Seasiders impress at Barnstaple

Sam Smee. Photo by Andrew Collins.

Sam Smee. Photo by Andrew Collins. - Credit: Archant

A brace of first-half tries by Harry Jones and another by David Burge clinched victory as Weston saw off Barnstaple.


WESTON 31 pts

A BRACE of first-half tries by Harry Jones and another by David Burge clinched victory as Weston saw off an aggressive effort by the hosts at Pottington Road.

Barnstaple had started strongly and were ahead in the first minute when centre Linford Brock brushed aside four attempted tackles to run 50 metres to the right corner, but the Seasiders were soon replying eight minutes later.

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When their pack won a loose ball 20 metres out, the 19-year-old Jones went around and through some heavy traffic to score easily at the posts. James Mackay converted, but Barnstaple renewed their attacking start.

However, they missed a simple try with a poor final pass before Jones was in action on his own line when he held up skipper Winston James.

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But Weston were still under pressure and things were looking bad when three of their forwards, Paul Morrissey, George Sparks and David Swann were all yellow carded within seven minutes.

They conceded an unconverted try by hooker Sam Roberts, but the remaining five forwards held their collective nerve until Morrissey and Sparks returned, at which time Jones scored his second try.

In the second minute of time added, Dan Waldon sniped around the open side and when the recycled ball arrived, the scrum-half sent the young wing into the right corner.

Weston were now in the lead by 12-10, but it was soon lost when the hosts’ restart was dropped resulting in Will Topps kicking a straight penalty.

After fumbling the start of the second half, the visitors re-grouped and Mackay kicked a pair of penalties, and at the start of the final quarter he nailed two more from 20 and 40 metres for 13-24.

But the hosts were in no mood to surrender and Weston’s defence was on full alert for the following 10 minutes.

But by now Barnstaple were running out of steam and when centre Sam Smee made a telling break, Burge was on hand to bounce off a couple of defenders as the remainder went for the decoy, Sylvan Edwards.

Mackay converted, but Barnstaple still had time to launch a final attack which was halted with a try-saving tackle by Matthew Watkins.

Weston: R Bennett, H Jones, S Smee, S Edwards, M Watkins, J Mackay, D Waldon, D Swann, D Burge (c), P Hobbs, H Somers, A Russell, S Eaton, P Morrissey, G Sparks. Reps used: S Donegan, A Glen, P Sprague.

This was another gratifying performance by Weston against a team which was expected to win at home, and one of the highlights was when, with three forwards in the sin bin, the remaining five drove the home pack backwards at a set scrum.

Barnstaple, with their numerical superiority should have done much better than just a single try, but the Seasiders’ defending all across the team was first rate.

And then there was Jones, whose all-round display went a long way towards his team’s 17th victory of the season.

On Saturday, Newton Abbot are the visitors to the Recreation Ground and Weston will want to avenge their 22-28 defeat at Rackerhayes back in October.

However, they will be without flanker Shaun Eaton who sustained a groin injury at Barnstaple.

WESTON’S quarter-final match in the Somerset Cup will be played at Bridgwater on Saturday, February 2 (kick-off 3pm).

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