Seasiders start the new season with exciting draw
PUBLISHED: 09:57 08 September 2017
Copyright Andrew Collins 2016. All rights reserved
Weston began the new season with an exciting draw at home to Brixham
Weston 21 pts
Brixham 21 pts
On a bright and warm day with no discernable breeze, Weston began their campaign in the South West Premier Division by entertaining Brixham, who were well supported by a large crowd up from South Devon.
Weston fielded a side which included Jack Woodland at openside and Mark Turton, who made their debuts, while Ed Hunt and Rich Bignell both reached their 65th appearance.
The opening exchanges were fast and furious and with just four minutes on the clock Brixham’s fly-half Putt slotted a penalty. Despite this early setback Weston attacked and Spelman carried well giving the backs an opportunity to attack.
Full-back Bennett came into the line and put winger Matt Watkins in for a well-taken try. Mackay’s conversion attempt was just wide. Weston were penalised again at the breakdown and Putt made no mistake for Brixham to take the lead.
Weston remained strong and with quickly recycled possession they forced a penalty. They took the ensuing line-out and drove at the Brixham line and from the driving maul, Ed Hunt touched down. Mackay got the extras and although Weston were 12-6 in front, they had not wrested control.
Weston continued to fall foul of the referee who was interpreting the breakdown under the new laws for this season and Putt kicked two penalties in quick succession to level the scores after 26 minutes.
The second penalty also brought a yellow card for obstruction for Rich Bignell also making his 65th appearance, and the home supporters agreed that this was a harsh decision. To Weston’s credit they did not allow Brixham to take further advantage while Bignell was in the bin.
Weston looked as though they were on the verge of breaking out, but only succeeded in getting penalised twice more, the second in time added on. Both chances were converted by Putt who completed six penalties from six attempts to send Brixham into half-time 12-18 up.
Advice on how to conduct the breakdown stemmed the flow of penalties in the second half and Weston came close to scoring tries on a number of occasions. The scrum in particular kept up great momentum and the backs threatened, but Weston’s scores were limited to three penalties kicked by Mackay on five, 25 and 36 minutes.
The last gave Weston a 21-18 lead, but it was to be Putt who had the last word with an injury time penalty resulting from a collapsed maul from a line-out 45 metres which tied the scores as the referee blew for full-time.
Both teams had put in a good shift, and produced an exciting and entertaining game. Weston will be pleased to have their unbeaten record left intact and to have adjusted to the tempo of the higher league. They will expect to be able to improve and be more clinical in the coming weeks.