United crash to title contenders Winscombe
Weston United lost to neighbours and title contenders Winscombe at the Recreation Ground.
Weston United 15 pts
Winscombe 30 pts
Weston United welcomed neighbours and title contenders Winscombe to the Recreation Ground on a cold afternoon, but it was the visitors who went away with the points.
Winscombe were first to score, with a penalty advantage they spread the ball out wide to score in the corner.
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Weston were awarded a penalty following foul play by one of the Winscombe pack. Dan Prime kicked to the corner and from the resulting line-out, the pack drove over the line for Dave Steele to score.
Winscombe went on to score three further first-half tries, all from mistakes made by Weston. The first was from Weston dropping the restart, the second came when they failed to find their jumper at their own line-out and the third from getting shunted off their own scrum.
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Weston went in at the break trailing 5-20 and to their credit they were playing the attractive rugby and looking to run the ball, unlike their opponents who were keen on playing eight-man rugby with their bulky forwards.
On the hour mark, fly-half Prime made a fine break before chipping the ball over the flat defensive line to allow Matt Burns to scamper away and score the try of the match.
Weston lost returning forward Gain Simpson to the sin bin before Winscombe scored a basic try through their pack from the resulting penalty to extend their lead.
Another fine break from Prime and a slick backs move allowed the impressive Burns to go over and score his second try of the game.
As Weston went in search of the four try and losing bonus points, Winscombe broke away and ended the match by scoring in the corner through their pack.
Weston showed heart and commitment throughout this match and went toe-to-toe with their heavier opponents. Young colt Jacob Cox was outstanding, while Simpson added a physical edge to the Weston pack and flanker Dave Bird grafted for the duration much to the frustration of his opposite number.
Walcott OB 2nd XV 0 pts
Weston Athletic 17 pts
Despite the club suffering a rash of injuries and with a number of regulars unavailable, Athletic were able to field a side including four colts, with three replacements.
The Athletic were disappointed to find that the game was to have uncontested scrums due to Walcott being unable to field a front row. This allowed the hosts to secure easy possession from their set piece.
Weston’s back row tackled well and continually disrupted Walcott’s possession and they never looked liked scoring.
Weston made good use of their superior line-out and from a clean catch by new man Dan Denning, the Athletic set up a text book driving maul which took them 27 metres to the line where prop Tom Wheatley touched down for the only score of the half. Stand-in fly-half Ben Searle’s conversion attempt fell just short.
Athletic decided at half-time to commit more men at the breakdown and as a result man of the match, colt Billy Kirk began to secure turnover ball.
Having moved play into Walcott’s 22 they secured a line-out, won again by Denning and a diving maul took them close to the line. Wheatley’s pick up and drive from short range brought Athletic’s second try. Searle’s conversion attempt hit the upright.
A smart mis-move called by Leahy saw the ball fly to Wheeler who took it at speed and carved his way through Walcott’s defence to score under the posts.
Leahy got the conversion and Weston were denied an identical score just minutes later when Wheeler was stopped by a neck-high challenge which went unpunished.
Dan Hewlett, who had worked hard in defence was unlucky to be yellow carded and for the last 15 minutes, Weston’s defence was tested as Walcott had their best passage of play, but determined and clinical tackling held them out.
This was a great team victory with debuts for Scott Metherall, Ben Fondue and Dan Denning, who all had great games.