Crichton's hat-trick not enough to save Weston

CONEY HILL 43 pts WESTON 39 pts - CHRIS Crichton s second-half hat-trick brought Weston to the brink of victory at Gloucester, but Coney Hill had always done more than enough to keep their noses in front.

CONEY HILL 43 ptsWESTON 39 ptsCHRIS Crichton's second-half hat-trick brought Weston to the brink of victory at Gloucester, but Coney Hill had always done more than enough to keep their noses in front.Weston started poorly, messing up the hosts' kick-off and within six minutes were 10 points down, Rory Baker kicking a penalty and converting a soft try by Sam King.But in the 10th minute the Seasiders replied with a splendid effort. Opening up from inside their own 22, Crichton made a large slice of ground before offloading to Ross Bennett who sent Ashley Russell galloping over from 20 metres.James Mackay converted and Weston enjoyed a good 20 minutes without reward. Paul Sprague and Harry Warman, on his return from a three-month injury lay-off, made good progress, and Crichton was nearly over, but the hosts attacked strongly and Baker's penalty took the score to 13-7 at the break.The Seasiders were now well in contention with the wind at their backs, but they started the second half as they did the first, poor tackling donating tries to Mark Rimmer and Tom McGarr, Baker converting the second.The score was now 25-7 after only 43 minutes, but Mackay was soon converting Crichton's first try from an interception. Mackay and Baker exchanged penalties. Darren Carr scored Hill's fourth try, and following another penalty by Mackay, Max Whelan's try took the hosts to 40-20.Then suddenly Weston discovered some good handling. Daryl Sanft's break gave Crichton an excellent score and the New Zealander completed his hat-trick four minutes later from another interception.Mackay's conversion gave David Burge's team a sniff of victory, but another penalty by Baker more or less settled the issue. Daniel Fry had the final word with a superb individual try in time added. Mackay converted, but Weston had run out of time.Weston: H Harman; C Crichton, D Sanft, S Bennett (sinbin 43), P Sprague; J Mackay, R Bennett; D Price, D Burge (capt), N Lavender (J Gallagher 55), M Kempton (D Cook 55), A Russell, E Smith, D Fry (sinbin 29), J Harris. THE Somerset Cup final between Weston and Bristol Harlequins was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 12, but the Mercury now understands this will not be the case.Both clubs are still awaiting the Somerset RFU's decision on a new date and venue.Weston United's 96-0 victory at Martock on March 7 ensured their promotion to Somerset 1 next season. With three league matches still remaining, they have already passed the 1,000 point mark.Weston Colts will meet Taunton at Hyde Park in the quarter-final of the County Colts Cup this evening (Thursday), kick-off 7.30pm.

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