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SONICS SECONDS SMASH SOMERSET

Bristol Sonics’ second team ran in ten tries on their way to an entertaining 48-26 West Country derby win over rivals Somerset Vikings at Aretians on Saturday.The Sonics seconds, boosted by a number of players with first team experience and a raft of new faces, proved too strong for a Somerset side missing their inspirational player/coach Chris Richards and a string of other first choice players.But Bristol had to fight off a sustained second-half fight back from the visitors, before a flurry of late tries sealed the victory.Bristol began well and took the lead on six minutes, loose forward Wayne Cochran brushing off some poor tackles to touch down. Three minutes later the Sonics extended their lead, debutant winger Matt Craythorne juggling the ball before sprinting 50 metres down the left touchline to score. Further tries from hard-working forwards Ryan Hall and Nathan Rainer – coupled with two Will Garnett conversions – gave Bristol a 20-0 lead after just 20 minutes.Somerset had been well out of the game but began to fight back with a string of barnstorming forward runs and neat play from hooker Craig Williams. On 28 minutes they finally got on the score sheet, Joe Bussell charging through to touch down. Dan Hinton added the first of three conversions for the Vikings.Seven minutes later, neat work from Williams released George Giles down the left. He hared 50 metres down the wing before plonking the ball down between the sticks. Hinton’s conversion made it 20-12.The Sonics were beginning to struggle, but some magic from half backs Lewis Beer and Will Garnett opened the space for Luke Savage to break the line 20 metres out and sprint clear to score in the corner. Garnett missed the conversion, putting Bristol 24-12 ahead at the break.Somerset dominated the early stages of the second half and enjoyed two sets of six deep in Bristol territory.

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