Weston run out winners in relegation derby encounter
PUBLISHED: 09:19 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 13 April 2018
Weston came out top in this important derby encounter with Hornets, the result sending Hornets down a division.
Hornets 13 pts
Weston 36 pts
This was a crucial game for both sides, with Hornets’ hopes of avoiding relegation were real, particularly given their recent run of impressive wins, while Weston also needed a victory to move themselves away from the drop zone.
The visitors kicked off and blindside flanker Spelman leapt to take possession. Weston quickly recycled the ball and worked it towards the right wing where Jones came into the line and created enough space for Robbie Mackay to go over in the corner with just a minute on the clock. Dickson’s conversion was just wide but Weston had the opening they wanted.
Hornets worked extremely hard and their forwards carried well, Pape and Parker both made ground. The home side attacked relentlessly, but Weston’s defence remained secure.
Even when Spelman went off, replaced by Turton, Weston continued to tackle and with a penalty advantage Hornets were held up over the line, but had to settle for a simple Humphries penalty.
Despite being down to 14 men, with Sugg yellow carded, Weston built momentum and Jones came into the line again, saw a gap and cut through to score Weston’s second try. Dickson made no mistake with the conversion and Weston had a nine-point lead.
Weston’s defence continued to thwart Hornets’ efforts and the visitors also made a number of turnovers to relieve pressure, but also allowing them to create their own.
An exquisite crossfield kick from James Mackay was fielded by brother Robbie and as he stepped inside his opposite number he seemed certain to score, but was hauled down a yard short by an exceptional tackle.
Hornets knocked on in the ensuing ruck and Weston’s forwards turned up the power at the five-metre scrum. Sugg, back on after his rest in the bin, picked up from the base of the scrum and dived over for a try. Dickson converted and the teams turned round at half-time with the score at 3-19 in Weston’s favour.
The second half remained an intense contest and Hornets attacked relentlessly. Eventually the pressure created by the home side was rewarded as they moved the ball to the left wing for Dempsey to score a try which went unconverted.
An error at a line out on the Hornets 10-metre line resulted in the home side getting a turnover and they raced away and put Carter in the corner for their second try. Humphries conversion attempt fell just short.
With the points gap reduced to just six points, Weston remained calm and stuck to their game plan. Their efforts were rewarded with a penalty 30 metres out and Dickson made no mistake.
With Hornets appearing to tire, Weston stepped up the pace and in a rapid move on the right and with quick passing, Robbie Mackay was put into just enough space for him to elude the defence and touch down for Weston’s bonus point try.
Dickson converted and with just four minutes left on the clock the crowd might have thought the show was over.
Weston got possession from the restart and worked through several phases moving up the middle of the pitch and released their backs and this time winger Watkins was on hand to touch down in the corner. Dickson’s conversion from the touchline sailed between the posts.
Weston held their nerve and retained possession for the remaining few minutes and finished the game deservedly victors by 13 -36.
This result moves Weston away from the lower part of the table and virtually assures their safety. Sadly this result means that Hornets will be relegated. This is a real pity as they are a young side with plenty of talent.
The town and both clubs benefit from the interest and excitement generated by local derby matches and everyone will be hoping that they can fight their way back into SW Premier soon.