Minehead Barbarians 25 Winscombe 14 in the Tribute Somerset Premier.
THIS proved a comfortable home win in the end but at half time the game could have gone either way.
Winscombe made a determined start and controlled possession in the early stages putting Minehead under continuous pressure before taking a deserved lead.
Quick passing sent the right wing on a strong run before switching play back inside where the support runner was held up on the line.
Minehead could not hold the shove from the ensuing five metre scrum and despite a possible knock on, the No8 secured the touch down for a well converted try.
Minehead began to expand their game and hit back with an exciting try.
Justin Harris fielded wide on the right and switched to full back Tom Bishop who made a good run before giving a well timed pass for left wing Kyle Lewis to show his opposite number a clean pair of heels and score in the corner.
The conversion attempt just drifted wide.
Minehead were now looking far more positive with acting skipper Bishop taking the eye as he continued to find space from the back. They should have taken the lead but a wrong option in the centre saw the profligate waste of a perfect overlap and instead of Lewis being set clear again he was ignored in favour of an inside pass and the attack broke down to leave them trailing 7-5 at the break.
It was Minehead’s turn to dominate the early stages of the second half, forcing Winscombe to concede a penalty for not releasing.
The kick failed but prop Martin Cherry managed to deflect the 22 drop out into the path of Scott Langdon who rampaged in from 35 metres out.
It was Langdon’s strong running that also brought about the next try. He was stopped short just to the right of the posts where lock David Webber did well to recycle and enable stand off Steve Hayes to set up a move going left.
That gave Harris the chance to round things off with a clinical finish and put his side 15- ahead.
Replacement Dylan Blyth was soon on hand to link with Richard Henson who broke several tackles as he surged up the right before releasing a perfectly timed pass to Kyle Lewis to secure a bonus point and his second try which was well converted by Dom Westcott. With score at 22-7 , Minehead just needed to close the game out.
Steve Hayes who was enjoying his first start of the season in the No10 shirt, showed the way with some hefty clearances, but Winscombe had other ideas and a quickly-taken penalty saw them score under the posts and bring them back in it at 22 -14.
Prop Ryan Lewis was in evidence throughout and it was his drive deep into the 22 that forced Winscombe to concede a late penalty.
Minehead: T Bishop (capt) J Harris, (D Farmer) D Westcott S Langdon K Lewis S Hayes M Cook R Lewis J Barrett (D Blyth) M Cherry D Webber D Edwards R Henson (P Henson) G Taylor, T White.