Seasiders end on a high
Weston finished their season with a resounding victory at home to Newbury Blues.
WESTON 39 pts
NEWBURY BLUES 21 pts
WESTON ended a run of nine matches without a win with this resounding victory over Newbury at the Recreation Ground.
In a match in which the Seasiders’ pack dominated throughout, they produced six tries including a hat-trick from Richard Bignell.
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From the opening minute, the visitors’ scrum looked to be in serious trouble and with Harry Somers and Shaun Eaton securing plenty of possession from the line-out, acting skipper Gavin Simpson made sure that his pack was always going forward.
A driven line-out provided the first of Bignell’s scores in the 11th minute and 10 minutes later the flanker was the beneficiary of a pushover try.
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George Kimmins converted once and added a penalty before a superb break by centre James Letherby on the half-hour gave the supporting Bignell his hat-trick.
Kimmins converted again, but either side of the interval, Newbury responded with two converted tries.
Having won the ball five metres from their own line, Weston were dispossessed and wing Sean Chamunorwa took maximum advantage, and 20 seconds into the second half Kimmins’ attempted chip was charged down by replacement Richard West who scored at the posts. Both tries were converted by skipper Dan Thorne and the score was now 22-14.
But in the 48th minute a powerful burst by hooker Craig Withers heralded 15 minutes of pressure in the visitors’ territory and although they defended stoutly they were unable to arrest a massive 35 metre drive by Simpson’s pack which resulted in a corner try for wing Matthew Watkins, his 15th of the season.
Then, with a minute of normal time remaining, the hosts were awarded a penalty try when centre Ian Herriot, who had switched to scrum-half, invaded their back row as another pushover try was being attempted.
Ross Bennett converted by Chamunorwa scored Newbury’s third try which Thorne converted.
However, in the eighth minute of time added, Weston had the final word when replacement flanker James Matthews touched down his first senior try.
Weston: R Bennett, M Watkins, H Jones, J Letherby, J Arnold, G Kimmins (D Waldon 69), S Disney, D Swann (D Price 69), C Withers, D Donegan, G Simpson (c), H Somers, S Eaton, R Bignell (J Matthews 69), E Barker.
At the end of a difficult second half of the season, Weston finished in ninth place in National 3 South West.
In 2012/13 they will be joined by Brixham and Maidenhead and the winners of a play-off between Avonmouth Old Boys and Salisbury.
The clubs relegated from the division are Old Redcliffians, Newbury and Bridgwater and Albion.
Before the match, a minute of silence was observed in memory of former Weston player Brian Saunders who passed away last week.