 tries to 3 to deservedly take the win.
Number eight Pat Howell had a great game and constantly kept Norton going forward. Scrum half Dan Moon also capped a fine performance with two well taken tries. There were also scores for replacement flanker Josh Carter and the win was sealed when centre Dan Nesbitt went over in the corner on the final whistle.
Next week Norton are home to Bath Jaegers, kick off 2.30pm
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 62 – 0 Chard 3rd XV
27th Oct 2018
The thirds gained an emphatic win on Saturday against a hard working Chard side. Ultimately it was Norton’s youth and speed that made the difference as they looked dangerous in open spaces.
Norton’s man of the match was number eight Steve Dunster who provide nearly unstoppable on the day as he ran in 5 tries. The cold wet conditions didn’t help handling but Norton still managed to run in 10 tries in total.
Winger Liam Shaw capped an excellent game with a well finished try, coupled with a brace for fly half Jon Swift.
The try of the day was saved for scrum half Greg Morgan who fielded a kick off and raced the length of the pitch to score.
Swift added two conversions, and centre Luke Murphy was successful with four more to seal the win
Wincanton 1st XV 59 - 19 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
20th Oct 2018
The thirds found themselves well beaten on Saturday when they took on a strong Wincanton 1st team in Somerset 3 South.
Norton just didn't get started and this allowed the hosts race away with the game from the off. Despite not dominating the game they pounced ona a number of Norton errors to cruise into a commanding half time lead. The one bright point for the visitors was an excellent try by number eight Steve Dunster try who stormed over from close range.
After the break Norton finally came to life and started to play some good rugby. The pressure started to tell and they claimed two well deserved tries. Firstly scrum half Dan Moon pounced following some good work from the forwards to snipe around the corner of a ruck. Full back Greg Morgan added the conversion.
Soon after centre Kieron Baker took a great pass from fly half Jon Swift and powered his way to the line. Again Morgan converted and Norton looked like they might grab a bonus point.
Wincanton fought their way back though and scored a couple of tries of their own to maintain their lead and seal their win.
Next week Norton host Chard at Norton Down, 3pm kick off.
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 22- 7 Wells 3rd XV
6th Oct 2018
Saturday saw the thirds finally start their Somerset 3 South campaign, following the previous week’s postponement against Tor.
They welcomed local rivals Wells and came out with a hard fought bonus point victory. The game was played in good spirit, with both sides keen to play an expansive game.
Norton controlled early possession but the Wells defence stood up well, and a couple of excellent kicks from their fly half pushed Norton back. From one of these kicks the on rushing Wells winger took the ball at full pace and raced in for the first try of the game. The conversion was added to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
The home side fought back and scored the try of the game when the ball was quickly recycled by the forwards and swept along the back line for flying winger Fraser Collins to score in the corner.
Norton edged ahead just before half time when number eight Steve Dunster powered over from close range.
The game was evenly balanced at half time but it was Norton who proved the stronger in the second half. Flanker Pat Howell had an excellent game, and the dancing feet of centre Tim Sheppard kept Norton on the front foot.
Norton increased their lead after a prolonged period of pressure when second row Tom Hillier powered over from close range, and the conversion was added by fly half Mike Evans.
It was left to winger Fraser Collins to seal the game, and the bonus point when he again showed his pace to scorch past the Wells defence for a well taken try.
Trowbridge 4th XV 29 – 27 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
8th Sept 2018
The thirds began their season with a trip to Trowbridge on Saturday for their first Bath Merit table fixture. The game was an excellent contest with both sides scoring 5 tries each in an entertaining game. Norton had a wide mix of age and abilities, with 8 colts and 3 players over 50 in their ranks.
Trowbridge started the stronger and pulled a try clear before Norton responded almost immediately. Scrum half Greg Morgan scored when he raced over following some good work from the pack.
Trowbridge then scored two further tries before Norton pegged them back. This time it was hooker Ronnel Tayag who went over after a prolonged period of pressure.
Shortly after full back Fraser Collins showed his pace to find the open spaces and his kick ahead was gathered by centre Aydan Hillman for his first senior try in Norton colours.
The game was evenly poised at half time but Trowbridge started the second half the strongest to restore their lead.
Back came Norton when Morgan and then Hillman both registered their second tries of the game to build a healthy lead. Jon Swift even added a conversion which almost sealed it for the visitors before Trowbridge scored a late try to taker the win.
Both sides can be very happy with their performance and Norton now look forward to next Saturday when they host Avonvale at Norton Down, kick-off 3pm.
22nd April 2017
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 12 - 72 Chard 2nd XV
The thirds concluded their season with a heavy home defeat against Chard. The match was typical of their season where they competed gamely but were just unable to match their opponents in the loose. It has been a tough season playing mainly 1st and 2nd teams and the thirds will welcome next season when they return to Somerset 3 and meet teams of a similar standing.
Star man for Midsomer Norton was number eight Alex Higgs who capped a promising first season with another committed performance. Scorers were hooker Nick Higgs who finished well from close range, and replacement scrum half Jack Johnson who danced his way top the line from a scrum on the visitors twenty two. Centre Mike Evans kicked one conversion.
Captain Ian Tiley would like to thank all the players who have played this season and hopes to see them all fit and raring to go again next time around.
11th March 2017
Winscombe 2nd XV 69 - 5 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The thirds travelled to Winscombe on Saturday to take on high flying Winscombe, who currently sit third in the Somerset Two North league. Despite the score line Norton showed plenty of spirit and made their hosts work hard for the victory. Norton boasted a large squad, with a number of new faces. Winger Luke Dickinson showed promise, as did his replacement Sam Maundrell, and flanker Ronnell Tayag who were both making their debuts. Norton’s younger members also played their part, with Finn Goudie impressing at scrum half, Alex Higgs competing well at number eight, and wingers Liam Shaw and Liam Shakespeare both contributing.
The hosts eventually eased to victory but not before Norton registered their one score of the game. Fly half Jack Rideout gave Norton field position. From a resulting scrum number eight Simon Tuong was just stopped short of the line but winger Kemar Stewart was on hand to power over for a well deserved try.
There are no games next weekend due to the Six Nations before Norton hit the road again the following week as they travel to league leaders Morganians.
18th Feb 2017
Tor 2nds 76 – 24 Midsomer Norton 3rds
The thirds travelled to Tor on Saturday and despite being beaten scored four tries to secure a well earned bonus point.
The hosts had their numbers boosted as their first team game was cancelled so their large match day squad enabled them to regularly introduce fresh legs. Despite this Norton battled to the end and scored their bonus point try in the 75th minute.
The hosts began brightly and pulled three tires clear early on before Norton got on the score sheet. A number of close range drives were stopped before full back Julian Hawkins powered over from a quickly taken tap penalty.
Tor increased their lead before half time, and looked to be cruising.
Norton had a great twenty minute spell in the middle of the second half. Fly half Rob Fuller finished off a prolonged period of pressure for an excellent try. The ball carrying of Gregg Jones, Alex Higgs, Luke Short and Lloyd Edgell helped Norton to repeatedly make the gain line. This power allowed man of the match Higgs to claim a well deserved try.
Tor further increased their lead as they profited in the open spaces but Norton weren’t finished and prop Luke Short powered over for the bonus point try late on.
This week Norton host Bridgwater at Norton Down, 2.30pm kick off.
11th Feb 2017
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 7 – 43 North Petherton 2nd XV
The thirds entertained another of the promotion chasing sides North Petherton on Saturday. Having been beaten heavily earlier in the year Norton were keen to put in a better showing, and this they did as they made the visitors work hard for their points.
Petherton started well and scored two tries in the opening twenty minutes before Norton hit back. Good interplay between backs and forwards kept Petherton pinned back and flanker Gareth Williams eventually powered over for a well-deserved try.
Dan Massey was prominent in the loose, and made a number of important tackles.
Again Norton ensured the bench all got a run out, and these fresh legs ensured they continued to compete in a hard fought game. Winger Marcus Tuttle had an excellent game, as did full back Finn Goudie.
Petherton scored four second half tries but Norton can be very happy with their efforts against a well drilled second team.
Next week they are on the road, as they travel to Tor
4th Feb 2017
Midsomer Norton 3rds 24 – 25 Morganians
The thirds came very close to toppling the league leaders on Saturday as they put in their best performance of the season. Despite the narrow loss the home side dominated the first half and ensured a 4 try bonus point before the break.The pack were outstanding which set the platform for the performance. Tries were scored at regular intervals, the first coming from centre Rob Kernutt as he powered over from twenty metres. Fly half Andrew Best was on hand to increase the score when he gathered his own kick ahead to race clear. He then also added a difficult conversion to give Norton a commanding lead.
Morganians fought back with a try of their own before number eight Jamie Rose extended the lead. The scoring was shared for the remainder of the half as Morganians replied with a try but Norton ensured a commanding lead at the break when prop Luke Short powered over following some excellent close range work from the pack.
Norton rang the changes at half time to ensure the entire squad had a run out and Morganians fought their way back into the game with three second half tries. Norton missed a couple of kicks that would have earned the win and were also very close to scoring a push over try. The chances came and went however and a very relieved Morganians retained their unbeaten league record.
This week Norton entertain North Petherton at Norton Down, kick-off 2.30pm
7th Jan 2017
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 19 – 49 Wiveliscombe 2nd XV
The 3rds played their first game of 2017 on Saturday when they entertained Wiveliscombe 2nds at Norton own. Despite the score line Norton competed well in a tightly contested game. It was the visitors who run out worthy winners though as their superior finishing ability showed.
A new look Norton side had a number of 17 year olds playing their first game for the club, in Liam Shakespeare, Liam Shaw and Alex Higgs. All three of them made promising debuts, with a crunching tackle from Higgs of particular note.
The first half was evenly contested. Wiveliscombe took the lead before delighted veteran prop Dave Williams charged over from close range to score his first ever senior try. Fly half Rob Fuller converted to put Norton into a brief lead.
Wiveliscombe scored twice more before the break which saw them leading 17-7 at half time.
The second half saw the visitors add further tries but Norton pressure was rewarded when first lock Greg Jones powered over to score a well deserved try, which was again converted by Fuller. Centre Jon Swift then completed the scoring when he jinked down the blind side and beat his man with ease.
Norton are on the road next week when they travel to Yeovil.
29th Oct 2016
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 22 – 36 Tor 2nd XV
The 3rds put in a battling performance on Saturday and despite the loss scored four tries to earn a bonus point for their efforts. The first half was an evenly contested affair with both sides scoring two tries each. The first came for Norton after an excellent rolling maul from the pack. Scrum half Ian Tiley darted down the blind side, dummied the winger and then fed centre Sam Hughes who beat the full back to power over in the corner.
Tor hit back when they pounced on a loose ball in midfield to score from distance, and then doubled their lead when they returned a poor Norton clearance kick. Norton fought their way back into the game when the ball was worked wide to Mitch Rose who dummied his way over from fifteen metres out.
The second half saw Norton have plenty of possession and field territory but Tor were quick to seize on any errors. This allowed them to score a number of length of the field tries with their superior pace. In the tight Norton were able to compete and this allowed flanker Alex Mitchard to capitalise after a prolonged period of pressure close to the Tor line. Fly half Andrew Best added the conversion.
Tor increased their lead before Norton grabbed their bonus point in the dying moments. A good break through the midfield saw Norton stopped just short but winger Jonny Brook showed his strength to drive over the line and secure the 4th try.
17th Sept 2016
Wiveliscombe 2nds 32pts V 14pts Midsomer Norton 3rds
Midsomer Norton 3rd team made the long trip to Wiveliscombe on Saturday with 16 players, A great turn out for such a long trip, it was a great mix of youth and experience.
Unfortunately for the traveling side they did not get off to the start that they wanted. You could tell in the first 15 minutes that the journey had taken its toll on weary legs. Norton conceded 3 early tries and this put them on the back foot. But credit must go to all involved for picking themselves up and starting to play the way they wanted making some good runs out wide and remembering how to tackle. Just before half time Norton managed to cross the line, young Connor seeing the smallest of gaps and showing his pace to score under the posts. Unfortunately Norton relaxed after their score only to let Wiveliscombe score another of their own.
The second half was a much better performance from Norton who showed real determination and with strong running spent more time in the opposition half. A quick tap penalty saw young Anderson pop the ball to the ever present Connor to go over for his second. The final score was 32-14. Norton look forward to a home game Saturday and will look to add to their numbers
10th Sept 2016
Midsomer Norton 3rds 12 Minehead 0
A young Norton side took to the field to face a minehead who had taken the long trip across Somerset. Norton received the kick off and where instantly on the attack driving into the minehead 22 with some powerful running. This is where Norton would play most of the half. Norton played some entertaining rugby but could not hold into the ball with strong work by the Minehead back row holding up several Norton attacks. Norton where unlucky not to score with Nath Fear being held up over the line.
With the score 0-0 at half time Norton had their work cut out playing up the hill. With some ferocious tacking from Marlo Sawyer keeping the minehead backs in order the backs where aloud a little more ball with both wings Louis Jones and Jamie Lake going close Jones with a fantastic run only to be held up over the line and Lake with a deft chip and chases only for the ball to be just out of his reach over the line.
With 30 minutes to go Norton introduced some more experience and the already solid scrum became an even bigger tower of power. A powerful drive saw the home pack go close to the line with Fear able to pounce over the line out wide the conversion was a cracking effort from best who had just come back on after a ten minute break.
This gave the home side a boost and with more experience entering the pitch in Hawkins the money was on the home side. With his first touch a surprising little grubber kick Hawkins was aloud to go over the line to add a wonderful try the conversation was unsuccessful giving Norton a 12-0 win. They will be looking forward to the return fixture. A special mention should go to Scott Anderson and Connor Schuster on their first senior start they both had excellent games both making an impact on the game.
3rd Sept 2016
Chard 2nd XV 32 – 5 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The 3rds travelled to Chard 2nds on Saturday for their first game of the season. With their hosts coming down from the league above last year Norton knew they would be in for a hard game. So it proved, although the Norton side can be proud of their efforts, as their never say die attitude made Chard work very hard for the win.
Norton played the first half well, using the conditions to their favour. The kicking of fly half Andrew Best kept the hosts on the back foot. Chard struggled to break through a strong Norton defence with centre Jason Taylor prominent. A great hit from winger Gregg Jones also snuffed out an early Chard chance.
Chard took the lead with a penalty before pouncing on a loose ball to score the first try of the game. Back came Norton and a delicate chip to the corner from captain Ian Tiley allowed Norton to contest the lineout. Hooker Craig Spruce was on hand to power over from close range for an excellent try. Chard scored once more before half time but Norton were very much in the hunt.
The pack played well, with flanker Richard Wood making a real impact. The scrum also more than held its own in cold wet conditions. Chard edged the game in the closing stages when they added two more tries but Norton never gave up and pushed them all the way.
This week they host Minehead at Norton Down, kick-off 3pm
23rd April 2016
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 24 – 37 Weston Hornets 3rd XV
The thirds wrapped up their league campaign with a good performance against a strong Weston Hornets side, who are still in the title hunt.
Despite losing flanker Ben Routhorn to injury in the warm up Norton started well with some tenacious defence before Hornets took the lead. They began to dominate and scored three unanswered tries to give themselves a 17-0 lead.
Norton showed their spirit though as several good forward drives around the fringes saw them move ever closer to the try line. Mitch Rose was stopped just short and from here some quick passing from the half backs Jon Gianella and Ian Tiley allowed centre Luis Devila go over for a try.
Shortly after Norton were on the attack again. This time a close range drive from prop Andy Hoggan created the space for a rampaging Lee Taylor to power over from 15 metres.
Hornets responded before half time after a productive catch and drive but Norton remained in touching distance.
The second half was an equally evenly contested affair. Despite more excellent defence Hornets looked to be cruising to victory before Norton again fought back.
Good play from the Norton back line stretched the visitor’s defence, with centre Ed Mills coming more into the game. Andrew Best also became more and more influential as Norton created space on the wide outside.
This positive attitude eventually led to lock Nathan Morgan going over following a close range drive from a lineout.
Hornets responded to seal the win before Norton earned a deserved 4 try bonus point when full back Jon Swift went over under the posts to score his first try of the season.
Best added his second conversion of the afternoon to end the game.
The thirds have had an enjoyable first season at this higher level following last year’s promotion, finishing in a respectable mid table position.
Captain Ian Tiley would like to thank everyone who has played a part and looks forward to seeing them all again next season.
9th April 2016
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 24-10 Martock 1st XV
The 3rds completed the league double over Martock earning a hard fought bonus point win on Saturday.
The early downpour meant the opening period of the game was a little scrappy but as the pitch dried out Norton began to take control. Winger Ed Mikks made a number of surging breaks before prop Ali Perry capitalised down the blindside. Showing good pace he ran in from the twenty two. Fly half Steve Penny added the conversion.
Centre Jack Rideout added a second before the break when he raced in from distance to put Norton clear. Martock kept battling and added a penalty on the brink of half time to leave the score at 12-3.
The second half was a close affair before Norton pulled away in the final stages. Martock began to dominate territory and possession and scored a well-deserved try.
Home flanker Nathan Fear pulled Norton further ahead when he finished off from close range with Penny adding the conversion.
At this stage a triple substitution saw Norton add 146 year's of experience c/o Tim Chivers, Ian Tiley and Adrian Rideout. This galvanised the home side and Tom Rideout followed his father's lead when he rounded off an excellent move to clinch the bonus point. The ball was first swept wide and then quickly recycled back let to Penny. His excellent cross field kick was gathered by Tom who surged over the line.
This was a good win for the 3rds who sit in mid table respectability. Next Saturday they are on the road as they travel to Bridgwater.
12th March 2016
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 34 – 5 Winscombe 2nd XV
With a break for all other teams the 3rd took centre stage on Saturday as they hosted Winscombe 2nd XV at Norton Down. Supported by a large crowd Norton made up for their earlier season loss with a resounding 34-5 win.
Norton started well and scored some excellent tries in a one sided first half. Centre Jack Rideout scored a brace, firstly rounding off some intricate interplay and secondly charging over from distance.
Norton made use of their large bench to keep everyone fresh and ensure the tempo didn’t drop. Flanker Luis Deville added a third try, and this was followed soon after by another following a length of the field run by the impressive number eight Adam Sinden.
Lock Ben Matthews added a further try before half time after some good close range driving play by the pack. Fly-half Steve Penny kicked two conversions to give Norton a commanding half time lead.
The second half saw Winscombe show their fighting spirit and claw their way back in the game. This enabled them to power over from close range and register their first points of the game. Not to be outdone lock Matthews completed his brace as he galloped over to ensure the second period ended even.
This was an impressive win for the 3rds, with their ranks boosted by the return from injury of David Merrigan and Dayne Swift who both played their part in an entertaining afternoon’s rugby.
5th March 2016
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 15 – 41 Somerton 1st XV
Despite playing some good rugby the 3rds lost out to a strong Somerton 1st XV on Saturday. The visitors pack dwarfed the Norton eight and their ability to play a fast open style saw them finish the game the stronger of the two teams.
The first half was a keenly contested affair. Somerton started well and earned a converted try after Norton missed a couple of tackles in open play.
Back came the 3rds though as good advantage was played and the back line stretched the opposition. Centres Ben Teal and Tom Clark combined well, along with full back Jon Swift to enable supporting flanker Kevin Herbert to go over for an excellent try. Fly half Steve Penny converted from wide out to bring the scores level.
More good play allowed Penny to kick a penalty to give Norton in front before Somerton scored another try before half time to take a slender 12-10 lead into the break.
The second half saw Somerton begin to exert pressure and gradually they eased away. Norton threatened a comeback when an excellent cross field kick from Penny was pounced on by winger Andrew Best who scored a well-deserved try.
Somerton comfortably saw out the game though with a further length of the field try by their flanker,
2nd Jan 2016
Tor 2nd XV 10 – 10 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The thirds travelled to Tor on Saturday and played out an entertaining 10 all draw. The pitch was very wet but both sides did their best to entertain the sizeable crowd. The game saw a clash of styles with Tor looking dangerous in the loose and Norton controlling the tight phases.
It was Tor who took the lead when they kicked a penalty after Norton had strayed offside in midfield. They further increased this when their right winger returned a clearance kick in fine style and ran in from the half way line to give them a 10 point lead.
Norton’s defence held firm though, with some excellent tackling. The pick being from hooker Nick Higgs who’s covering tackled prevented any further score.
As the half wore on the Norton scrummage began to dominate, with the power of the front row Marc Anderson, Ollie Newton and Higgs to the fore. Repeatedly they had Tor in trouble and this allowed captain Ian Tiley to pick off the back of yet another scrum and power over in the corner to bring Norton back within 5 points.
The second half saw more of the same. Tor looked dangerous in the wide channels but Norton were able to control the ball for long periods. This enabled Tiley to take a quick tap penalty and go over from 15 yards out as the home defence was asleep. Fly half Steve Penny’s conversion just drifted wide so the game was evenly poised with 10 minutes left to play.
Both teams had opportunities to win, with memorable moments from both teams. A hand off from full back Matt Edgell and a tackle from Penny were worth the entry fee alone. As time ticked away Tor had one last chance to win the game but their long range penalty fell short and Norton cleared their lines to seal a well-earned draw.
5th Dec 2015
Burnham on Sea 2nds 53 Midsomer Norton 3rds 20
The thirds lost out to a strong Burnham second XV on Saturday but showed their fighting spirit to secure a four try bonus point.
The first half started brightly enough with half backs Ian Tiley and Julian Hawkins keeping Burnham pinned in their own twenty two. A couple of early attacks were thwarted before number eight Ty Dallimore picked and went from an increasingly dominant scrum. His pass out of the tackle enabled Hawkins to power over from 10 yards out. From here though it was all Burnham as they spread the ball wide and scored 6 unanswered first half tries.
Things looked bleak at half time when Norton turned round 34-5 behind, and with the strong wind now in their faces. However they played some of their best rugby of the season to score three second half tries and match their opponents score for score. Some good attacking play allowed Norton to camp near the Burnham line. Jay Harvey was held up over the line but from the resulting scrum the ball was passed blind and winger Ben Murphy powered over in the corner.
The next try came after a superb break from defence by full back Ed Mills. The interplay in midfield was impressive with second row Tom Hillier providing the telling pass to enable centre Ben Anderson to go over in the corner. Norton were not finished there, and capped an excellent second half effort when another break from their own twenty two saw Anderson race down the blind and feed winger Laurence Bairdsea who scored a well deserved debut try.
Although ultimately well beaten by the better side Norton can take great pride in their second half performance, and must look to take this forward into next week when they travel to Martock.
20th Nov 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 26 Cheddar Valley 1st XV 3
The thirds put in an impressive performance on Saturday as they defeated Cheddar Valley at Norton Down. Despite the wind and torrential rain both sides played some good rugby but it was the home side who earned the bonus point win.
Having lost the toss and with the wind in their faces in the first half Norton more than held their own. The scrum was excellent throughout and this laid the platform which allowed the hosts to earn a slender half time lead.
The visitors used the wind to good effect but the Norton defence was up to the task and with flanker Jack Rideout winning a plentiful supply of lineout ball Norton were able to repel any of their attacks. The visitors did take the lead with a close range penalty after a high tackle but Norton responded almost immediately. Driving runs from centres Jon Swift and Ben Anderson set up the field position and after some good play close to the line the ball was swept wide to winger Ed Mills who went over in the corner. This gave Norton a narrow 5-3 lead at the break.
With the conditions in their favour Norton took advantage. Number eight Steve Dunster capped a superb game with two second half tries following powerful surging runs. Flanker Adam Sinden scored the fourth try as he powered over after running a good supporting line. Fly-half Steve Penny added three conversions in difficult circumstances to ensure there was no way back for the visitors
Cheddar showed their fighting spirit in the last quarter of the game but the Norton defence was again up to the task to seal a well deserved win.
7th Nov 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 17 Morganians 1st XV 22
The thirds nearly pulled off a shock win on Saturday when they narrowly lost out to second placed Morganians in a hard fought encounter. Ultimately though Morganians were the more clinical and registered a bonus point win to just edge the game.
The thirds belied their lowly league position to put in an excellent performance. There is a real feeling that they are starting to gel as a team and this was typified by their first half performance. Morganians took an early lead following a prolonged spell of pressure but the hosts defended well. Some good kicking from fly half Steve Penny and some surging runs from the back line allowed Norton to exert some pressure and this led to well earned penalty.
Soon after some more good open play freed up hooker Mike Evans who really should of scored. Despite some desperate defence Norton kept the momentum going and replacement flanker Mitch Rose was soon on the scoresheet when he drove over from close range following a well executed 5 metre lineout.
Morganians scored before half time to draw the scores level.
The second half saw Norton lose their way a little when really they should have been looking to capitalise on the strong wind at their backs. There were still bright moments, the highlight of which was Ben Anderson’s try following a storming run in which he powered past several would be tacklers. Penny added the conversion but this provide to be Norton’s last score.
Flanker Luis Devila nearly broke through but was hauled down short of the line and gradually Morganians fought their way back into the game. Two tries in relatively quick succession sealed their win and despite Norton ending the game on the Morganians line the visitors defence was up to the task as they sealed the win.
10th Oct 2015
Wiveliscombe 2nds 38 - 15 Midsomer Norton 3rds
The 3rds made the long trip to Wiveliscombe on Saturday and despite a good performance couldn't stop the home side running away with the game in the final quarter. The Norton pack were excellent in the first half and really took the game to the opposition. This allowed them to camp in the Wiveliscombe twenty two and from a resulting scrum captain Ian Tiley went over in the corner.
Wiveliscombe fought back and following a few weak tackles they pulled level and then took the lead with three tries in quick succession. This was somewhat against the run of play as Norton more than fought their corner. Marc Anderson was inspirational in the tight, and coupled with a good blend of youth and experience Norton kept Wiveliscombe on the back foot.
The second half saw the hosts begin to threaten out wide. In the tight Norton looked dangerous and centre Ed Mills capped a good game with an excellent try as he drove his way through several would be tacklers. Fly half Steve Penny converted and also added a penalty but unfortunately in between more poor defence allowed Wivelsicombe to ease clear.
Norton never gave up and young winger Ben Johnson had a promising game but ultimately Wiveliscombe deserved their win. Norton must look to continue to build on the positives and the improvements will continue to come.
26th Sept 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rds 10 – 47 Wells 2nds
Having gained promotion last year the 3rds are finding life tough in their new higher league. The majority of the team’s they are facing are now second teams, and given the fact that Wells first team play their rugby in South West 1 Saturday’s game was always going to be a stern test. Despite the apparent mismatch the Norton 3rd team put in a superb 1st half performance to find themselves only one score behind at half time. They proved more than a match for the opposition, and were unlucky not to gain a score of their own when they camped on the Wells line for a prolonged period. The Wells defence just kept them at bay though and took a narrow lead into the break.
The second half saw Norton’s fitness gradually fade. The younger, fitter Wells side took advantage of this and as the game became more open they began to ease away. Norton showed their fighting qualities though, as first fly half Steve Penny kicked a penalty and then the Norton pack drove Wells over their own line from a series of 5 metre scums. Number 8 Tom Hillier was denied illegally and the referee had no option but to award a penalty try.
Despite the loss Norton showed excellent team spirit, and the blend of old and young enjoyed their afternoon. Special mention should go to prop Eamon McGauley making his first appearance of the season, alongside promising winger Ben Johnson.
19th Sept 2015
Winscombe 2nd XV 48 – 0 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
After last week’s encouraging win Norton were well beaten by a superior Winscombe side on Saturday.
The warm weather was perfect for running rugby and the hosts eased away in the second half.
Norton competed well in the tight phases, especially in the opening quarter and were able to exert a fair amount of pressure. The front row of Marc Anderson, Ollie Newton and Dave Williams proving themselves to be more than a match for their Winscombe counterparts.
Number eight Ben Parker had an excellent game and repeatedly broke the gain line. Full back Ash also had an encouraging debut, making a string of important tackles.
In the first quarter fly half Steve Penny kept the hosts pinned in their own half with some excellent tactical kicking. This created a number of half chances which Norton were unable to take advantage of, but the visitors very nearly took the lead when a Penny penalty attempt drifted wide.
After this though Winscombe began to control proceedings and scored 3 long range tries before half time to see them pull clear. Norton’s effort gradually faded as fitness levels dropped and this allowed Winscombe to ease to a bonus point victory.
This week Norton entertain another 2nd team when Wells make the short trip across the Mendips to Norton Down, kick-off at 3pm
12th Sept 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 16 – 15 Tor 2nd XV
The 3rds secured their first league victory of the season on Saturday as they edged out Tor 2nd XV in a tense finish. Norton dominated the opening period and some strong running and good tactical kicking kept the visitors tied in their own half. A deft kick ahead from captain Tiley and an excellent chase from flanker Luis Devila saw Norton win the ball close to the Tor line. From here the pack did the rest of the work driving hooker Tim Sheppard over for the first score of the game.
Norton were in control at this stage but failed to gain another score that their play deserved. This allowed Tor back into the game as they broke from distance and their number 8 cored in the left hand corner to bring the scores level at half time.
The second half was an even affair with both sides having chances. It was Norton who retook the lead when winger Chris Philips showed his pace to run in from fully 30 metres out.
Tor hit back almost immediately when their left winger scored from a similar distance.
Norton again spurned chances to score from close range but fly half Steve Penny kicked a penalty to put them back in the lead before the Tor winger again scored in the corner.
In the closing stages Norton laid siege to the Tor line, and following a penalty that rebounded off the post Penny made amends with a smart drop goal.
Tor had a chance to win it in the dying seconds but their long range penalty drifted well wide to ensure Norton gained a well-earned win.
5th Sept 2015
Weston Hornets 3rd XV 47 – 0 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
An inexperienced 3rd team travelled to Weston Hornets on Saturday for their first league game of the season in Somerset 2 South. Following their league win last year and subsequent promotion they knew that life at this higher level would be tough and so it proved against a strong Hornets team.
Hornets finished second last year and have clear aspirations to finish one better this year. Their large, experienced pack dwarfed the Norton youngsters, the majority of whom were under 20 years of age. Despite there being a significant mismatch in size there was no faulting the Norton effort with the young side doing their upmost to keep the hosts at bay.
Luis Deville was tigerish at the tackle area and was helped out by efforts from fellow colts Tony Teall and Mitch Rose. Scott Goddard was also prominent in the loose. Behind the pack the two wingers Dan Haimes and Ben Murphy made some telling tackles, alongside the rock solid James Lake at full back. Centre Louis Jones looked dangerous with the ball in hand but Norton had to battle hard for every scrap of possession.
The hosts size and strength meant that they were able to control possession for long periods, and their superiority allowed them to earn a well deserved bonus point win. Their large squad also enabled them to maintain momentum when Norton began to tire. Norton however can take a great deal of credit for their never say die attitude which bodes well for the rest of the season.
18th April 2015
Walcot 3rd XV 5 – 65 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
Norton 3rds defeated Walcot on Saturday to ensure that they were crowned league winners. Their bonus point win saw them clinch the Somerset 3 North title by 1 point from nearest rivals Bristol Barbarians. The win was a just reward for an excellent season that has seen a mix of youth and experience come together in captain Ian Tiley’s new look squad.
With a bit of guidance from their older counterparts the younger members of the squad have really developed over the course of the year. The Murphy twins Ben & Joe have excelled all season, and weighed in with 6 tries between them on Saturday. Ben scoring 4 and his brother scoring 2 respectively.
Flanker Luis Deville has also shown a great deal of promise and scored the final try of the game to cap an excellent first season at senior level.
The tries flowed thick and fast in a one-sided first half where Norton dominated. The set-piece was rock solid with experienced props Dave Williams and Tim Chivers firmly in control. The second row added some extra firepower with Tom Hillier and Dan Massey prominent in the loose. This enabled number eight Julian Hawkins to score the first try of the game as the Norton pack powered over from close range.
Jack Rideout again ruled the lineout which secured Norton a plentiful supply of ball and enabled Norton to disrupt the Walcot ball. Hooker Mike Evans profited when he went also went over for a well taken close range try.
Fly half Steve Penny kicked 4 conversions and also kept the home side firmly on the back foot with some impressive touch kicking.
Both centre’s added a try apiece, Ed Mills and Finn McDermott bursting through the line to score.
Winger Tom Lovell very nearly increased the tally after cutting a superb line but was just stopped short. Norton were not to be thwarted though as the Murphy’s supporting lines ensured they were able to cut loose.
The second half saw Norton ring the changes with scrum half Dan Moon making a welcome return after a long injury lay off. Joe Travetti, Craig Spruce and Tim Sheppard also entered the fray and put in a good shift to ensure Norton coasted to the all important win.
28th March 2015
Old Edwardians 1st XV 33 – 12 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The 3rds travelled to Bath on Saturday and returned empty handed after being beaten by a strong Old Edwardians team. Due to the Easter holidays the home side were able to pack their side, and their bench, with a host of students, and this ultimately proved the difference.
Norton more than competed in the tight but struggled to contain their youthful counterparts in the loose. Despite the visitors best efforts Old Eds raced into a 3 try to nil lead after 20 minutes of play and things looked bleak for the visitors.
Not to be outdone Norton showed their fighting spirit. Gradually they began to pin Old Eds into their own twenty two and after a disrupted scrum flanker Lois Deville pounced from close range to score Norton’s first try. Fly-half Steve Penny added the conversion.
Soon after an up and under from scrum half Tiley was followed up by hooker Mike Evans. His fancy footwork saw centre Ed Mills win the footrace and touch down to bring Norton back into the game.
Norton continued to put pressure on the Old Eds line but were unable to make the vital breakthrough. Numerous attacks were thwarted just short of the line as Old Eds put in some sound defence to preserve their half time lead.
The second half followed a similar vein. Norton dominated the tight exchanges but it was Old Eds who were more dangerous out wide. Both sides had chances to score but it was Old Eds who broke away through their outside centre and all but sealed the game with a length of the field try.
Norton battled gamely on and had a number of half chances but the game was now gone and Old Eds scored once more before the end to seal the win.
The 3rds now have a two week break before the final league game when they travel to Walcot in search of a win which would secure them the league title.
21st March 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 30 – 5 Avon 2nd XV
The 3rds moved within touching distance of winning the league on Saturday when they defeated 3rd placed Avon. This win leaves Norton 6 points clear with only two games remaining. Avon were one of only two teams to have defeated Norton this season so the home side were very happy to gain revenge with a bonus point victory.
The game was closely fought but Norton were the more clinical in possession and it was this that made the difference. Flanker Luis Deville scored two tries from close range drives in the opening period to give Norton the momentum.
Norton all but sealed the win when captain Ian Tiley danced through a gap and powered over midway through the second half. Avon briefly threatened a comeback when they broke out wide to score but it was lock Ben Parker who finished off the game in style as he stormed over in the dying moments.
Fly half Steve Penny was in excellent form throughout and his penalty, drop goal and two conversions ensured Norton would go into next week’s game against Old Edwardians knowing a bonus point win would be enough to see them finish top of Somerset 3 North with a game still to play
7th March 2015
Chew Valley 3rd XV 5 - 10 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
Norton achieved the double over Chew Valley on Saturday as they continued their winning run. It was a hard fought encounter however, with little in the way of flowing rugby from either side. Defences were in the ascendancy and this led to a stop start game packed with set pieces.
Norton controlled the early exchanges, with the lineout work of Jack Rideout ensuring plenty of ball. Several probing runs from nearly led to the opening score but the finish wasn't forthcoming.
Chew then scored with their first real attack when they drove over from close range. Hawkins soon responded with a penalty to put Norton back in contention.
The ball carrying ability of second row Steve Dunster proved decisive. He capped an excellent man of the match performance to charge through a number of would be tacklers to score the all-important try late in the first half. Hawkins again converted to give Norton a 10-5 half time lead, which didn't really do justice to their set piece dominance.
The second half saw things turned on their head as Norton were forced into a couple of changes in the pack. This allowed Chew to turn the screw. Despite their best efforts they were unable to break the Norton defence. Time and again Norton repelled their attacks and were unlucky themselves not to score after a number of close range drives were thwarted just short. This coupled with the off spin kicking of Hawkins kept Chew at bay.
Norton held on to take the win which sees them two points clear at the top of the league with 3 league games remaining.
28th Feb 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 41 – 0 Frome 3rdXV
Norton 3rds ended Frome 3rds unbeaten season in resounding fashion on Saturday when they outscored their opponents 8 tries to nil. Both sides currently sit at the top of Somerset 3 North and South respectively but it was Norton who dominated the game and eased to victory.
Playing down the slope in the first half Norton scored at regular intervals to take a commanding first half lead.
Star man for Norton was young second row Luis Deville who scored two well taken tries to cap an excellent performance. His feat was matched by centre Jon Swift who repeatedly found gaps when he cut back against the grain.
Veteran winger Tom Lovell made amends for an earlier slip when he went over in the corner with fly half Adam Sinden converting two of the tries.
His replacement Julian Hawkins added two further conversions in the second half and his siege gun boot kept Frome on the back foot.
The platform however was laid up front where props Dave Williams and Marc Anderson dominated. Anderson himself adding a further try after some great close driving work by the forwards.
Hooker Mike Evans also got in on the act, and along with lock Tom Hillier completed the scoring.
Norton return to league action next week when they travel to Chew Valley
10th Jan 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 66 – 12 Old Bristolians XV
The 3rds took on Old Bristolians on Saturday and did the league double as they ran in 12 tries. With the hosts arriving short, and without a front row the result looked like a foregone conclusion but the strong wind meant that the playing conditions were far from easy and it took Norton some time to get in their stride.
Once the flood gates had opened Norton scored at regular intervals and eased to victory. Old Bristolians, for their part, knuckled down and made sure Norton had to work hard, registering two second half tries of their own, but ultimately it was one way traffic.
Lock Steve Dunster had an excellent game but it was full back Joe Murphy who was the star man as he ran in 3 tries. Returning hooker Tim Sheppard also capped a fine performance with 2 tries of his own, and his feat was matched by impressive flanker Jack Rideout and centre Ben Anderson. Further scores followed from the number eight, winger Chris Phillips and replacement back Martin Blackmore, who was making a welcome return after a long injury lay off.
After this win Norton moved to second in the table and now have a couple of weeks of inaction before they return to league duty.
3rd Jan 2015
Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 25 – 14 Keynsham 4th XV
The 3rds kicked off the New Year with a hard fought win over Keynsham at Norton Down on Saturday. With a large squad to choose from Norton made a number of changes at half time to ensure everyone participated in a very good win. The mixture of youth and experience augers well for the remainder of the season, allowing Norton to run in 5 tries to ensure a bonus point victory.
Norton started well and a prolonged spell of pressure allowed prop Phil Dunn to power over from close range.
Winger Ben Murphy was very unlucky not to score when he just failed to ground the ball following a good kick ahead. Number eight Matthew Denning was soon on-hand though to finish off an impressive driving maul and increase the lead.
Keynsham showed their fighting spirit and fought their way back into the game, scoring a try of their own to make the half time score 14-7
The half time changes allowed the Keynsham pack to initially grab the ascendancy and they dominated the first couple of scrums whilst the new look Norton side adapted to the game. Norton however still showed the resolve to extend their lead when scrum half Andrew Best pounced on a loose pass to score.
The visitors pack were beginning to control the ball though and they soon closed the gap when a strong scum allowed their fly half to kick through and win the race to touch down under the posts. The converted try put them back within 1 point.
Norton responded well to this challenge and their pack soon regained parity. This allowed them to more than hold their own and the introduction of fly-half Julian Hawkins tipped the game back in their favour. His driving runs kept Keynsham on the back foot and this freed up room for Norton to attack.
Hooker Dan Backhurst made a welcome return from injury and capitalised on this space to add two tries in fairly quick succession to enable Norton to ensure victory.
Next week Norton host Old Bristolians, looking to continue their winning start to the season.
28th Dec 2014
A great day, a great game, a great club and a great man.
On Sunday December 28th on a glorious sunny winter’s afternoon on what has now become a tradition of MNRC, the annual game between Hibbard’s’ hero’s and a select Midsomer Norton team took place.
The result, a win for the hero’s by 38 points to 20 points was somewhat irrelevant. This was a victory for the rugby community. Mike Hibbard was a stalwart of the club who was much loved by the junior section of boys that played for him over ten years ago. These boys got together again last year and although the majority of them had played little or no rugby since his untimely death they put up a very good performance against a club 15. This year they went one step further and achieved a great win against a MNRC team.
After the game a packed clubhouse raised a glass to Mike and his widow Elaine, who was presented with a framed commemorative shirt of Hibbard’s Hero’s.
For the record, the Norton tries were scored by Withers, Rideout, Withers and Williams with the Hero’s tries scored by Jack Packer (3), Pete Hall, Mike Blackmore, Tom Snelling and Mike Hibbard’s son, James.
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.
22nd November 2014
Avon 2nd XV 28 – 6 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV
The thirds were on the road this week when they travelled to unbeaten league leaders Avon. Despite their best efforts a much changed team were eventually well beaten but they competed gamely and made their hosts work for their win.
Lack of weight in the pack was the key issue, and with no recognised jumper in the lineout Norton’s struggled to claim set piece ball. This saw Avon dominate possession although they struggled to break through a resolute Norton defence. Back rowers Julian Hawkins, Ty Dallimore and Kevin Herbert constantly disrupted Avon ball, and were ably backed up by some good midfield defence from the evergreen Richard Slater and the Murphy twins.
Norton took the lead when some good play saw fly-half Steve Penny kick a penalty after Avon had strayed offside. Back came Avon though who scored shortly before half time following a prolonged period of pressure close to the Norton line. With half time beckoning Norton failed to clear their lines and Avon pounced again as their full back raced clear to score a well taken converted try to give them a 14-3 lead at the break.
Norton continued to struggle to gain possession but soon closed the gap when Penny added another penalty to put them in sight of a losing bonus point the game remained close until the last quarter when again Avon scored two tries in quick succession, the last one on the final whistle to secure a bonus point victory.
Norton can have no complaints about the result but will feel with the return of a few key personnel they will have a chance to beat Avon in the return fixture in 2015.
October 04 2014
Bristol Barbarians 2nd XV 44 Midsomer Norton 3rd XV 8
The thirds faced a difficult task on Saturday when they travelled to Whitchurch to take on Bristol Barbarians 2nd XV. Despite Norton’s best efforts the host eventually ran out comfortable winners as they eased away in the second half.
Norton took the game to them in the first forty minutes though and produced some good attacking rugby. Fly half Ian Tiley used his boot to good effect and this kept Barbarians pinned in their own half. Gradually though the hosts superior size and fitness allowed them to make inroads into the Norton twenty two and eventually the ball was swept wide to see their winger score in the corner.
Norton fought back almost immediately when they earned a penalty in the oppositions twenty two following a good kick from scrum half Dan Moon. This allowed winger Jon Parry to score a penalty. Soon after, Norton took the lead, following some good driving play from the pack. The ball was swept to midfield where Tiley’s clever kick to the corner allowed full back Joe Murphy to gather and plunge over for an excellent try.
Barbarians responded with two tries before half time to give themselves a 17-8 half time lead.
With the slope now against them Norton struggled in the 2nd half as Barbarians dominated long stretches of the game. A couple of injuries to Norton players and the loss of a player to the sin bin further weakened the cause which enable the hosts to ease clear with a further 5 unanswered tries. The youthful Norton side should not be too disheartened as they were beaten by much larger and more experienced opponents. The positives were many with the tackling of Joe Morgan to the fore, along with the lineout work of James Todd. In the back line the Murphy twins again excelled, with centre Ben Murphy posing a constant threat with ball in hand.