Weston's poor away form continues

REDINGENSIANS 40 pts WESTON 22 pts - WESTON'S poor record away from home continued at Sonning where they conceded another six tries and although they scored three of their own in the second half, their fate had already been sealed.


WESTON 22 pts

WESTON'S poor record away from home continued at Sonning where they conceded another six tries and although they scored three of their own in the second half, their fate had already been sealed.

The Seasiders started well with Neil Trevena's kick and chase, but the resultant line-out close to the home line was lost.

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However, they were ahead in the seventh minute with James Mackay's 30-metre penalty, but Redingensians responded powerfully and David Burge and Daniel Fry made crucial try-saving tackles before the hosts went in front, never to be overtaken.

James Baker was the scorer, following a driving maul, and in first half stoppage time, Rob Stapely was allowed to run through three players to score at the posts for Spike Chandler to convert.

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Weston were still in the match at the break, but they were out of it within t he first 15 minutes of the second half. Three tries by Stapely, Warren Abrahams and Simon Swadling, two of which were converted by Chandler, took the score to 33-3.

At this stage, Weston were looking at a defeat of mammoth proportions, but then their bench stepped in. Andrew Glen had already been introduced at the interval and a re-allignment saw Fry moved to the centre and George Wright replacing him at openside; all three were soon in important action.

In the 60th minute, Wright interrupted a Redingensians' handling move and he controlled the ball well on the ground for 50 metres to produce Weston's first try.

Ten minutes later, Mackay, Glen and Trevena combined skilfully to put Fry in for his fourth try of the season and with two minutes of normal time remaining, Fry scored again with assistance from Mackay and Wright after James Arnold had been stopped at the right corner.

Weston were now looking for a bonus points, but the hosts had the final say with Abraham's second try, followed by Chandler's fifth conversion.

Weston: M Burns; J Arnold, M Smith, H Warman (G Wright 52), P Sprague; J Mackay, N Trevena; J Gallagher (S Hudson 69), D Burge (capt), D Price, A Richards, M Kempton, E Smith (A Glen 41), D Fry, G Sparks.

WESTON received more serious news on the injury front this week when two of their most influential players were sidelined, one of them permanently.

Matthew McQuaid, a Police Officer, who returned to the club only two weeks ago, sustained a head injury while at work and has been advised to give up the game at the age of 24. During his two stints at the club, the second for only one match, centre McQuaid made 39 first team appearances and scored18 tries.

Since his injury at Cleve in September, it has been discovered that skipper Ashley Russell had sustained a fracture to a vertebra in his neck. He will undergo an MRI scan this week which will ascertain the extent of the damage.

WESTON meet Taunton on Saturday at the Recreation Ground for the first time in 13 years.

Both clubs were founded in 1875 since when there had been many matches between them, including those in the Bass Merit Table, South West 1 and the Somerset Cup.

The Seasiders' elevation to the National League in 1990 meant that the local rivals had not met in league competition since 1989, but this has now changed due to Taunton's promotion to National 3 (South West) this season.

The last time the clubs engaged was in a friendly at the Recreation Ground on December 14, 1996, a match which Weston won narrowly by 37 points to 26.

The Weston team on that day was: Matthew Hiles; Matthew Richmond, James Robinson, Derek Hannam, Jim Morris; Jonathan Bamsey (capt), Dominic Moore; Barry Popham, David Bird, Andrew Gunningham, Jonathan Pitt, Colin Brooks, Matthew Ford, Richard Fear, Graham Buller. Replacements: Neil Coleman, Mick Collinss, Steve Turvey.

Old Culverhaysians 17 pts

Weston United 31 pts

WESTON United travelled to Bath with a much changed team after call-offs from above and when the team eventually arrived it was to be expected the game would not start smoothly for the visitors.

This proved to be the case as the home side quickly took the lead with a couple of unconverted tries. With Weston all at sea it looked as though a shock might be on the cards. Weston, however, settled and began to produce telling drives into opposition territory.

With Gavin Simpson playing at eight, Weston reduced the deficit through the Stuart Board who burrowed over following a catch and drive. Simpson then produced a moment of magic to even things up and Chris Young put Weston ahead with the conversion, a lead they were never to relinquish.

The second half saw a fine individual try by Steve Trimmel who shimmied and danced his way towards the line which ended with a chip and gather to put him under the posts. Young again converted, and Young got the final touch to a forward drive to put the United out of sight.

Simpson and Mike Leahy then had chances to score further tries but they lost the ball over the line after doing all the hard work. It was down to Kirk Middlemiss to score Weston's final try with a fine run and score which Young again converted.

Culverhaysians scored a final try at the end which was converted but Weston came away with the points.

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