Seasiders fall just short in high-scoring encounter

PUBLISHED: 19:50 24 October 2010 | UPDATED: 15:18 25 October 2010

RUGBY :  Weston  v  Bridgwater.

RUGBY : Weston v Bridgwater.

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WESTON'S second half reposte at Leckhampton was not quite enough to give them a victory, but a bonus point was no more than they deserved.

Weston 35 pts

WESTON’S second half reposte at Leckhampton was not quite enough to give them a victory, but a bonus point was no more than they deserved.

George Wright’s try with eight minutes remaining saw the Seasiders scenting a possible victory against second-placed Patesians, but they ran out of time.

The main problem was the defence in midfield, five of the hosts’ six tries emanating from that source. Their kicker, James Markey was also important in keeping their noses in front with six goals from seven attempts.

Nevertheless, the Seasiders will take a lot from this performance. Their pack was magnificent. Led from the front by skipper George Sparks, the hosts were put under all kinds of pressure, but it was their back division which won the day.

Within the opening 15 minutes, centre Stuart Taylor had crossed twice and by the half hour, No 8 James Pettigrew had touched down, Markey having added two conversions and a penalty.

In the meantime, debutant Sam Saunders had opened Weston’s account with a penalty and Sparks had scored from a pushover. But the Pats had the final score of the half when Henry Bird went over at the left corner, Markey converting for a score of 29-8.

Things were now looking ominous for the visitors but Saunders kicked his second penalty which was followed by a 90-metre counter attack involving David Taylor, Sparks and Paul Sprague, resulting in an attacking line-out from which David Swann scored.

Markey then converted Chris Mellon’s try for 36-16, but back came the Weston pack for Sparks to crash over for his second try from a penalty scrum.

Saunders converted but the Seasiders conceded a sixth try when full-back Matt Dean was allowed to run through. Markey’s fifth conversion followed, but in the 68th minute, Weston started their grandstand finish.

More splendid play by the pack produced a try for centre Saunders, and then for Wright, Saunders’ conversion bringing them closer to a second bonus point. But the final whistle arrived too soon.

Weston: J Waterman, K Middlemiss, S Saunders, S Bennett, P Sprague, D Taylor, J Conway, D Swann (D Price 59), D Burge, S Williams, A Richards, A Russell, A Glen (J Rudkin 71), G Wright, G Sparks (c).

Weston wing Steve Thompson will be sidelined for several weeks having broken an arm in the match against Cheltenham two weeks ago.

However, his replacement against Patesians, Kirk Middlemiss had a good match, taking full advantage of catching practice from the left boot of Pats No 10 Markey.

David Taylor also played well at fly-half in his first senior match since 2007/8.

The Seasiders entertain fifth placed Chinnor at the Rec on Saturday (3pm).

Weston Utd 36 pts

Combe Down 14 pts

If Weston United are going to win this division they are going to have to play a lot better than they did against a robust Combe Down.

After absorbing loads of pressure, Weston full-back Chris Hurd opened the scoring, George Kimmins converting. Weston increased their lead almost immediately through lock Darren Doughty, who got the touchdown after a catch and drive from a stolen line-out by fellow lock Ned Barker.

The second half began with the visitors hitting back with a converted try by their No 8. Chris Young had a try disallowed before Hurd added to his tally after good work by wing Mike McCarthy.

McCarthy then scored a debut try when Barker and Young found Hurd, who put the left wing over. Outside centre Sam Waterman then crossed before No 8 Gavin Simpson benefitted from a great run by hooker Craig Withers, which led to Young providing the pass for Simpson to cross, Young converting.

The visitors still had time to score their second of the afternoon which was no more than they deserved as Weston maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

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