Seasiders gain bonus point in defeat
CLEVE 24 pts WESTON 17 pts - WESTON conceded another three tries at the Hayfields on Saturday, but they scored three of their own in a much improved performance and also claimed a bonus point.
CLEVE 24 pts
WESTON 17 pts
WESTON conceded another three tries at the Hayfields on Saturday, but they scored three of their own in a much improved performance and also claimed a bonus point.
The main improvement was in the pack, which did most of the work, but it was flimsy defending in midfield which gave Cleve the advantage.
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It has to be said, however, that the makeshift centre partnership of Harry Warman and Kirk Middlemiss did its best, but the understandable inexperience in those positions did not help.
Neither did the fact that David Burge and George Sparks sustained leg injuries in the second minute. Both were forced to retire later, to add to the Seasiders' problems.
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Matters were even during the first 25 minutes apart from breaks by Cleve's former Weston players, Takura Madamombe and Ross Bennett, but when Dan Ajuwa fielded Chris Young's long 22-metre drop out, the wing was allowed to run unopposed to the posts for a try which Joe Hall converted. Hall then added a penalty for a 10-0 lead, but Weston responded just before the break.
A driving maul following Sparks' line-out catch produced a try for Simon Williams, his first for the club, and the Seasiders drew level in similar fashion in the first moments of the second half.
This time it was skipper Ashley Russell's line-out catch which was driven for fully 35 metres for Burge to be awarded the try. Unfortunately, both scores and an earlier penalty chance went unconverted and the hosts' brace of tries before the half was 10 minutes old more or less sealed Weston's fate. Dan Brown and Nathan Huntley were the scorers, Huntley converting both.
Cleve were now in the ascendancy at 24-10, but Russell's forwards took up the challenge. Andrew Glen, Andrew Richards and David Price made telling contributions and reward eventually arrived in the fourth minute of time added.
James Arnold, making his first start, weaved his way through heavy traffic to the line, presenting the ball perfectly for Richard to touch down wide out. Warman stepped up for the tricky conversion, which sailed between the posts for the precious bonus point.
Weston: N Trevenna; J Arnold, K Middlemiss, H Warman, P Sprague; C Young, J Mortimore (sin bin 15); D Price, D Burge (J Gallagher 60), S Williams, A Richards, A Russell (capt0, G Sparks (E Smith 41), G Simpson (G Wright 57), A Glen.
THREE former Weston players were in the Cleve line-up against the Seasiders at Mangotsfield on Saturday.
Centre Takura (TJ) Madamombe joined the club in 2002 and scored 47 tries in 141 appearances before departing at the end of the 2007-08 season.
Scrum-half Ross Bennett, now at Cardiff University and living in Bristol, joined the club as a 15-year-old, eventually playing in 40 first team matches and scoring four tries.
The third player was flanker Craig Trump who was with the club for just one season, 2008-09, and made 13 appearances.
Weston Athletic 5 pts
Chard 2nds 31 pts
THE Athletic having recorded two victories in two weeks, the second against Martock away last Saturday, went into this clash with top of the table Chard in good spirits.
Despite the usual disorganisation and last minute player changes a well equipped squad took to the field with a good mix of age and experience with youthful fitness and speed.
The game was evenly matched until the 10th minute when a sliced kick bounced awkwardly for the Weston players which led to a breakaway try and a 7-0 lead for the visitors. The remainder of the half was all Weston, with the forwards twice scrummaging Chard over their own line, Hunt joining Matthews and Wheatley only to miss out on the try through awkward ball at the base of the scrum.
Excellent pressure exerted by the backs lead to numerous breaks with the experienced Hannam linking well with Fryer in the centre. The return of Gaulton and Sharp moving to fly-half was refreshing. Despite numerous opportunities Weston lacked finish and the half ended 7-0 to Chard.
The second half began in much the same way, good early pressure from Weston and a breakaway chance for Chard allowed them to increase the lead to 14-0. Ten minutes into the half Weston lost Hedges with replacement Martin coming into the front row and rearranging to the pack to see winger Ford join the forwards.
Despite further opportunities Chard had the better finish and extended their lead to 21-0 before forward pressure from Weston saw Ford ground the ball from a driving maul. Chard finished the better, producing two further unconverted tries to end the game.