Bill Beaumont County Championship: Somerset 41-24 Hampshire

ON a perfect summers day on a pitch that looked like a carpet at Taunton Rugby Club, Somerset took on Hampshire in the Bill Beaumont County Championship.

In front of a 265-strong crowd Hampshire got the match underway at Veritas Park.

It took Hampshire just 3 minutes to break the deadlock as Rory Penfold opened the scoring after he broke the line to touch down near to the corner. Tom Fieldsend missed the conversion, and the score was 0-5.

Somerset started to gather some momentum in the minutes following however Hampshire went further in front in the 14th minute.

They found a gap down the middle which full back Max Fletcher hit at pace to score under the posts. Fieldsend converted and that made the score 0-12 after 15 minutes.

Somerset kept their tactic to build up patiently and they did get on the score board in the 19th minute when Charlie Carter followed in a grubber kick to score in the corner. Jamie Elswood missed the conversion and the score was 5-12.

Somerset continued their momentum, helped by a strong pair of runs from Tommy Bailey down the middle. At the end of the spell, they got over for a second try, this time under the posts thanks to Captain Sam Taylor. Elswood converted to make the score 12-12 after 25 minutes.

Two minutes later Somerset were in again, off the back of a maul Alex Chase found the try line to send Somerset in front got the first time, Elswood missed the conversion, but the score was 17-12 to Somerset.

Hampshire halted the pressure with a try of their own in the 30th minute from Wesley Dugun. The conversion was missed but the scores were level once again, 17-17.

Somerset managed a final score in the last few moments of the half as Callum Lane added five more points to the board and Elswood converted to give Somerset a 24-17 lead at the break.

Five minutes into the second half Somerset got straight back to business with a try from Huw Morgan. Elswood missed the conversion, but the score was Somerset 29-17 after 45 minutes.

Hampshire gathered momentum from this point on with some aggressive attacks, but it wasn’t until the 65th minute for the next score.

Somerset’s Keiran Ward found a space and ran through to score. Elswood converted to make the score 36-17 to Somerset.

Hampshire pulled one back in the 70th minute, a great solo effort from Will Rigelsford. It was converted by Fieldsend to make the score 36-24 with ten minutes to go.

Somerset hit straight back though in the 73rd minute, Tommy Bailey burst through to score under the posts. Converted again and Somerset went up 41-24 with five to go, enough to seal a truly memorable win in Taunton.