Narrow cup final victory for Weston boys

JUNIOR RUGBY - WESTON Under-15s Bristol Combination Plate final match against Winscombe was always going to be a close game, with Weston running out 10-5 winners.

WESTON Under-15s Bristol Combination Plate final match against Winscombe was always going to be a close game, with Weston running out 10-5 winners.

Unfortunately for Winscombe, early on in the game they lost one of their most influential players Sam Denham in an accidental clash of heads.

Weston's pack showed good determination and high levels of skill offloading in the tackle early on. Weston were also dominant in the scrums with the forwards securing not only their ball, but a majority of the Winscombe put in.

Weston's early domination in territory and possession eventually led to Tom Davies cutting a good line through the Winscombe defence to score the first try. Tommy Northern was unsuccessful with the conversion.

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Straight from the restart, Winscombe came at Weston and almost scored a try but for a last ditch tackle by Harrison Wills.

Weston regrouped from the Winscombe attack before they fell foul of an injury to Dan Cope, whose strong running had been troubling the Winscombe defence early on.

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This led to a reshuffle of the Weston back line and Sam McConnell came onto the wing. Again Weston pressed the Winscombe defence and after a number of phases the ball was spun wide to McConnell who finished the move off scoring out wide for a 10-0 half time lead.

The second half started with the Winscombe pack now more of a force at the breakdown and they settled their own scrum. A good break by Winscombe saw the ball moved through numerous pairs of hands before Tom Day scored in the corner. Weston laid siege to the Winscombe line for the remainder of the game and had numerous opportunities to score further tries, only to be denied by continued last ditch defence by the Winscombe players.

With time ticking away, Weston missed a kick to the corner and Winscombe launched a last ditch. Fortunately for Weston they managed to scramble their defence to stop the breakaway.

Weston Under-16s entertained Gordano and were 45-5 winners, scoring seven tries to one.

After five minutes, a good kick by Dan Lomax saw the visitors defence broken. From the resulting Weston throw-in, Harvey Lowndes touched down, converted by Lomax.

From the resulting kick off, a good catch by Adam Fisher saw him off load to Sam Fisher, who was well supported by Sam Fisher. The ball was moved quickly by Troy Hanham to Sam Fisher and then to Sam Webb-Wood for a good try in the corner. A try by Joe Robinson saw the lead stretch to 19-0.

Following a penalty to Gordano, they pushed Weston back over their line for their only score of the game.

From the restart, Adam Fisher ran the ball back with interest. A good passage of play saw Joel Pomeroy kick the ball behind the defenders for Callum Luxam to touch down.

Another good solo try from Pomeroy saw him chip the defence and gather the ball to go in under the posts. Adam Fisher, ably supported by both Sam Fishers, saw him go over for a fine try.

When Weston were awarded a penalty on the halfway line, a quick tap and go from Tom Ford saw the ball moved along the backs for Webb-Wood to go over in the corner for his second try of the game, finale score 45 v 5 to Weston.

Special mention for Adam Fisher and both Sam Fishers, who defended and attacked the line very well.

IN STICKY conditions, Hornets Under-11s welcomed Taunton to Hutton Moor.

The first game early on was a battle of wits, both sides sizing up the opposition to find a chink. The forwards of Zac Carver-Cox, Blake Williams, Louie Vernacombe, Paddy Holyday and Jack Mohide were dwarfed by the opposition, but in set play line-outs and scrums, Hornets secured their own ball and, on occasions, pinched Taunton's.

The first try came from Taunton after solid defence by the Hornets' backs. Bryn Solomon was outstanding all day, while Alex Francis bossed his backs brilliantly and Tiah Lauder, Harry Taylor, Spencer Coe, Thomas Cocking and Jordan Humphris, made sure Taunton didn't relax.

The next score was derived by a break out of defence by Bryn with his forwards in tow. Quick ruck ball then allowed Alex to burrow over for a fine team try, converted by Jordan.

The second half saw Paddy and Zac in the shadows of Taunton's jumpers, but they outplayed them at every line-out. From a defensive line-out on Hornets' own line, they moved into Taunton's half. More mauling by the pack saw Paddy go over the line for a score, Alex converted.

That seemed to awaken Taunton and, not helped by a couple of mistakes, Taunton got a couple back to pinch it at the end. Final score 14-21.

With a big squad, Taunton had a second team so plenty of game time was enjoyed by all Hornets.

Now on for Hornets: Josh Entwhistle, Keane Williams, Matthew Balcombe, Jacob Parkman, Freddie Dolcezza and Mitchell Dyson, who didn't allow the standards to drop.

In the first half, the play went from end to end but when Blake got his hands on it, he bulldozed his way to the line.

In the second half, Taunton got an early try before constant surges by the forwards kept Hornets close to Taunton's line. Josh crossed when a pick up and drive by Louie sent him in for his try, converted by Jordan.

Solid defence and strong runs by Hornets' backs showed they were determined not to let the opposition have an easy day. Matthew and Mitchell both showed great promise and fine runs by Jacob and Freddie kept the forwards going. Taunton managed to squeeze in a try to win 14-12 right on full time.

Special mentions to Zac and Paddy who between them, showed Taunton how to play the forward game.

The Under-9s welcomed Taunton to Hutton Moor, and with both teams had a turnout of approximately 20 players to play, each team was split into two squads.

In the first game, a mixture of poor rucking and positioning saw the first Hornets squad struggle. The hosts were caught napping as Taunton took the lead from an early scrum.

Hornets stepped up the pressure, and after a period of scrappy play started to gain possession. With support from forwards Sebastian Wood and Joe Frost, Ryan Young gained some ground before offloading to Jack Tottle, who charged through the opposition to equalise. Taunton were rewarded with two more tries before half time.

Despite vigorous tackles from Blake Goodare, Jack Weaving, Connor Hill and Kyle Godwin, Taunton once again breached Hornets defence.

Locky Carver-Cox produced a fine run through the middle and was brought down close to the line, allowing Eddie Williams to pick up and cross the line.

Hornets battled on and with a new found energy, Eddie landed two more tries for his hat-trick.

Sadly for Hornets, this was not enough as Taunton maintained their lead by scoring two more and winning the match 30-20.

A more experienced squad of players was put out by both teams for the second game that provided for a thoroughly exciting and evenly matched contest.

There was some strong rucking, tackling and mauling coming from Ethan Loveridge, Ewan McComisky, Oscar Browne and Owen Brake. Taunton scored the first try, but this was countered by an effective switch from Charlie Fairhurst to Ayden Chenoweth, who sped across the line.

After the break, Taunton scored again, but the strength of the Hornets teamwork was not to be dismissed. Scrum-half Bradley Lucas broke through on a couple of occasions, but was prevented from making significant gains.

More awesome tackling from Nathan Langdon, Rhys Clarke and Mitchell Hawkes kept Taunton at bay, and eventually a quick pick up allowed Charlie to equalise.

The battling continued to the end with a late try from Oscar being disallowed as the game finished 10-10.

With a good surface to play on, Hornets Under-14s and Old Reds wanted to play a open running game.

Old Reds were stronger in the scrum, but Hornets came out on top in the rucks/mauls good inter passing between forwards and backs gave Adam Thompson, Dan Saunders and Adam Francis (2) first half tries with one converted by Francis for a 24-0 lead.

The second half started with Hornets passing the ball across the width of the pitch and tries were scored by Ryan Brewer, Josh Wheeler and John Xanh, with three conversions from Francis.

Old Reds didn't give up and only strong defending by Hornets keep them from scoring. Final score: Hornets 45, Old Reds 0.

Hornets Under-14s first competitive game of 2010 took place at home to Walcot.

The squad of 22 were raring to go and all members were rewarded with a game. From the start they outplayed Walcot in all areas and the first half saw them run in six tries.

These were scored by Josh Caulfield (2), Thomas Davidson, Jamie Duncan, James Locker and Jamie Orr.

The second half saw lots of changes to the Hornets team, but they continued with the good work they had started in the first half and scored a further five tries

The first of these came after Jordan Lees picked up the ball from the loose, raced up the wing and then passed to Cameron Lee to score try number seven.

Try number eight was scored by Miles Shuker again after good a strong run by Rhys Hayes. James then scored his second of the match, collecting the ball from the Walcot restart and sprinting to the line.

Byron Marriot then scored the 10th and just before the end, Hayes ran over for try number 11. Only two of the eleven tries were converted to give a final score of Hornets 59 points to Walcot nil.

Having beaten Chew Valley last week in their first match of the New Year, Hornets Under-8s faced Taunton.

In the first game, Hornets opened the scoring with a try by Lawrence Pilgrim. Taunton levelled immediately but Hornets then started to take control with excellent tagging from all members of the team.

Hornets retook the lead with a try from Alex Leeks and then Tom Read ran the length of the pitch to score a try in the last move of the first half.

The second half started as the first half had finished with a try from Read. Taunton responded with a try, but Hornets kept up the pressure and were rewarded with two tries from Tim Morris. Taunton scored late on to make it 6-3 to Hornets.

In the second game, Taunton fielded their stronger team, but it was Hornets who led 4-3 at half time with tries from Aiden McComisky, Reef Morton, Lawrence Pilgrim and Tim Morris.

The second half started well with Reef Morton and Alex Leeks scoring tries. Taunton fought back and came close to equalising, before Alex Leeks ran in the last try of the match with Hornets winning 7-5.

In a shortened third game, the match was drawn three-all with tries from Aidan McComisky, Tom Read and Alex Leeks.

Player of the week was awarded to Alex Leeks.

Hornets Under-10s played three games at home to Taunton. They started well with some excellent quick ball from the scrum and great passing rugby, resulting in early tries for Thomas Budd, Nick Lukins and Charlie Owens.

Despite dominating the first half, Hornets' missed tackles allowed Taunton back into the game in the second, conceding two breakaway tries.

Thomas, Ed Mann and Andrew Meaghan scrummaged well, Dan Odea and Jacob Manning made some good tackles and Harrison Wallace made some good runs off the wing.

They were unable to stop Taunton equalising in the final seconds resulting in a 15-15 draw. The visitors brought on a set of fresh players for the second game in which Lewis Rickwood and Ieuan Walters worked tirelessly to win the ball.

Jake Middleton made some good breaks and Jack Higgins and Connor Burns showed the way with some excellent tackling but the visitors scored four early tries.

As Hornets tired, Taunton continued to score through their speedy wingers. Final score was a 0-40 loss.

In the final match, Hornets made it more of a game with some dynamic running and strong tackling with two scores from Dave Cocking and a brace from Charlie Owens.

Owen Kent tackled well, but the visitors continued to rotate their players and despite Hornets playing much better as a team, the match ended as a 20-30 loss.

WINSCOMBE Under-15s played local rivals Weston in a keenly contested Bristol Combination Plate final at Keynsham and ended up losing what turned out to be an excellent match 5-10.

Winscombe's cause was not helped by the loss to injury of captain and scrum-half Sam Denham in the second minute. They also struggled throughout to hold the heavier Weston pack in both rucks and mauls, which meant that their talented backs were denied a lot of useful ball.

Weston took the lead early in the first half when one of their centres crashed through a crowd of players to score. They added a second soon after when their winger went over in the corner.

The second half was even throughout with play going from end to end. Winscombe eventually scored when, following a fine run from Nick Thompson, the ball was recycled to Tom Day on the other wing who went over in the corner.

Winscombe pushed hard for an equaliser but Weston's defence held firm. Despite the result, Winscombe did well to reach a Bristol Combination final for the third year running.

After failing to impress in last week's close win over Old Reds, Winscombe Under-13's forwards knew what to expect of them on a claggy pitch at Taunton.

They managed to deliver from the outset, turning over the ball from the kick off and immediately releasing the three-quarters for Sam Rees to score.

This established a pattern of play for the rest of the first half, with a dominant visiting pack allowing the backs room to roam.

James Semple and Ryan Hodson in the front row gave Winscombe a significant edge in scrum and loose play, with Harry Townend on the blind side snuffing out any Taunton attempts to break out.

By the end of the first half, Josh Daly and Tommy Parsons had each scored two tries, and Huw Richardson one, on a wide pitch well suited to the Winscombe backs.

Wholesale changes at half-time briefly disrupted the rhythm of the visiting side, and Taunton were quick to capitalise, making the most of the advantage from a Winscombe knock-on and sprinting round a dormant defence for a try in the corner.

However, Winscombe were soon in the ascendency again. Richardson broke through to score his second, and then some great teamwork between Rees and Richardson put Daly through to score his third.

Parsons also completed his hat-trick, diving through to ground a ball released at the back of a ruck on the Taunton try line, to make it nine tries in all.

Charlie Beake and Brady Woods converted two apiece. Taunton never stopped trying, and only a solid tackle from Kieron Westcott, playing his first full game for Winscombe, prevented them scoring a second.

YATTON Under-9s played a spirited opening game against Frampton Cotterell.

There was a couple of jinking runs by Finbar Lawrence and Robbie Crew and some great determined tackling by Jay Murray, Nathan Porter and Connor Smith.

Despite a couple of well worked tries from Dylan Wallis and Ben Wiggins, the Yatton players were pulled into a slow game of rugby and couldn't compete with the size and weight of the Cotterell team.

Despite never giving up, Yatton went down by eight tries to two.

It was a cheering surprise for the home support when Yatton seemed to find their feet in the second game and give Frampton a run for their money.

Although always on the back foot, in end to end play, Yatton matched their opposition try for try and ended up with an exciting 8-8 draw. There were some great passing skills shown by James Caygill and Archie Anderson and forceful tackling by Charlie Cromblecombe and Billy Mackay.

Tries came from man of the match Wiggins (4), Wallis, James Woodvine, Murray and Crew.

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