Wells RFC conquer Berry Hill on return to Western Counties North action
MATCH REPORT: Berry Hill RFC 28 Wells RFC 36
Wells have been unable to play or train outdoors for the past three weeks but showed no signs of rustiness as they kept up their Western Counties North promotion push with victory at Berry Hill.
The visitors' coach also got lost on the way to the ground but the players needed just one minute and 48 seconds to find their way to the Berry Hill try line, with Alex Knight touching down to give Wells the lead.
Berry Hill were soon back on level terms, with Stephens being awarded the try, but it was once again the powerful running of Knight that put Wells ahead as he swotted would-be tacklers away while charging half the length of the pitch to score.
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With half-time approaching, Charles Willis - making only his third appearance at inside centre - burst through the middle for his first senior try and Aaron Cook's conversion, his third of the game, put Wells 21-7 ahead.
However, the gap was closed to seven points in first-half injury-time when Berry Hill scored another converted try of their own.
Wells started the second period just like the first, with Rob Wiseman on hand to take a scoring pass from Jake Knight inside the opening two minutes and secure the bonus point.
Back came Berry Hill, however, and Brown's try plus another Ryder conversion meant there were just five points between the teams going into the last half-hour.
Wells held their nerve, though, and chose to run a kickable penalty, with their ambition being rewarded with another Wiseman try. Cook added the two extra points and then added a penalty seven minutes later to put his side 36-21 ahead.
Berry Hill, struggling near the bottom of the table, went in search of a precious bonus point and scored the final try through Fishendon, converted by Ryder, but they fell just short of getting within seven points of the visitors.
There were a number of standout performances from Wells, with Gavin Foster again catching the eye up front and Al Payne adding a combative edge to the pack.
Lewis Cohen got through a tremendous amount of work in the tight, lineout and loose, while promising Colt Kieran Joyce enjoyed a good debut in front of a large partisan crowd. John Broadley also made only his second appearance on the opposite wing.
The win leaves Wells clear in third place, with seven of their remaining ten league games at home.
However, they head back to Gloucester again this weekend to face Matson, while the 2nd XV go to Midsomer Norton and the 3rds host Castle Cary 2nds. The Colts, meanwhile, travel to Winscombe on Sunday for a friendly.