Weston come up short in top of table showdown with leaders Barnstaple
PUBLISHED: 13:30 29 January 2020
Weston came up short in their titanic top of the table clash with South West Premier leaders Barnstaple on Saturday.
And the North Devon club just about deserved their success, due to their clinical finishing and superb driving game.
Weston started brightly and were in front in the second minute as hooker George Bamsey started a move with a barrelling run which resulted in a lineout.
Flanker Ben Tothill claimed the ball and, after prop Ollie Streeter had made inroads, it was recycled to centre Cameron Maslen who provided the scoring pass for full-back Alex Howman.
Scrum-half Dan Lomax missed the conversion and Barum soon hit back with a midfield trundle which eventually ended with a penalty try and saw Weston flanker Jacob Cox in the bin.
The home side weathered the storm and actually took the lead through a Lomax penalty but the respite was shortlived as the visitors' catch and drive game reaped dividends when hooker James Starkey touched down to give Barnstaple a four-point lead at half-time.
The second period began with a tremendous break by Cox which led to a Lomax three-pointer and with only a point in it Weston were scenting an improbable victory.
However, they continued to make elementary errors when attacking and with the penalty count totting up Barnstaple eventually got the crucial score through open side flanker Winston James.
Centre Kyran MacManus slotted the difficult conversion to put Barum eight points to the good, before Lomax and MacManus then traded penalties.
With time running out it looked as though Weston would end up pointless but a very late penalty was awarded to the hosts and Lomax kept his cool to slot a far from easy attempt to give the hosts a well-deserved losing bonus point.
Weston, despite the absence of leading try scorer Brad Talbot, hooker Adam Fisher and influential scrum-half Kadin Brocks, were still up for the fight with centre Huw Morgan particularly catching the eye, but the difference in the end was the clinical edge Barnstaple possessed.