Seasiders open up with away victory

PUBLISHED: 10:25 18 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:53 24 May 2010

Weston Rugby Club captain Dave Burge (second left) and head coach Peter Sloman receive new shirts from sponsors Nick Jean and Bob Read from Bradford Building Supplies and Glentworth's Paul Mott.

Weston Rugby Club captain Dave Burge (second left) and head coach Peter Sloman receive new shirts from sponsors Nick Jean and Bob Read from Bradford Building Supplies and Glentworth's Paul Mott.

WESTON opened their South West 1 campaign with a well-earned victory at Allington Field. Important contributions by Mark Armstrong and Sean Bennett were major factors in a fine team performance

Chippenham 22 pts Weston 35 ptsWESTON opened their South West 1 campaign with a well-earned victory at Allington Field.Important contributions by Mark Armstrong and Sean Bennett were major factors in a fine team performance. Armstrong's 20-point haul included a try, three conversions and three penalties, while Bennett's tries, one in each half, were crucial scores.Armstrong's fourth-minute penalty set the ball rolling and by the interval, the Seasiders were 17 points to the good.The first of Bennett's tries arrived in the 22nd minute after a superb backs move involving James Curgenven and Goran Vucicevic, Armstrong converted, and he was soon adding the points to his own try.Now facing the wind, Weston defended stoutly before Chippen-ham's Adie Price dived over from a yard out, Dave Slee converting.But the visitors responded quickly with Armstrong's penalty before Bennett shredded the home defence with a dazzling 50-metre run which took him to the posts.Armstrong's conversion took the score to 27-7 and although the hosts replied with Darren McMillan's try, Weston responded again three minutes later with a score by Mike Lowis. Armstrong's conversion attempt was wide, but he kicked his third penalty for a 22-point advantage. Two late tries by Chippenham from James Gaiger and David Spiers reduced their deficit, but Weston were already worthy winners.Head coach Peter Sloman will be pleased with this showing. Despite the absence of three important players behind the scrum, it was the back division which held sway for the first 70 minutes. Aided by the splendid work of David Burge's pack, in which Kevin Hobbs was outstanding, all the backs played a significant part in a skilful display.On the debit side, Chris Rowland retired after only seven minutes with a serious hand injury which has turned out to be spiral fractures to three metacarpels. Rowland has undergone surgery and will be sidelined for several months.However, Rowland's replacement, Simon Williams, the former Bedford Athletic player, put in a strong performance on his debut.Weston: G Vucicevic; M Lowis, S Bennett, T J Madamombe, J Curgenven (J Read 64); M Armstrong, R Drabble; C Rowland (S Williams 7), D Burge, C Derrick, A Richards, A Russell, K Hobbs, M Denbee (D Cook 64), G Sparks.

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