Vulnerable Avonvale punished in home derby defeat to Combe Down
A vulnerable Avonvale side were punished for their mistakes as they were handed a 42-0 home defeat by Bath rivals Combe Down in Dorset & Wilts 1 North.
With nothing to play for in the league, a number of players absent and only local bragging rights left as a prize, Vale coach Chris Hobbs chose to give some of his young players much-needed experience by experimenting with his three-quarter line-up.
With only vice-captain Jon Keepen missing from the front row, Vale matched their stronger opponents in the scrum. However, the hosts fell behind when stand-in full-back Charlie Reid failed to clear a loose ball and the Downers arrived in numbers to crossed for the easiest of scores.
The visitors were clearly the stronger of the two sides on the day and demonstrated their position near the top of the table by scoring at regular intervals throughout the afternoon, crossing for a total of seven tries – just two of them converted.
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Hobbs said: “With so many changes it was always going to be a difficult challenge but our young players have all learnt from it and it will help us to know what options we have for covering key positions in the future.”