Seasiders weather the storm at Maidenhead

Weston rounded off the first half of their league season with victory over basement club Maidenhead.


WESTON 46 pts

WESTON rounded off the first half of their league season with victory over basement club Maidenhead.

However, the scoreline does not reflect the performance of the hosts whose territorial advantage during the first period kept Weston’s defenders on full alert for almost half-an-hour. But the Seasiders weathered the storm and scored seven tries without reply.

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Maidenhead took an early lead with Mike Virgo’s penalty, but Weston quickly responded with a try by Sam Smee who reacted perfectly to James Mackay’s delicate chip, and they soon went further ahead.

A delightful back move ended with wing Marco Oupoh scoring at the posts with Mackay’s conversion taking them to 12-3.

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But they had to wait until first-half stoppage time for their next score and in the meantime the Maids threw everything at their line.

In addition, things were looking bad when both George Sparks and Philip Hobbs received yellow cards. But with only six forwards, the front row produced a heel against the put-in and after Matthew Watkins had gone close they stole a line-out for David Swann to dive over, Mackay’s conversion taking the interval score to 3-19.

The lead was stretched within the first minute of the second half with Mackay’s 35-metre penalty and the Seasiders were on their way, especially after Ashley Russell’s line-out possession had given Dan Waldon the chance to score at the posts.

Mackay added the extras again and replacement James Arnold signalled his arrival with a sprint down the middle to keep the visitors on the front foot and when they again arrived at the home line, Sparks touched down from a pushover.

Mackay’s fourth conversion took them to 36-3 and after Arnold was recalled for a forward pass it was Russell’s continued good work at a line-out which enabled him to score from close range.

By now, the home pack had been thoroughly tames and full-back Ross Bennett finished things off with his sixth try of the season.

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

Weston have been drawn away at Bridgwater in the quarter-finals of the Somerset Cup. The match will be played at College Way on December 22, kick-off 2.30pm.

The remainder of the draw is: North Petherton v Hornets or Wellington; Old Redcliffians v Taunton; Bristol Harlequins v Clevedon.

WESTON’s veteran prop Mark Matthews made his 200th appearance for the club’s United XV in their Somerset Premier match at Gordano last Saturday.

Weston-born Matthews, a surveyor, was educated at Corpus Christi and St Bedes in Bristol.

He played at Hornets and St Brendans Old Boys before joining the Seasiders at the end of the 1993/94 season.

He skippered the United team for two seasons from 2001/02 and has also played in 57 matches for the first XV, and 113 for the Athletic.

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