Weston start new season with pleasing victory

James Mackay.

James Mackay. - Credit: Archant

Weston started the season with a comfortable victory over Bideford, which pleased all aspects of the club.

Weston 42 pts

Bideford 3 pts

Weston’s Tribute South West 1 West season got under way in a manner which will please players, coaches, managers and supporters in equal measure.

The coaches and players have been striving in pre-season training to work hard on defence and on three features of what they hope will become a Weston trademark - skills, speed and width.

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On this first Saturday of the season these playing attributes were demonstrated by all three senior sides as they recorded wins in each league. Four hours of rugby in total with just eight points conceded, one try and one penalty.

It is very early days, but the players have delivered what the coaches and managers have been seeking, and they did it with significant style.

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Weston took control of this opening game with a superb display of scrummaging, excellent defence and great running rugby, despite incessant rain and a strong breeze.

Playing into the wind, Weston forced an error early on and were ahead with James Mackay’s penalty after eight minutes.

Their opponents had demonstrated that they would be no pushover in the early exchanges, and despite their scrummage being under pressure they produced a good passage of play which resulted in what turned out to be their only score of the day, a penalty kicked by Olly Wickett.

Weston continued to pressure the Bideford defence and eventually it crumbled with a try for lock Andy Glen following a series of pick and drives close to the line. The try was converted by Mackay.

Soon after another series of drives by the forwards resulted in a penalty try and Mackay slotted the extras right on half-time to leave Weston on the front foot at 17-3.

The second half saw Weston continue to exert pressure, with the elements in their favour. Mackay kicked his second penalty soon after the restart as the Bideford forwards gave away a penalty as their defence struggled to contain the Weston pack.

Weston’s pack were by now dominant and they drove their opponents off the ball against the head a number of times.

Mackay kicked a penalty from in front of the posts, followed soon after by Harry Jones scoring a try wide out after excellent forward and back interchanges and with Mackay getting the extras, Weston led by 27-3.

Debutant Daniel Spelman, who had an excellent match and thoroughly deserved his selection as man of the match, and replacement Matt Burns (on for the excellent Will Young), scored excellent tries which took full advantage of the Weston commitment to play the game at breakneck speed and to move the ball wide at every opportunity.

Mackay hit another penalty and finished with seven out of eight kicks being successful and a personal tally of 17 points.

Weston ran out worthy winners by 42-3 and in doing so they picked up a bonus point, and they will be well pleased with their performance in poor weather.

The next fixture promises an exciting encounter against old rivals Bridgwater away on Saturday. Bridgwater also started their season with a good victory, beating newly-promoted Matson 27-6.

Team: C Young; Jones, R Mackay, Dickson, W Young, J Mackay, Bennett, Coles, M Hocking, Streeter, Glen, Russell, Webb, Spelman, Crossman. Reps: T Hocking, Morrissey, Burns.

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