Weston maintain unbeaten home record with important win over Exeter University
PUBLISHED: 17:54 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:54 20 January 2020
Weston again produced a spirited display to gain a hard fought 24-17 victory over the impressive Exeter University, who selected a strong side to try and take the hosts unbeaten home record.
Having not tasted defeat at The Recreational Ground since December 2018, Weston were left to rue their early missed chances as the dangerous Uni backs broke through midfield before the home side infringed.
After a quick tap penalty was taken, the ball was spun wide to full-back Charlie Wright who crossed unopposed before fly-half Carl Morgan added the extras.
With half time drawing near, number eight Brad Talbot returned from a 10-minute break which resulted in a great 14-man defensive effort as the Seagulls produced a great drive from a line out to force a penalty, which scrum half Ross Bennett took advantage of by tapping quickly and going over.
Dan Lomax converted to go into the break all level at 7-7.
The second period started badly for the hosts with Bennett leaving the fray with a rib injury and Lomax for the second week running having to relocate with captain Marcus Nel once again moving to 10.
Exeter had their chances in this period but stout defence by Weston, notably by evergreen lock Ash Russell and his second row partner Tom Sugg, who played his 65th game for the firsts the week before, kept them at bay.
Eventually Darren Crompton's side took advantage of a missed kick to touch when Howman gathered the high ball in front of the stand and after recycling it, Lomax produced a deft grubber to put the full back over before the fly-half expertly converted from the touch line.
The Devon students weren't finished, though, and following a catch and drive move, Wright was again on hand to cut Weston's lead to five points.
It was getting nervy but after Talbot was held up, a sweeping backs move resulted in replacement Kyran Devitt providing the pass for impressive winger Sam Rees to score his first try for the club.
Lomax was again impeccable from wide out with the conversion to make it 24-12.
Exeter scored a late try through Morgan, but Weston took the spoils and stretched their unbeaten run to 13 as they host leaders Barnstaple in a promotion battle on Saturday (2.30pm).