SPIRIT and belief are intangible qualities but they clearly had an affect in Cullompton's 55-22 defeat by Bridgwater in South West 1 (West), writes Edwin Baker.

Bridgwater seemed to have a hangover from their dire loss against Clevedon the previous week and Cully led 8-3 at the end of the first quarter.

But the second quarter saw the visitors emerge from their stupor to create and run in three tries in the bonfire corner and grab an opportunist score from a tap penalty.

With home captain Sam Harris binned at the start of the second half Bridgwater grabbed an early score at the back of a maul but Cully stepped up to pull back a well- worked try while still a man down.

Although not being able to prevent two further tries, Cully were a match for the visitors in the final quarter and it was down to their own defensive blunder that Bridgwater were given a final try before Cully scored another of their own in the closing stages.

Cullompton fielded a relatively young team, inexperienced in gamesmanship, compared to Bridgwater’s who counted among their number vocal veteran hooker Matt Hastie.

And although it may have been coincidence, quite a few decisions that went against Cully seemed to follow the loud and insistent appeals from Hastie player who could have cost the home side an early score when a break by stand-off Matt Garner created a promising move down the wing which was hauled back for alleged crossing.

Despite the scoreline Cullompton gave supporters three tries, put 22 points against Bridgwater who on average concede 19, and fought to the end.

That will hopefully stand them in good stead tomorrow (Saturday) when they visit North Petherton.