Seasiders remain unbeaten

Weston remain unbeaten after defeating Barnstaple in their latest league encounter.

WESTON 47 pts

BARNSTAPLE 24 pts

LAST season, Barnstaple completed the double over Weston, including a 36-12 drubbing at the Recreation Ground.

But it was a different story last Saturday as the Seasiders ran in four tries, plus a penalty try at the end to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.


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Three of the hosts’ tries came from the visitors’ unforced errors, the first of which arrived in the first minute. Barnstaple’s knock-on gave Weston a five metre scrum from which George Sparks scored from the pushover.

James Mackay converted and four minutes later he added a 35-metre penalty when the Barnstaple scrum was again in difficulty. This score took the fly-half past 50 points for the season.

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The Devonians then replied with a brace of penalties by centre Josh Squire but when they overthrew at a defensive five metre line-out, Paul Morrissey was on it in a flash to touch down his second try in successive matches.

Mackay added the goal points again but when Shaun Eaton was yellow carded, Barnstaple’s skipper Winston James replied following a driven line-out.

Squire’s third penalty brought the score back to 17-14, but in the 39th minute, another knock-on in front of their posts presented Weston with an attacking scrum from which Sparks, and Sam Smee put wing James Arnold over at the right corner for his sixth try of the season. Mackay’s touchline conversion took the interval score to 24-14.

Squire brought the visitors back into the match with his fourth penalty two minutes into the second half, but a break by Sylvan Edwards saw David Swann held on the line, but lock Harry Somers immediately powered over at the posts for the bonus point try.

Mackay converted again, then added two more penalties, and at 37-17, Weston were on their way to victory.

Barnstaple replied with a try by Tom Skelding, converted by fly-half Mark Lee, but Mackay’s 50-metre penalty took the hosts to the 40 point mark with two minutes remaining.

In time added, the Barnstaple scrum crumbled yet again and referee Chris Newton awarded Weston a penalty try which Mackay converted for a personal tally of 22 points.

Weston: S Smee, J Arnold, H Jones, S Edwards, M Watkins, J Mackay, D Waldon, D Swann (S Donegan 67), D Burge, P Hobbs, H Somers, S Eaton, G Simpson (c) (G Wright 62), P Morrissey, G Sparks. Replacement not used: M Oupoh.

Despite the scoreline, this was Weston’s toughest test yet but once again their front row of Swann, David Burge and Phil Hobbs saw to it that the opposition suffered at the set scrums.

There were also outstanding performances by back rowers Sparks and Morrissey and all of this in the best start to a season for the Seasiders in National League rugby.

In the first five matches they have amassed 269 points including no fewer than 38 tries with Mackay’s contribution adding up to 69.

They travel to fourth-placed Newton Abbot on Saturday and no doubt it will have been noted that their hosts beat Malvern last week by 71-7, scoring 11 tries in the process.

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