Weston triumph at Clevedon in disciplined display

PUBLISHED: 09:26 17 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:26 17 February 2017

Sam Coles.

Sam Coles.

Copyright Andrew Collins 2016. All rights reserved

Weston defeated nearest challengers Clevedon in a disciplined display, running out winners by just one point.

Clevedon 11 pts

Weston 12 pts

Weston made the short trip to Clevedon to face their local rivals in this much anticipated top of the table clash, aware of their opponent’s recent good form.

The game kicked off early at 1.30 in order to allow players and spectators the chance to watch the Six Nations clash.

The weather was overcast and freezing cold with a strong breeze at Weston’s back. From the kick-off and for the first 10 minutes Weston had to absorb the expected early onslaught from Clevedon and the home side were rewarded with just a single penalty for an early 3-0 lead.

Weston began to shift the balance of power in the game and for most of the first-half were in control, particularly in both the tight and loose forward play. Weston moved the ball well and the forwards drove at the Clevedon line time and again.

However, their only reward was four penalties, three of which were kicked by James Mackay, with one attempt also rebounding from the upright.

Weston did cross the line on four occasions, but were held up by a well-organised Clevedon defence. The referee was unsighted when Weston were sure, following a 20-metre line-out drive that Richard Bignell had scored and another chance of a score went begging.

Clevedon did not allow this forward pressure to stop them and against the run of play, they moved the ball into the Weston 22 and they ran several phases and No 8 Purcell, scored a good try in the corner just before half-time to leave the score at 8-9.

The second half consisted of an intense struggle with neither side able to take full control. Mackay had slotted his fourth successful penalty after 14 minutes and despite huge efforts by both teams there were no further scores until a penalty with just three minutes left in the game kicked by the Clevedon 10 and the referee blew for full-time with Weston in front by just one point.

Although the scores were very close, Weston will feel that they deserved their win. To a man, their performance was disciplined and focused and against a strong Clevedon side. They controlled the forward battle and their defence was sound.

Weston will be particularly pleased with the low penalty count against them, which limited the opportunities for the unerring and accurate boot of Clevedon’s Keiran Hill to keep the scoreboard ticking over for the home side, and the set scrum was back to its powerful best, anchored by skipper Sam Coles and Ollie Streeter at prop, with stalwarts Andy Glen and Ash Russell at lock,

Weston are now 20 points clear of Clevedon with a game in hand, and with eight games to play, they can now begin to believe that they can end the season as league leaders, with 16 league points required to confirm this. Eighteen games without defeat in the league this season gives great hope for promotion.

This Saturday, Weston welcome Okehampton to the Rec, kick-off at 2.30pm, in a match sponsored by GodfreyHall. When the two sides met earlier this season at the Showground, the Seasiders weathered an early onslaught from the home side, before arguably turning on their most complete performance of the season to win 36-13 in front of a large contingent of the travelling past players.

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