In front of a large crowd, Weston secure an important first league win....
Weston got their season under way properly with a well deserved win against Newbury Blues who were welcomed to the rec for this fifth round of the South West Premier League. Weston set off at a cracking pace and were pressing at the Newbury line within the first minutes. Forward pressure resulted in a blind side move and hooker Dave Bird was on hand to touch down with only four minutes gone. The conversion from close to the left touchline was just missed by James Mackay.
Weston kept up the pressure but were penalised on 16 minutes for not releasing and Newbury’s West kicked the goal. From the kick off Weston applied good pressure and forced a penalty of their own kicked by James Mackay and Weston led 8-3 after 20 minutes.
Newbury were carrying the ball well and their large pack were attempting inroads with phase after phase which resulted in a second penalty again kicked by West. Weston had some fear that they might lose their lead as a result of persistent infringements but their play was more considered and careful and it was Newbury who were to suffer a yellow card as the blind side flanker was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for repeated offences.
Weston were to have the final word in the half after excellent work saw Weston move the ball out wide with some fast and accurate handling and Robbie Mackay was on hand to score in the corner. James Mackay made the conversion as the game moved into injury time and the teams turned round with Weston holding a 15—6 advantage.
At the start of the second half Weston again set the early pace and could easily have scored but for a dropped pass. Continued pressure brought a penalty as the Newbury forwards infringed at the breakdown and Mackay kicked to give Weston an 18-6 lead. James Mackay had two further attempts at goal which were close but unsuccessful and then against the run of play Newbury broke free and despite great defence from Weston the visitors scored a try which went unconverted.
Weston turned the screw once more and maintained great speed and better skills than they have shown in recent games and with a penalty advantage they continued to work the ball through several phases and Spelman made his way over the line despite the attentions of two defenders.
As the game moved into time added on Weston came close to scoring a bonus point try through the forwards but were denied by the final whistle with the score 23-11 in Weston’s favour. They will nevertheless be delighted to have registered their first win of the season and should be very encouraged by their improved performance. This win moves them up to ninth spot in the league with several other results helping their position.
As indicated in the programme notes Rob Solomon and Andy Ballard have been in correspondence with the RFU and also with the SW Premier league administrators to have Weston’s try bonus point against Bournemouth added to their total. A quick look at the official league table will show that the points total has now been corrected. Matches in the SW Premier now have an electronic match card system and although there have been a few teething problems the system now appears to be working well.