Winning run ends with narrow defeat
WESTON 17 pts BOURNEMOUTH 21 pts - WESTON ended their four-match winning run with a narrow defeat at the Recreation Ground.
WESTON 17 pts
BOURNEMOUTH 21 pts
WESTON ended their four-match winning run with a narrow defeat at the Recreation Ground, the scoreline reflecting Bournemouth's minimal superiority.
The visitors' powerful forward surges were dealt with efficiently, but a 6-2 penalty count in their favour during the second half took them to victory. At least the Seasiders salvaged a bonus point which was the least they deserved.
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Bournemouth started strongly with Payne's break which was halted importantly by Kirk Middlemiss, but by the 15th minute, Glen Dickson had kicked two long penalties to give the hosts the edge.
But the second restart, although not travelling the required 10 metres, was knocked on and the visitors scored their first try by Hearsey.
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Dickson's third penalty from 48 metres went over via the crossbar, but Bournemouth took the lead they were never to lose with Lynch's try converted by Ngapaku who then kicked a penalty to give his team a 15-9 advantage at the break.
Dickson's fourth penalty reduced the arrears following a high tackle on James Mackay, but Bournemouth should have secured the match in the 61st minute with Flynn's touchdown, but he had run over the dead ball line.
Following Mackay's penetrating run, Dickson just failed with a penalty attempt, again from 48 metres, but Ngapaku took the score to 18-12 with a similar score. But Weston struck back superbly. Strong inroads by Andrew Richards, Ed Smith and Andrew Glen provided quick possession and when width was used at last, replacement Harry Warman put Middlemiss clear to the right corner.
Dickson's touchline conversion attempt, which could have given Weston a single point lead, drifted wide, but Ngupaku was on target again in time added.
In the final moments, Bournemouth attacked hard to deny the hosts the bonus point, but Weston's front row contrived to take a heel against the put-in at a scrum on their own line to preserve it.
Although defeated, this was another decent effort by Weston. As usual the forwards fronted up with strong performances by George Sparks and George Wright, together with Glen and the tireless Richards.
However, the backs tended to kick possession away until the final quarter when they showed what might have been with Middlemiss' try.
They travel to Reading on Saturday before hosting Cleve in the re-arranged match on the 27th, after which the table may reveal the lower half of the table more clearly.
Weston: J Reid; K Middlemiss, S Bennett, J Mackay, P Sprague; G Dickson, J Conway D Price, D Burge, S Williams, A Richards, A Glen, E Smith, G Wright, G Sparks (capt). Replacements used: S Donegan, S Board, H Warman.
WESTON will play their Somerset Cup semi-final against Clevedon at Bridgwater on Wednesday, March 3 (7.30pm).
The other semi-final between Taunton and Bridgwater is being played at Taunton, even though the rules clearly state that these ties must take place on neutral grounds.
Weston United 111 pts
Old Culverhaysians 3 pts
THE few who came over the wall rather than watch the first team were treated to some of the most scintillating rugby this correspondent has seen in a long time.
With a quick and powerful pack allied to the return of Ben Main, United cooked up a special performance.
Main got the first points with a fine double dummy following a long forward drive and soon after a break down the blind side by Neil Trevenna was carried on before Matt Burns put Chris Hurd over for the first of his four tries.
Main did the same to put James Arnold in. A great forward drive ended with Culverhaysians kicking a poor clearance to Burns who danced his way to the line. Jon Filer then slotted through a gap to deliver the fifth try following tremendous work from Saunders, Barker, Main and Young.
Filer then achieved another with a show and go to post a stylish second. Young put Hurd through before Elliott Monelle's run ended with Barker and Main combining to send Burns away. The final try of the first half was scored by Arnold after good work by Main and Burns.
In the second half Main benefitted from a great scrummage. The visitors scored their only points with a well taken penalty, but it was soon business as usual with Darren Hancock taking an offload from Main. Main and Young then combined to put Hurd away for another but the try of the match was to follow with all the forwards involved in one-handed off loads to put Hancock away for his brace.
Main then got his hat-trick, Saunders benefitted from a Hurd chip before he finished off the scoring when he chipped and gathered for his fourth.
A great United performance highlighted by a truly 15-man effort with Craig Withers, Saunders and Barker again outstanding in the pack and Main in imperious form, notching up 41 points with three tries and 13 conversions. All this superbly led by Hudson who put in a captain's game to lead from the front.