Promotion hopes disappear at home

PUBLISHED: 16:44 22 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:22 24 May 2010

ANY hopes of promotion which Weston may have harboured, virtually disappeared as they went down to this unexpected home defeat. In what was a below-par performance

Weston 21 pts Oxford Harlequins 27 ptsANY hopes of promotion which Weston may have harboured, virtually disappeared as they went down to this unexpected home defeat.In what was a below-par performance, the turnover count was high, many line-outs were lost and there was a worrying defensive deficiency in midfield. There were also distribution problems at set scrums.After Peter Davis had given Quins the lead with a 40-metre penalty, Weston went ahead with a try by Takura Madamombe who scored at the posts from an accurately weighed pass from Joe Ewens.James Reid converted, but the visitors were soon back in the lead with Tim Knapp's try from a driving maul, converted by Davis, who added his second penalty before the break.Things were looking ominous for the Seasiders in the first minute of the second half when Matthew Young's try for Oxford, converted by Davis, took the score to 20-7, but two tries in as many minutes gave the hosts the lead for the second time.After Quins' Philip Vinter was yellow-carded, they collapsed their scrum as Weston drove forward and a penalty try resulted. This was the first penalty try awarded to the club since January 17, 2004, in the home match in National 3 South against Dings Crusaders. Reid converted, and two minutes later Reid's break and deft chip gave a try to supporting Ashley Russell. Reid added the points for a single point advantage and Weston looked to be heading for an unlikely victory, but for the umpteenth time this season, the re-start was dropped and this eventually led to Oxford's winning try, scored by Simon Chadbone and converted by Davis.There were still 16 minutes of normal time remaining, but then came a serious-looking head injury to Matthew McQuaid, who received lengthy treatment before being stretchered off and replaced by Colts' captain Ross Bennett.But Weston were denied the chance of victory when referee Adam Friend ended the match with over five minutes of stoppage time remaining. Weston: G Vucicevic; M McQuaid (R Bennett 75), T J Madamombe, J Ewens (R Bennett 28-30), P Sprague; J Reid, R Drabble; D Milenkovic, J Gallagher, N Lavender (H Smith 75), B Noble (A Richards 50), A Russell, D Cook, G Simpson, G Sparks.Yellow card: Simpson.* TWO Weston players, full-back Goran Vucicevic and lock Andrew Richards made their 100th first-team appearances against Oxford Harlequins.Vucicevic (34) was born in Belgrade and educated there at the Ivo Andric School and the Law Academy. His senior career started at Royal Belgrade and he won over 50 caps for the former Yugoslavia before his arrival in the UK.He was with Bedford Athletic before joining Weston in 2001, since when he has scored 24 tries.Bristol-born Richards (22) was educated at Churchill School from where he represented Somerset in their 16, 17 and 18 age groups. He also played for the South West Under-18s.He started his senior career at Yatton before moving on to Bristol and during his time there, won three England caps at Under-19 level. He joined the Weston club in the 2002-03 season and has scored nine tries.Wells 19 pts Weston Athletic 14 ptsThe Athletic ended the year on a low with a close defeat at Wells in a top of the table clash. That said, they at least deserved a point with an outstanding last quarter against the elements and on a quagmire of a pitch. Playing down the slope in the first half, Weston never looked in serious trouble and ran up a 14-3 interval lead with tries by Bush and Lloyd-Jones, who converted both. A perfectly good try by Hudson was disallowed for reasons unknown. The match turned in a 20-minute spell after half time with four key decisions going against Weston, all resulting in scores.With five points separating the sides, the Athletic troops rallied and produced driving physical play of the highest calibre, retaining possession for long spells close to the opponents' line. Outstanding in this period were debutants Henry Serevi and Elliot Monelle. Wells however did not leak any scores and were thankful to their goal kicker Orson who was accurate all day. The Athletic will start the New Year in third position in Somerset Three South, two points behind Bridgwater and Wells.

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