Seasiders too good for relegated Coney Hill

AFTER their exertions in the Somerset Cup final on the previous Wednesday, Weston took a little time to settled at Metz Way, but they were never trailing and eventually ran out comfortable winners.


WESTON 27 pts

AFTER their exertions in the Somerset Cup final on the previous Wednesday, Weston took a little time to settled at Metz Way, but they were never trailing and eventually ran out comfortable winners.

They started strongly with centre Jon Gallagher almost reaching the posts but the lead was deservedly taken in the sixth minute.

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A charged down Coney Hill clearance was snapped up by George Wright and when the winger was stopped on the line, the pack arrived quickly and Ashley Russell was driven over to celebrate his 200th appearance.

James Reid, deputising for the injured James Mackay, converted but, in the 18th minute a scrum was lost and home fly-half Martin Knight’s try reduced the deficit.

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Reid’s penalty followed and just before the break, Gavin Simpson initiated a move from inside his own 22. Kirk Middlemiss added further impetus before Wright won a 50 metre foot race to the posts following his long punt. Reid converted again for a 12 point interval advantage.

The Seasiders then started the second half as they had the first. A brace of breaks by Middlemiss almost produced tries for Paul Sprague and Joe Waterman, but it was Coney Hill who were next to score.

The Weston scrum was in some discomfort and they were not ready for the tap penalty by Paul Knight who crossed for another unconverted try.

But after Sam Waterman made his debut, replacing the injured Gallagher, it was the ever-alert Wright who came off his wing to send Sprague in for the Seasiders’ third try to take the score to 10-22.

42-year-old Mark Matthews came off the bench for his 50th first team appearance to replace Darren Doughty and shortly afterwards another burst by Simpson created a hasty clearance and Jamie Rudkin was driven over for the bonus point try from Russell’s catch and drive.

There was just time for Aaron Hawley’s try for the hosts but Weston’s earlier efforts had been justly rewarded.

Weston: J Waterman, G Wright, J Gallagher (S Waterman 54), K Middlemiss, P Sprague, J Reid, R Bennett (J Conway 71), D Swann, C Withers, D Doughty (M Matthews 62), A Glen (capt), A Russell, E Barker, J Rudkin, G Simpson.

This was always going to be an awkward fixture, despite Coney Hill’s forthcoming relegation, but the Seasiders’ pack put in some hard graft to eventually overcome their opposites.

There were good performances at the line-out from acting skipper Andrew Glen and the ever-consistent Ashley Russell, while Rudkin and Simpson looked after the back row, and David Swann the front.

But Weston’s most impressive player was Wright, who has moved effortlessly from the flank to the wing, and as the main report suggests, he was always looking for work and was highly visible for most of the match.

WESTON lock Ashley Russell became the second former mini to play in 200 first team games in the match at Coney Hill last Saturday to qualify for his club cap.

Bristol born Russell (28), who was educated at Priory and Churchill schools, started his club career in the Seasiders’ Under-9 squad and graduated through the junior age groups before making his senior debut at home to Redruth in December 2002.

Previously, he had played in Somerset’s Under-17 and Colts teams and since his debut has appeared for the county at senior level.

He was voted the club’s player of the year in 2005/6 and 2008/9 and, so far, has scored 22 tries.

His cap will be presented to him at the club’s annual dinner on May 20.

Weston Utd 36 pts

Keynsham 10 pts

THE United prevailed in this tough match, the outcome was still in doubt at the hour mark, when the United were leading 17-10.

However, three tries in the final quarter, saw the United pull away to secure a 36-10 win and a try scoring bonus point.

The first score was notched by Simon Williams on 17 minutes. Chris Young duly converted, and he added a further penalty to secure a half time lead of 10-0.

An early Keynsham penalty in the second half encouraged the visitors, who started to cause problems. However, skipper Stuart Board powered over, with Young again converting.

In true Weston style, the United gifted the kick off back to Keynsham, whose second row evaded a number of weak tackles to add a converted try, and the score was back to 17-10.

In the last 20 minutes, three tries by Ed Saunders, Paul Morrisey and Gareth Howells, two of which were long range efforts involving a number of players were just rewards for the attacking intentions shown.

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