Weston's fine form continues on the road.
By Pete Sloman
Match report by Tony russell, photos to follow
There had been much speculation from the armchair pundits last week. Will Weston travel well? They’ve had easy games at home!! Many predicted a Malvern win.
This wasn’t an easy win. Malvern is a lively competitive side, but in a disjointed performance, the visitors still managed six tries, and to the slightly misguided supporter who felt that the score flattered Weston, it could have been nearer 50 points. The normally reliable James Mackay had an off day with the boot, spurning another 17 points.
The early signs were not good for Malvern. It was obviously going to be a very long afternoon for their front row as their scrum struggled to remain legal with both props taking it in turns to stand up (although their lineout functioned very well). As it happened, it turned out to be a very short afternoon for these stout citizens as both were replaced within the first fifteen minutes….not something one sees every week.
Weston scored first after 15 minutes through Watkins, his fifth of the season but the home side responded seven minutes later when the visitors failed to control the ball, which shot out of the back of a scrum on halfway, to be seized by the alert Malvern scrum half who all but made the line, but from the resultant ruck, centre Miller was able to flop over for a try which was improved by Southall.
The home side was not to threaten the visitors line for another 45 minutes as Weston dominated the set piece and possession, although too many passes were hurried and misdirected as opportunities were wasted.
Arnold slipped over in the left hand corner following interplay between backs and forwards after 24 minutes, and three minutes later, a half break in midfield led to a try from the supporting Morrissey, in his first senior game for some years. Mackay inexplicably missed the simple conversion, and then a penalty chance. Half time arrived with Malvern very much still in the game at 15-7.
Three minutes into the second half, the home side closed the gap to 15-10 with a Southall penalty. It was to be their last “hurrah”. Arnold sped over for his second try after 58 minutes. Mackay found his radar to convert for a 22-10 lead.
Unfortunately for Malvern, their No. 8 Owen Jones was injured in a tackle in the build up to the score. This turned out to be a nasty broken leg injury which necessitated on field treatment by doctor and ambulance. WSM rfc wishes him a speedy recovery.
The match was halted for some 35 minutes. On the resumption, Weston went further ahead with a try from Mackay. The Malvern backs had proved a tough nut to crack, tackling well all afternoon, but the fly half spotted a huge gap as their defence flew out of the blocks. He converted his own score for a lead of 29-10.
Malvern came back into it with five minutes of sustained pressure on the Weston line, but were unable to breach the defence. The visitors wrapped things up with Arnolds’ hat trick try, and a late penalty, at last, from Mackay.
The try scoring drought of last season appears to be over with three Weston players, Bennett, Watkins and Arnold heading the League try scoring charts at the moment with five apiece…..but it’s a long season.
Coaches Redman and Worrall are too seasoned to get carried away with this early success. The hard work will continue as next Saturday brings a stern test at home against Barnstaple, who themselves have been playing well and scoring freely.
WSM team Bennett, Watkins, Jones (Smee), Edwards, Arnold, Mackay, Waldon, Swann, Burge, Hobbs(Price), Eaton(Russell), Somers, Simpson, Morrissey, Sparks.