Weston defeat nearest challengers to stretch their lead

PUBLISHED: 09:25 09 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:25 09 December 2016

Marcus Nel.

Marcus Nel.

Copyright Andrew Collins 2016. All rights reserved

Weston defeated their nearest challengers in the league, Thornbury, to maintain their unbeaten record in the league.

Thornbury 13 pts

Weston 33 pts

Weston travelled to Thornbury’s Coopers Farm ground seeking to avenge their defeat last season and to maintain their unbeaten record in South West 1 West this season.

The match promised to be a close encounter as the two teams occupied the first and second places in the league at the onset of the game.

Thornbury started the game at a terrific pace and they pressed the Weston defence at close quarters in the forwards, but also on the wide outside. Weston’s defence was up to the task and the only reward for Thornbury was a penalty after eight minutes, slotted by fly-half Tom Luke. This was the last time that Thornbury would have a lead in the game.

Weston began to take control through some excellent work at the scrum and line-out and by excellent ball retention. Weston were pressing in the Thornbury 22 when they lost possession and full-back Richardson’s long clearance kick seemed to have relieved the pressure, but in a moment of pure genius, Weston’s full back Harry Jones gathered the ball and sprinted at the opposition backs.

He wrong-footed them with a deft chip kick, gathered the ball behind the defence and sprinted for the line. This first Weston try was converted by James Mackay and Weston took a lead which they maintained throughout the game.

Thornbury were competing well and with the advantage of the slope, pinned Weston back for 15 minutes and their reward was a second penalty for Luke to cut Weston’s lead to a single point.

Weston began to exert considerable pressure and there were great breaks from both the Weston centres, Huw Morgan and Marcus Nel who was deputising for player coach Glenn Dickson, who had an ankle problem.

Weston’s pack now had the measure of the Thornbury forwards and they drove relentlessly at the Thornbury line. A penalty had allowed Weston to win a line-out five metres out.

The Weston attack was held, but from the resultant scrum Weston went for the pushover and the referee awarded a penalty try as the Thornbury defence came offside to foil the score. Mackay slotted a simple conversion and Weston turned round with a relatively narrow 6-14 advantage.

The second half saw Weston take full control of the scrum and the backs moved the ball well, stretching the Thornbury defence. After just five minutes Morrissey was on hand to finish a great move and Mackay added the extras.

From the restart, Weston attacked first on the left wing and then on the right and the move was finished by tight head prop Ollie Streeter, who scored the bonus point try under the posts, converted by Mackay.

Weston remained in control and had the Thornbury pack in considerable difficulty. With the hosts on the back foot, Mackay kicked to the right wing where Chris Young gathered and beat two defenders to score Weston’s fifth try.

Weston were unlucky to miss out on a couple of chances in the last 15 minutes and a good final effort from Thornbury saw their scrum-half Harry Glew score in the corner at the end of a forward drive. Luke converted and the game ended shortly after with Weston decisive winners by 13-33.

This bonus point win over their nearest rivals in SW1W leaves Weston 18 points clear having taken 59 points from a possible 60.

Weston will be hoping to maintain their fine form when they face Matson at home to complete the first half of the season.

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