Seasiders edge cup final by a single point

Paul Morrissey. Photo by Andrew Collins.

Paul Morrissey. Photo by Andrew Collins. - Credit: Archant

Weston defeated Old Redcliffians by a single point in the final of the Somerset Cup.

WESTON 33 pts


IN a nail-biting finish at Bridgwater, Weston achieved victory over the Old Redcliffians by a single point.

It was the 10th occasion on which the Seasiders had won the Somerset Cup and their man of the moment was James Mackay.

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The fly-half scored 23 of his team’s points in scoring a try and kicked seven goals from as many attempts to take him past 300 for the season.

It was Mackay who opened the scoring with a 38-metre penalty after 44 seconds, but the Reds drew level following a persistent attack which was rewarded with wing Callum Partridge’s 20-metre shot.

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Mackay’s second penalty followed, but Redcliffians took the lead with Partridge’s conversion of a try by fly-half Mike Schropffer. But on the half-hour, Mackay converted his own try after his superb individual break and Weston led 13-10 at the break.

But the Reds retook the lead five minutes into the second half when a catch and drive from a line-out close to the Weston line resulted in hooker Saul Nelson claiming the touchdown.

Partridge converted again but Mackay replied with his third penalty to bring Weston to 16-17.

Weston flanker Paul Morrissey was then sent to the sin bin and Reds’ No 8 Dan Fry took full advantage with a try to which Partridge added the extras, but back came Weston for Mackay to kick his fourth penalty.

The Seasiders were further hampered with David Swann’s yellow card, but when Reds’ Mike Kempton was red carded for foul play it was the returning Morrissey who grabbed a try following the Bristol club’s error at a five-metre defensive line-out.

Mackay’s excellent touchline conversion took Weston to 26-20, but they were on the end of maximum pressure when Reds’ wing Joe Woodward scored at the left corner. Partridge converted superbly, taking his team to a single point lead in the 75th minute. But Weston were not finished.

Inter-passing between George Sparks and replacement David Burge down the left flank took Weston to the Reds’ five-metre line and after several pick-and goes, it was prop Phil Hobbs who crowned an outstanding display to score Weston’s third try.

Mackay converted again for 33-27, but in one final effort by the Reds, it was Fry who scored his second try.

Fortunately for Weston, Partridge’s conversion attempt drifted wide of the left post and by the 11th minute of time added they had kept possession and it was Mackay who kicked the ball out to secure the narrowest of victories.

As the scoreline suggests, this was a hard-fought contest with the Redcliffians’ pack providing for their more than useful back division.

But Weston’s defensive qualities, especially Sam Smee and Sylvan Edwards in the centre, and Morrissey and Sparks in the back row, which eventually gave them the edge.

But every player, including the replacements, all played their part and, of course, Mackay who will be remembered for his vital contribution.

Weston: R Bennett, H Jones, S Smee, S Edwards, M Watkins, J Mackay, D Lomax, D Swann, C Withers, P Hobbs, H Somers, A Russell, S Eaton, P Morrissey, G Sparks (c). Reps used: S Donegan, D Burge, A Glen, G Wright. Reps not used: P Sprague, C Young, D Price.

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