Last-minute penalty denies Seasiders victory

Dave Bufton. Photo by Andrew Collins.

Dave Bufton. Photo by Andrew Collins. - Credit: Archant

A penalty with a minute of normal time by Lydney was enough to beat Weston by just two points.

WESTON 33 pts

LYDNEY 35 pts

A PENALTY by Lydney’s full-back Anthony Wicks with a minute of normal time remaining finally gave them victory in a pulsating match at the Recreation Ground.

Two minutes earlier, Weston centre Sam Smee had crossed for his second try and James Mackay’s conversion had given the Seasiders a single point advantage.

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Weston gained clean possession from the restart and their pack was clearly driving when the penalty was awarded and Wicks’ sixth success of the match was the outcome.

After half-an-hour Weston were 18-3 ahead. Mackay’s penalty was quickly followed by his conversion of wing Harry Jones’ try after No 8 Chris Webber had intercepted a Lydney attack.

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In the 21st minute a clean break by flanker Paul Morrissey resulted in a try by Smee after which Wicks and Mackay exchanged penalties.

But the league leaders were back in the match before the break with a try by wing Charlie Vine, Wicks converting.

Mackay and Wicks each kicked penalties before Jones scored his second try, following good work by Sylvan Edwards and Craig Withers.

But Lydney replied with three tries in 10 minutes through Jack O’Connell, who touched down twice, and lock Brett Scriven. Wicks converted twice but Weston came back with eight phases of possession resulting in Smee’s second score.

Mackay converted for 33-32, but then came the controversial penalty award.

In the final minute Mackay attempted a penalty from 51 metres but the kick was wide, leaving the hosts with their fourth losing bonus point of the campaign, in addition to their point for their four tries; a well deserved return.

This was easily Weston’s best performance of the season against a Lydney team which is already looking for a way back to division 2.

After absorbing pressure early on, David Swann’s pack rose to the occasion. Good individual performances by Morrissey, David Price and Ashley Russell on his 250th appearance gave the Seasiders the edge for much of the match.

And in the back division, half-backs Dan Waldon and Mackay took advantage of some quality possession.

The Seasiders journey to Cheltenham on Saturday to meet Old Patesians and they need more of the same to notch their fourth victory of the season. Weston United entertain Gordano at the Recreation Ground in the Somerset Premier League (3pm).

Weston: H Skelton, H Jones, S Smee, S Edwards, T Bellek, J Mackay, D Waldon, D Price, C Withers, D Swann (c), A Glen, D Bufton, A Russell, P Morrissey, C Webber. Replacements used: J Matthews, S Fisher and K Middlemiss.

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