Avon restricted to losing bonus point in home defeat to North Bristol
A much-improved performance against fourth-placed North Bristol was rewarded with just a losing bonus point as Avon RFC went down 8-3 at home on Saturday.
Bristol’s massive pack were kept at bay by resilient defending early on before Avon, despite losing a player to the sin bin for a technical offence, raised their game and posed questions whenever Kane Book, Jake Dixon and Ben Dilloway had the ball in hand.
However, a snap drop-goal attempt drifted just wide and a promising blindside attack launched by Ollie Flight was snuffed out by the Bristol cover defence to leave the scores deadlocked at half-time
Avon’s pack continued to gain an edge over their heavier opponents as the effervescent Scott Book dominated the lineout and Kai Harwood gave his forwards a target over the gain line.
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They took the lead with a Rob Fitch penalty and continued to threaten as a midfield turnover saw the ball quickly spun wide before being forced into touch.
However, a fumbled clearance kick followed by an accidental offside decision allowed Bristol the chance to trigger an attack from a quickly-taken short penalty.
Four passes later, they crossed in the corner for what proved to be the decisive try, which was added to when Bristol converted one of the many penalties Avon conceded in key positions.
Avon held on to the bonus point, though, which keeps them just above the Western Counties North danger zone ahead of Saturday’s trip to third-placed Wells.