Injury problems mount for the Seasiders

A SERIOUS looking leg injury sustained by skipper George Sparks was the final straw for Weston as they crashed to defeat at the Recreation Ground.

WESTON 22 pts

NEWTON ABBOT 37 pts

A SERIOUS looking leg injury sustained by skipper George Sparks was the final straw for Weston as they crashed to defeat at the Recreation Ground.

No 8 Sparks was stretchered off in the 65th minute and having used all of their replacements, and with Kevin Hobbs in the sinbin the Seasiders, already 15 points adrift, had no chance of recovery.


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However, this was not a good performance by the hosts, especially by some members of their back division.

There were careless knock-ons, poor kicking and back flip passes to no-one in particular which invariably returned good possession to their guests who were not slow to take advantage.

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But by the end of the first quarter Weston were 10 points ahead. Good work by wings Steve Thompson and George Wright led to a try by Sparks and a catch and drive gave another to Stuart Board.

However, the writing was beginning to appear on the wall as the All-Whites responded. Joe Waterman’s crucial tackle on wing Jake Monnington was a try saver and Hobbs did the same on No 8 James Head. But the visitors were soon getting closer.

An accurate crossfield punt by fly-half Andy Birkett reached wing Thor Normann who crossed unopposed and the scores were levelled when prop Ben Rogers touched down.

The Devonians continued to press unsuccessfully until the third minute of first half time added when Waterman’s attempted chip was gratefully accepted by Monnington whose try was converted by Dan Force.

Full-back Force extended the scoreline to 10-20 early in the second half but more excellent running by Thompson and Wright gave James Mackay an easy try which the centre converted himself.

However, Weston’s hopes were soon dashed when more mistakes gave the visitors a brace of tries within five minutes by Gareth Williams and Head, Force converting the latter.

After Sparks’ departure to hospital, flanker Jamie Rudkin scored Weston’s bonus point try but Normann finished things off after yet another poor chip which was run back with consummate ease.

Weston: J Waterman, S Thompson, J Gallagher, J Mackay, G Wright, J Reid (C Young 69), J Conway, D Swann (M Matthews h/t), C Withers, S Williams (D Swann 61), S Board (A Glen 48), A Russell, J Rudkin, K Hobbs (sinbin 61), G Sparks (c).

BY the time this report went to press, Weston will have played their Somerset Cup final against Clevedon at Bridgwater, but they will have hoped their now severe injury problems will not have affected them too much.

But they would have been without George Sparks, together with Dewey Swartbooi who is still in Frenchay Hospital having undergone three operations on his much damaged right leg and ankle following their semi-final at Taunton.

Other doubtfuls would have been back rowers Gavin Simpson and Richard Bignell and definitely absent would have been prop Steve Donegan who has gone to Ireland due to a family illness.

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