Lightning strikes twice as Avon lose out to late Yatton drop goal
Avon discovered that lightning does strike twice as they went down to a last-gasp Yatton drop goal for the second time this season in Western Counties North.
As the game entered injury time, Avon were grimly hanging on to a one-point lead with some last-ditch defence when the Yatton centre suddenly sat back in the pocket and pulled the trigger on a sweetly-struck effort that stole a 13-11 victory, leaving his side ecstatic and the hosts devastated.
It was clear from the outset that the boggy conditions at Hicks Field were likely to result in a close, low-scoring game with mistakes determining the outcome.
After a scoreless first quarter which saw both teams bogged down in midfield, Yatton seized on a loose ball to hack downfield for the opening try.
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They continued to pressurise with an aerial bombardment but full-back Stuart Dilloway was rock solid under the high ball as Avon started to build some continuity with their forward drives.
One concerted attack led to a penalty from Rob Fitch to reduce the deficit and he followed this up with a second shortly before half-time for Avon to take a 6-5 interval lead.
With the chance to play the second half attacking the firmer areas of the pitch, Avon restarted with some confidence but were the architects of their own downfall. Their kicking game repeatedly let them down, while their attempts to play fluid rugby on the muddy gluepot inside their own half led to inevitable breakdowns and turnovers.
This allowed Yatton to keep up the pressure and they regained the lead as they returned a loose kick with interest and exposed a hole in Avon’s defence to score their second try out wide.
Avon responded with a series of forward drives from Chris Mutlow and Jake Dixon, which created the platform for an attacking scrum which was driven over the line for Scott Book to safely control the pushover try.
This gave Avon a narrow lead which they defended for the next 15 minutes before the agonising conclusion in injury time.