Skipper leads by example
Weston hit back in spectacular style after being 19 points down after just 10 minutes.
CHIPPENHAM 19 pts
WESTON 35 pts
WESTON found themselves in very deep water by the 10th minute at Allington Field. They had conceded no fewer than three tries, two of them converted for a deficit of 19 points.
But at the start of the second quarter they came to their senses and, aided by a truly inspirational performance by skipper George Sparks, they fought back manfully, and by the interval they held a four point lead, an advantage which they were never to lose.
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During those first 10 minutes, the Seasiders were less than dreadful. Many tackles were missed and Chippenham were allowed to do as they wished as flankers John Turner and skipper Bobby Lyons both scored easily. And by the 10th minute they were in complete disarray when prop Peter Kirby fell over the line.
Fly-half Richard Taylor converted two of the scores and the hosts already looked to be heading for a comfortable victory.
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But at the start of the second quarter things started to change. Sparks and his pack began to show their mettle and James Mackay was able to reduce the arrears with a brace of penalties, then came their first try.
Hooker Craig Withers’ strike against the put-in at a scrum near the home line allowed Ross Bennett to work the narrow side to put George Wright over. Mackay converted, then added his third penalty before Chris Young’s accurate chip produced a try for Paul Sprague. Mackay converted again for an interval score of 19-23.
Weston’s tails were now up and 12 minutes into the second half Jamie Rudkin’s charge into the home 22 set up Mackay’s unconverted try.
Chippenham were trying desperately to get back into the match but as they set up camp on the Weston line, Withers’ second strike against the head allowed Mackay to clear the danger.
The visitors were now well on top and in the 68th minute Young’s break gave Sprague his second try, and his team a bonus point. Mackay converted for a personal haul of 20 points.
Weston: C Young, P Sprague, J Gallagher, G Wright, M Watkins, J Mackay, R Bennett (J Reid 69), D Swann (M Truscott 70), C Withers, S Donegan, S Board (S Eaton 62), A Russell, K Hobbs, J Rudkin, G Sparks.
Chippenham will be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of the electric start, but full praise for Weston’s pack which laid the foundation of their reposte.
There was plenty of line-out possession from Ashley Russell and Stuart Board and excellent work by props David Swann and Steve Donegan, together with the tireless efforts of Kevin Hobbs and Rudkin. And then there was Sparks.