Regional 1 South West: Weston-super-Mare 19-69 Devonport Services

 This was a game that at half time was close but by the end, it was quite a large margin that keeps league visitors Devonport Services two points clear of Barnstaple, who have played one more game, at the top of the Regional 1 South West table.

For the hosts, this was their 11th straight defeat, dating back to when Services won the reverse fixture 55-7 last October, and leaves the Seasiders rooted to the foot of the table with five games, three of them at home, still to play.

The visitors took an early lead from a scrum when No.8 Matt Gregory came off the back and gave it to outside centre Mark Friend to score. Fly-half Richard Goldsby-West added the conversion and the extras to the next touchdown.

It came after a period of flowing rugby with prop James McFarlane crossing to whitewash. Weston hit back when a grubber from scrum-half Dan Lomax fell perfectly for right-wing Dominic Marshall.

Then Seasiders Weston scored again when a sweeping fifteen-man move ended with flanker Kieran Bromsgrove crossing. Fly-half George Nuttycombe added the conversion to reduce the arrears to two points.

Devonport hit back straight away with a simple long-range try scored by their left-wing Toby Lean, converted by Richard Goldsby-West, followed by the bonus point try in the corner by scrum-half Dylan Daley.

The hosts hit back through No.8 Jay Davis who also went under the posts after a line out and forward pressure and Nuttycombe converted his second of the day. The comeback didn't last long as the visitors ran out of defence.

It led to a straightforward try for full-back Harrison Coonick, converted by Goldsby-West, followed six minutes later as Lean scored his second try of the game and the Services’ sixth of the afternoon for a 38-19 lead.

Play was halted due to a serious injury to second-row Mikey Rickard. Referee Simon Long consulted both captains and it was agreed to call an end to the first half, seven minutes early.

Rickard was stretched off the pitch having suffered a suspected fractured ankle. After initial X-rays were inconclusive, he was transferred to a hospital in Plymouth to see a specialist. He is likely to be ruled out of Services’ remaining six league games.

Weston began the second period by conceding a penalty at the scrum near their line but managed to close the play down. This didn't last long as the outstanding Coonick once again waltzed his way through the porous Weston defence.

Replacement Dan Goldstone added the conversion and the extras to touchdowns from flanker Ethan Millard and a second from Davies who beat a now crestfallen home defence. With six still to play, there was time for Services to rub more salt into Weston’s wounds with a second from Daley and one for Andy Pond, a half-time replacement for the injured Rickard, to round off the afternoon.

Once again Weston were in the game for a large part of the first half but in the end, just could not cope with the speed of Devonport’s outside backs and eventually capitulated to a meek defeat.

While Weston are without a game on Saturday (February 10), Services have a rearranged game away to sixth-placed Lydney. Weston United also have a rescheduled match on Saturday when Wells will be the visitors. Kick-off 2.30 pm