Seasiders still troubled by injuries

THERE was little doubt that Chinnor was the better team at Thame on Saturday but the Seasiders can count themselves unlucky at not being rewarded with at least one bonus point, and probably two.

THERE was little doubt that Chinnor was the better team at Thame on Saturday but the Seasiders can count themselves unlucky at not being rewarded with at least one bonus point, and probably two.

Once again, their ongoing injury jinx struck, this time before the match. Late withdrawals by James Mackay and Kirk Middlemiss resulted in a major restructure of the back division. Neil Trevena went from scrum-half to full-back, Chris Young from No 15 to No 10, Josh Mortimore from the bench to scrum-half and a debut for 21-year-old former Colts centre Jonathan Filer; and things did not start well.

Within three minutes the hosts, with the wind and sun in their favour, were ahead with an unconverted try by Alex Wallace, and after half an hour their points advantage had increased to 11 following two penalties from James Cathcart.

There had been good work in defence, including try-saving tackles by wings James Arnold and Paul Sprague and just before the break Weston responded.


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A powerful charge by Dan Fry was well supported, and quick recycling saw Mortimore opt for the short side to send Trevena on a 30-metre run for the line which Harry Warman converted.

Chinnor attacked strongly at the start of the second half and Fry was again in action with a crucial tackle on hooker Simon Tattersall, but the Seasiders hit back again on 55 minutes.

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Young's long kick was chased well by the speedy Arnold, forcing Chinnor to minor, and from the resultant five-metre scrum, Fry celebrated his 21st birthday with the score that took the visitors into a 12-11 lead.

In the meantime, however, Andrew Richards had been harshly dealt a yellow card and two tries in as many minutes from Chinnor wing Philip Seymour and a converted score from Tom Pickett put the hosts back in charge.

But Weston were far from finished. A splendid break from the promising Filer gave Arnold the chance to score his first senior try when the winger burned off the home defence from 45 metres.

With nine minutes of time added remaining, Weston were now in bonus point territory and David Burge's pack got to work.

They pounded the home line incessantly forcing Chinnor to drag down two driving mauls and collapse a brace of scrums within five metres of their own line.

After the first two offences at which penalties were given, Weston could have expected a penalty try, or at least a warning to the hosts, but Devon referee Brian Barclay, having penalised Richards earlier, completely failed his consistency test.

Weston: N Trevena, J Arnold, J Filer, H Warman, P Sprague, C Young, J Mortimore, D Price (J Gallagher 80), D Burge (c), S Williams, A Richards (sin bin 49), M Kempton (G Wright 72), E Smith (A Russell 52), D Fry, G Sparks.

A lot can be taken from a gutsy performance by Weston against one of the stronger clubs in the division and they will hope that their efforts can be carried forward to Saturday's home match against Barnstaple.

They will also hope that some of their injury problems will have eased but they will need to shore up their midfield defence which has not been good so far in this campaign.

The kick-off at the Recreation Ground on Saturday is at 3pm.

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