Weston win County Cup
By Pete Sloman
In a tense and tight encounter, the Seasiders pull away in final quarter
The 2017 Somerset cup final, played on the new artificial surface at Hornets, was contested between the two sides who have set the pace and finished first and second in Tribute SW1W.
In typical cup match style the two sides set off at a ferocious pace and Clevedon’s forwards battered at the Weston defence but it held firm only conceding a penalty kicked by Clevedon’s Keiron Hill.
From the restart Weston regained possession and it was their turn to test the Clevedon defence. They earned a penalty slotted by Dan Lomax
and the game continued in this way with the two fly halves both kicking penalties and leaving the score all square after 20 minutes.
There hadn’t been a scrummage in the first quarter of an hour and in the first Weston showed their superior power and technique forcing a penalty. Weston’s forwards ran hard at the Clevedon defence and after several phases involving forwards and backs Ollie Streeter
was on had to crash over from less than 5 metres. Lomax got the conversion and Weston might have hoped to pull away but Clevedon had not given up and attacked with renewed intensity.
They were rewarded with two penalties kicked by Hill and the half ended with Weston just in front by 13-12.
The second half continued as a very tight affair and fifteen minutes had gone before the next score, a penalty by Lomax to extend Weston’s slender lead to four points.
This merely served to lift the Clevedon pack, who although well beaten at set piece were proving a real handful with their pick and go driving play. The attacked up the middle and after eight phases prop Brian Largenton crashed through from short range to score at the posts. Hill made the conversion and Clevedon were in front for the first time since the fifth minute.
This in turn seemed to galvanise the whole Weston team who appeared to be calm but absolutely resolute. The worked their way into the Clevedon half, earned a penalty kicked by Lomax to level the scores and then put the Clevedon pack under tremendous pressure. The referee warned the Clevedon pack and when they collapsed at the next scrum their prop was sent to the sin bin. A second successive infringement for the same offence earned a triumphant Weston pack a penalty try.
With the score at 26-19 the Weston forwards took control and following a second yellow card for indiscipline by the Clevedon forwards Weston drove at the line. With Clevedon’s defence disrupted Matt Watkins
came in off his wing and scored a super try under the posts. Lomax’s conversion gave Weston a 14 point lead and as the clock ran down Weston remained in control.
There were no more scores and Weston prevailed over a highly motivated and energetic Clevedon team. Weston’s Dan Lomax
was named by Somerset RFU as the man of the match and the players, support staff, coaches and supporters celebrated in style.
Weston have now added the Somerset cup to their championship of the league and go forward to their final game of the season undefeated in all contests this season