Weston notch up unlikely victory at Newton Abbot

Harvey Skelton. Photo by Andrew Collins.

Harvey Skelton. Photo by Andrew Collins. - Credit: Archant

Weston returned from Newton Abbot with an unlikely victory by just one point.


WESTON 13 pts

A PENALTY goal by fly-half Harvey Skelton with 15 minutes remaining gave Weston an unlikely victory by the narrowest of margins.

This was an unusual looking team which travelled to Devon. Injury, illness and unavailability had forced no fewer than six late changes from the original selection.

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Ed Hunt was making a rare appearance in the second row and scrum-half Ollie Trott was playing his first match of the season, as was Steve Donegan. Harry Nash was making his senior debut and Joe Pullen was appearing for only the second time; and Ross Bennett came in at full-back for Skelton, who moved up to fly-half for the injured James Mackay.

In a poor quality match at Rackerhayes, the hosts had their flanker Jason Keenan send off in the fifth minute by referee Carl Gibson for his part in a spear tackle on Sam Smee.

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This gave David Swann’s pack the chance to use their extra power at the set scrums, but his was of little use later on when Newton Abbot ran out of front rowers and Mr Gibson ordered that set pieces would be uncontested.

In an error-strewn match, the scores were level at 5-5 at the break. Winger Nie Holt scored for the hosts and Weston replied in first-half time added.

They won possession from a ruck 30 metres out and Dan Waldon, Swann and Harry Jones all handled before wing Jones delivered the perfect scoring pass to the supporting Bennett. Before that, wing Tom Bellek had gone close and prop David Price’s timely interception averted a dangerous situation.

But the All-Whites did re-take the lead seven minutes into the second half when their full-back Josh Smith scored a good try from slick handling. Fly-half Lewys Ryan converted for 12-5, but Weston quickly reduced their arrears.

A succession of drives from a line-out gave Andrew Glen the unconverted try and from then on, Weston continued to apply pressure which enabled Skelton to issue the coup de grace.

Under the circumstances, this was a valuable win for the Seasiders who are now in fifth position in the league table. But they will be hoping that all their injury problems will be solved before they receive Old Redcliffians at the Recreation Ground on Saturday (2.30pm).

One player who will not be there is back five player Shaun Eaton, who faces a shoulder operation which will rule him out for the remainder of the season.

Weston: R Bennett, H Jones, S Smee, S Edwards, T Bellek, H Skelton, D Waldon, D Price, C Withers, D Swann (c), E Hunt, A Glen, S Fisher, J Pullen, T Main. Replacements used: H Nash, S Donegan, O Trott.

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