Seasiders succumb to league leaders

PUBLISHED: 19:10 09 January 2011

WESTON slid to their eighth league defeat of the season as Hartpury College cemented their position at the top.

WESTON 10 pts

HARTPURY COLLEGE 50 pts

WESTON slid to their eighth league defeat of the season as Hartpury College cemented their position at the top.

The Seasiders performed well in the first half which ended with a slender single point advantage. But after the break it was a different story, the visitors scoring five tries without reply to run out comfortable winners.

Hartpury’s full-back James Love, who was to score 30 of his team’s points, was on target with the first of his five penalties in the eighth minute.

But five minutes later, George Sparks intercepted a loose pass 45 metres out and sprinted unopposed to the posts for a try which James Mackay converted.

Love kicked his second goal in the 17th minute before he and Mackay exchanged penalties but Weston failed to take a couple of chances before the break which arrived with the score at 10-9.

But things changed dramatically at the start of the second half. Two soft tries by Paul Jarvis and Love were conceded before the half was five minutes old. Both were converted by the visitors’ full-back, and at 10-23, Weston were on their way to a heavy defeat.

Love added two further penalties before the Seasiders had further chances to reduce the arrears. But two important line-outs were conceded and Hartpury reached their half-century with tries by Will Foden and Chris Hawkins. Love converted both to end with 10 goals from as many attempts.

Despite the fact that the visitors fielded two former Welsh international forwards, one of which was a British Lion, this was a disappointing performance by the Seasiders.

They have now dropped to 10th position in National 3 South West and how they perform in their next three matches will define their place at the end of the season.

They are badly in need of a victory and they have a decent chance of success on Saturday at Bridgwater, who are also struggling at present.

Weston: J Waterman, G Wright, J Mackay, S Bennett (J Conway 27-30 blood), P Sprague, D Swartbooi, R Bennett (J Conway 5-12 blood) (J Conway 62), D Swann, C Withers, S Donegan, A Richards, A Russell, J Rudkin (G Simpson 65), R Bignell, G Sparks (c).

Midsomer Norton 2nd XV 7pts

Weston United 93 pts

The United gave their best performance of the season so far, demolishing Midsomer Norton 93-7.

With experienced former first team captain Dave Burge and Simon Williams allied to the powerful Luke Grimes, the front three gave their opposition a torrid time in the scrums. With a superb forward platform to work from, the backs made hay.

Weston opened the scoring following a break by outside centre Matt Burns. From an enforced five metre scrum, right wing Gareth Howells crossed the line. A break by inside centre Chris Young gave the supporting Howells his second try, which Young converted.

Young scored the third when he wrongfooted the defence to go over for try he converted. Howells hurried to his hat-trick after a quick tapped penalty. Norton then scored a converted try, before Reid dummied from a scrum to go over under the posts. Young again converting. Burge rounded things off in the first half rounding off another flowing move.

The second half began with a pushover try by captain and lock Stuart Board. Fly-half Dave Taylor then got on the scoresheet which he calmly converted. Burns benefitted from great work by Taylor, left wing Anthony Gregory and blindside flanker Eddy Saunders and it was Saunders relocated to No 8 who was on hand to dab down a pushover try from a scrum, Taylor converting.

Hurd added a second and Burns scored his second with a brilliant try, which he converted. Taylor then added the extras to his second try before Saunders rounded things off with a carbon copy of his first.

Weston host nearest rivals Nailsea and Backwell to the Rec on Saturday (2.30pm).

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