1XV put in second half masterclass vs Wells
Match report from Clive "Paps" Hall
Having inflicted a heavy defeat on Wells away from home in early October, Yatton were fully aware that Wells, having recently enjoyed some excellent results, would be a different proposition. Likewise, Yatton were on a roll, having defeated Stroud in a nail biting encounter away from home last week and narrowly losing to the league leaders, Coney Hill, the week before. This was a game with both sides looking to move up the league and consolidate a mid table position.
A dull overcast sky and the pitch on the heavy side from the recent rain suggested that open running rugby would not be the order of the day and the forward battle would decide the result. Wells played down the slope in the first half with territorial advantage and possession hotly contested by two committed sides in the midfield; Wells trying to open Yatton's defence with strong running while Yatton responded with some powerful forward drives up the park. It was Wells who broke the deadlock, when they were awarded a penalty and chose to kick for the corner. From the lineout the ball was collected and a powerful surge from the Wells forwards under the posts resulted in a fine try which was duly converted.
Yatton responded by tightening up their defence and some strong running with the new centre pairing of George Osborne and Ed Ryder - Smith catching the eye, with fly half Jack Edwards bossing the mid field. It was a powerful forward drive by the Yatton pack on the Wells twenty two that signalled Yatton had the advantage in the tight and that this would be the foundation for Yatton's eventual win.
With the half time score Yatton 0 - Wells 7, the home side needed to contain the opposition and score tries. They did not disappoint.
Now playing down the slope, Yatton were determined to keep their half of the pitch tidy, and a fine passage of play involving forwards and backs found George Osborne opening Yatton's account with an excellent unconverted try. Yatton's tails were up, so it was fitting that captain Matt Gooding added to the account by driving over from short range. Again the extras were not added.
With the game slipping from their grasp, Wells responded by trying to deny Yatton possession and territory by running the ball from deep in their own half, but Yattons defence held firm with some resolute defending with the influential Dan Williams paying the price by leaving the field injured.
Yatton's third try was scored when they opted for a scrum having been awarded a penalty. An excellent drive saw No. 8 Tom McMaster ground the ball, again with the conversion missed. McMaster was on the score sheet again, when from the base of the scrum he popped the ball to scrum half Lloyd Richardson whose blistering run scorched the Wells defence and Jack Edwards made no mistake with the conversion.
Yatton were increasingly turning the screw, and when Wells conceded another scrum five metres from their line, it was another powerful scrummage from the Yatton pack that enabled the tenacious Tom McMaster to ground the ball for his third try of the afternoon with Jack Edwards bisecting the posts.
The final try and conversion of the afternoon was scored in a similar fashion. With many players not available through injury and many playing out of position, this was an excellent result. The Yatton pack were truly inspirational on the day and the reason why Wells had no answer to Yattons dominance, in the second half.
To read Well's match report, click here.