PREVIEW: Bridgwater & Albion v Ealing Trailfinders Saturday 20th Feb

This weekend Ealing Trailfinders travel down to Somerset to visit Bath Road and Bridgwater & Albion RFC. A club dating back to the turn of the century. They have not endured the best of fortunes this season and recently parted company with their hugely likeable director of rugby Mike Tewkesbury. They are currently sitting in the basement spot in N2S , but the team will be on their guard, despite winning just two home games they have run many a side close this season.

Mike Cudmore looking ahead to the weekend’s game said , "Although there have been a lot of personnel changes at Bridgwater this season like all the rest of the teams in the league they will be a tough opposition for us especially at their home ground.  We will go into the game knowing that we need to play very well in all areas of the game to get the result the team wants"

Earliest history of Bridgwater & Albion?

We’ve had a couple of interesting pictures sent in by Paul Hawkins, now a Bristol resident. His family have played for Bridgwater (& Albion) for generations, and makes quite an interesting read.

Paul writes "I have a photograph of Bridgwater Football (champions of Somerset) club taken in 1898, which may be the oldest one in existence.  The original photograph (as can be seen below) is in very poor condition. My grandfather (Joe Hawkins) is standing next to the President.  The names of the players are shown at the bottom of the photograph.  My grandfather always told me that his father (James Hawkins) was the founder of the club. My grandfather’s sons (Bill and Joe Hawkins) also played for Bridgwater and Somerset."

"I believe the earliest ever photograph of Bridgwater Football Club before they merged with Albion Football Club to form Bridgwater and Albion Rugby Football Club. His son Joe Hawkins (my Grandfather) is pictured in the team photograph standing alongside the President (Mr. F. Brice Esq.). At the time the photograph was taken, the team used the Malt Shovel Inn in North Street to change into their kit before trotting down to the ground (now the site of Morrison’s Supermarket) to play their game.  After the game, the teams made their way back to the Malt Shovel Inn for victuals and refreshments."

What about Bridgwater today?

Their form is not great, only one win from their previous six games, and they are in the basement position on 18 points.  Their sole home win coming against Westcombe Park, who caused us problems on our visit to Kent. They did run Canterbury close, and have an ability to cause teams problems.

Fly half Stuart Evans tops the scoring list with 49 points, whilst full back  Matt Richards has scored four tries, followed by wing Sam Showering on three. A host of players have all spent time in the bin (13 in total ) but hooker Matt Hastie has two to his name……..

Stats can paint a picture as well. Ealing have scored 90 tries in their 18 games compared to 21 by our hosts, whilst we have conceded only 40 v 69. We have scored 36 tries away from Vallis Way whilst Bridgy have scored 14 or their 21 tries at Bath Road, so they like playing at  Bath Road!

Ealing scrum half Paddy Gill commented before training on Thursday , "After last week’s disappointment of Shelford, we have been training hard all week. We know that no games are easy and being where we are in the league, teams will play out of their skins to beat us. We know that teams don’t get an easy ride at Bridgwater , so we will have to be on our guard."

Previous results between Ealing Trailfinders RFC and B&A RFC

 24/10/09 Ealing Trailfinders 52 B&A 7

21/03/09 Ealing Trailfinders 30 B&A 8

29/11/08 B&A 17 Ealing Trailfinders 39

06/01/08 B&A 22 Ealing Trailfinders 27

15/09/07 Ealing Trailfinders 34 B&A 10