Cleve 0 - 57 Weston
By Andy Ballard
Weston run riot in 8 try victory to celebrate Russell's milestone
Weston were led out by Ash Russell
on the occasion of his 350th first team appearance and it was Weston who were first out of the traps. They won a penalty, kicked to the corner and won the line out. Their drive to the line was held up but from the ensuing scrum 5 Brad Talbot
touched down as the Weston pack drove the home side over the try line.
The conversion was missed and Cleve built some momentum through a simple pick and drive game using their bulky ball carriers. Weston’s defence was secure and their scrum was dominant. Even when Ollie Streeter
retired with a knee injury, to be replaced by George Bamsey
, the pack remained on top. A penalty for Weston saw them kick to the corner. The ball was won and the ball moved out to Glenn Dickson
who spotted a gap behind the Cleve backs and his neat chip was gathered by Marcus Nel
and he touched down between to posts. Mackay made no mistake and Weston had a 12 point lead with 25 minutes gone.
Weston extended their lead with a Mackay penalty from 35 metres and the half was rounded off by a great passage of play with Brad Talbot
breaking free from the defenders and scoring his second of the half. Mackay converted and Weston went in at half time with a comfortable 22-0 lead. By this time all three Weston substitutes were on the field with Alex Howman
suffering a knee problem, replaced by Ross Bennett
, and Andy Glen
coming off with a calf strain making way for Callum Kingscott
The second half was all Weston and the strength of the squad was evident as Weston made inroads through their forwards and then stretched the Cleve defence out wide. James Mackay
scored as he jinked through a disorganised defensive line; Robbie Mackay
cut through and sprinted for the line; Dickson picked up a brace as he muscled his way over; and James Mackay
rounded things off with a second try as well as adding a further five conversions to add to Cleve’s misery.
Weston celebrated in style as this bonus point win moves them mathematically clear of relegation. Cleve on the other hand will have their work cut out if they are to garner enough points from the three remaining games to get above fellow strugglers Bracknell and avoid the drop. Conversely Weston could pick up another 15 points from their remaining games and dependant upon other results might remain 9th or finish as high as fifth.