Weston ease through to county semi finals
By Pete Sloman
Ten tries for Seasiders as they overcome the challenge of Bridgwater. Match report by John Harding, and photos by Andrew Collins
Weston-super-Mare are through to the semi-finals of the Renault Somerset Cup after their comprehensive victory over Bridgwater & Albion as the Seasiders out-scored their hosts ten tries to two.
It certainly wasn’t a night for the place kickers at College Way because it wasn’t until the eighth try of the match, Weston’s second after the break, that the first conversion was chalked-up.
Weston opened the scoring after just eight minutes, after a driving maul was held up over the line, when the Bridgwater pack were pushed back over their own line for No,8 George Sparks to get the touchdown.
The visitors were then reduced to 14 men when full back Marco Oupoh was sent to the sin-bin. Bridgwater took advantage of the extra man and spread the ball wide for centre Ashley Honeywell to score in the right corner.
Midway through the half Weston kicked a penalty to the corner followed by a catch and drive which resulted in skipper Dave Burge scored the visitors second try. Weston continued to apply the pressure when they were back to full strength.
Bridgwater then had scrum half Dominik Griffin yellow carded for persistent infringement. This allowed Weston to batter their way to the line on the half hour with centre Sylvan Edwards going over from close range.
Still with the extra man, Weston increased their lead with blindside flanker Shaun Eaton broke 40 metres down the right touchline to score the visitors fourth try. Bridgwater showed that they can use the catch and drive as No.8 Nick Spellissy got the touchdown.
With half time fast approaching Weston again drove to the line where they were awarded a penalty which they again kicked to touch. From the catch and drive lock Ash Russell crossed for Weston’s fifth try to take the half time score to 25-10.
Five minutes in to the second half Harry Jones raced 40 metres exposing the slack Bridgwater defence. After several phases of play Sparks went over for his second try followed quickly by a second from Edwards which Chris Young converted.
The tries just kept on coming with scrum half Ross Bennett went over in the left corner. Replacement hooker Craig Withers had only three minutes and he went over for Weston’s ninth try.
Bridgwater had to play out the final minutes of the game with 14 men when recent signing Joel Clark was yellow carded. With the visitors again pressing, referee Karl Gibson awarded a penalty try which Luke Blizzard converted
Weston-super-Mare: Marco Oupoh (Paul Sprague, 68); Sam Smee (Luke Blizzard, 73), Sylvan Edwards, Matt Watkins; Chris Young (Matt Burns, 73), Ross Bennett; David Swann (Steve Donegan, 58), David Burge (capt) (Craig Withers, 68), Phil Hobbs (Dave Price. 76), Andrew Glen, Ash Russell, Shaun Eaton, Paul Morrissey (Dave Steele, 73), George Sparks.
Scorers - tries: George Sparks 2, Dave Burge, Sylvan Edwards 2, Shaun Eaton, Ash Russell, Ross Bennett, Craig Withers, pen try; cons: Chris Young, Luke Blizzard
Yellow card: Marco Oupoh (12-22)
Referee: Karl Gibson (Somerset Society)