Regional 1 South West: St Austell 41-24 Weston-super-Mare

Scrum-half Dan Lomax, in his 100th first-team appearance, led Weston-super-Mare onto the pitch in the wet and windy conditions for their first-ever visit to Tregorrick Park with the Seasiders looking to make it three league wins in a row, writes Chris Heath.

But it was the hosts who took the lead in the tenth minute when a simple grubber and chase by outside centre Sam Parsons resulted in the opening try. Then a fifty twenty-two gave St Austell another opportunity but the Weston defence held.

When the visitors were awarded a penalty, fly-half George Nuttycombe kicked well into the twenty-two-metre area and from the line out that followed, lock Ross Chesher was on hand to touch down from the drive. Nuttycombe expertly converted from wide out.

The lead didn't last long as the hosts carved through soft defence for a try from wing Max Bullen with full back Matt Shepherd’s conversion seeing them retake the lead. Weston then pummelled the home line with the hosts giving away penalties.

Eventually, the pressure told with lock Ash Russell dabbing down and Nuttycombe converting. In the thirty-third minute, loosehead prop Gary Carpenter crossed for Weston’s third try following another drive.

A long cut-out pass by the St Austell scrum-half CJ Boyce then put the Shepherd in under the sticks before he added the simple conversion. On the stroke of half-time Weston were held-up over the line leaving the scores level at 19 points apiece.

Weston began the second half strongly but missed a kick to the corner. However, they regrouped and carried well but with no reward. With St Austell conceding a lot of penalties, Nuttycombe found touch with one and from the drive that followed another penalty ensued.

This time the visitors were a lot closer to the hosts’ line but still no result. Weston then copied the home side by giving away a penalty for a high tackle and the home side sensibly let Shephard take the three points on offer to restore their lead.

The hosts got their tales up and from a soft penalty St Austell quickly tapped and inside centre Ben Plummer crossed the whitewash. Weston then hit back when Carpenter was on hand yet again to score his second and a try-scoring bonus point for the visitors.

St Austell then had a chance to put themselves six points clear, but Shepherd’s kick went narrowly wide. However, he made amends by converting his own try when they ran a penalty blind to put them out of sight.

But there was still time for Plummer to claim his second try, converted by Shepherd, to round off the game which somewhat flattered the hosts and cemented their eighth place in the table as they completed a season’s double over the Seasiders.

For Weston, who remain at the foot of the table, Carpenter had a fine afternoon and richly deserved his two tries. However, Weston's failings in wide defence showed up again towards the end but at least they got a bonus point for their hard work.

Weston have two games remaining to play this season, both at home, starting on Saturday (March 23) with the visit of Ivybridge, 20-11 home winners Exmouth. The final game on April 6 is at home to second-placed Barnstaple who won 45-8 at Okehampton.