Weston start season with hat trick of home wins
By Pete Sloman
Match report by Tony Russell, photos courtesy of Andrew Collins
Following their promotion last season, Avonmouth is now Westons’ nearest
opponent and the anticipated hard fought derby ensued in front of a good crowd.
The Bristol Combination club arrived hell bent on damage limitation, not wishing to roll over and allow the home side to add to their already impressive scoring record, and so it proved. They were competitive, aggressive and tackled like demons. Weston needed a game like this as a reality check following the surreal activities of the previous two weeks.
They opened the scoring with a 45 metre penalty from the boot of Mackay, and followed this with an interception try from flanker Eaton, which was also improved. A second Mackay penalty eased Weston into a 13-0 lead but the visitors responded with a corner try from wingman Hamilton. The conversion was successful but three minutes before half time, Weston ran the ball from their own line. Watkins was set free on a 60 metre dash, and with too much pace for the cover, was able to feed the supporting Bennett for a simple run in…his fifth try of this campaign already. Mackay converted for a comfortable 20 -7 lead.
This lead was increased by three points early in the second half with another Mackay penalty as the Avonmouth pack began to disintegrate. Westons’ third try arrived following a series of rucks close to the Avonmouth line, with prop forward Phil Hobbs, who has turned himself from an occasional second team player into a valuable squad member following a summer of training and application, scoring his first try for the senior team. Once again Mackay converted for a 30-7 lead. The bonus point try came five minutes before full time. Once again the pack destroyed their opposition. The ball was won against the head and scrum half Waldon sniped in from 25 metres for his second try of the season. Mackay maintained his 100% kicking record.
Avonmouth, to their credit, fought to the last and were rewarded with a last minute close range consolation try from replacement George Tomkins.
Result WSM 37 Avonmouth 12.
As previously reported by the writer, there is a very healthy competition for places as players return, giving the selectors problems which many clubs would envy. Positives from this game were the 80 minutes managed by captain Gavin Simpson, and finally a good look at newcomer Sam Smee, who has joined from Clifton, whose activity was curtailed by injury after 10 minutes of the first match, and who looks to be a pedigree battle cruiser, with his strength and offloading ability.
Weston travel to the uncharted waters of Malvern rfc next week. Malvern havebeen repositioned in Nat.3 SW following the reorganisation of the League and will provide further opportunity to appraise current team performance. Things are about to get tougher.
WSM Team Bennett, Watkins,(Smee), Jones, Edwards, Arnold, Mackay,
Waldon, Swann, Burge(Withers), P.Hobbs (Donegan), Somers, Wright, Eaton, K.Hobbs, Simpson.