Weston show off credentials against Barum
By Pete Sloman
Match report courtesy of Tony Russell
This match was touted as being the “first real test of Westons’ credentials” as they had yet to play a team from the upper reaches of the table.
Five weeks have now passed and nothing has changed as the home side remains unbeaten with maximum points. Barnstaple provided lively opposition but Weston turned in a very efficient and muscular performance to quell the “Barum spirit” in another high scoring match, outscoring the visitors by five tries to two.
Spectators who dawdled to catch the kick off will have missed the opening score. Weston kicked off. Barnstaple recovered the ball, ran it across their backs for Squire, (last weeks’ hero against Avonmouth) to knock on in his own 22. From the ensuing scrummage, the home pack drove their opponents back over their line for a regulation pushover try for No. 8 Sparks. Mackay converted. One minute gone…7-0 to the hosts! This became 10-0 three minutes later when Mackay kicked the first of his 4 penalty goals.
The visitors pegged this back to 10-6 with a couple of penalties from Squire, one from nearly halfway, but after 16 minutes they overthrew at a lineout near their line and flanker Morrissey collected the gift for an easy touchdown to follow up his debut try from last week. Mackay, as accurate this week as he was inaccurate last week, converted from wide out…17-6.
Barnstaple responded after 27 minutes. Westons’ Eaton was invited to take a ten minute rest and the visiting pack took advantage to drive over following a line out for a rumbling try that was credited to James. Squire could not convert but he did add a penalty after 32 minutes to narrow the score to 17-14.
Disaster befell Barum on the stroke of half time. Once again the unfortunate Squire knocked on in front of his posts in an extraordinary case of “déjà vu.”
The scrum was duly won. Waldon went blind for Sparks and full back Smee to put winger Arnold in for his sixth try of the season. Mackay converted for a halftime scoreline of 24-14, and the game still very much alive.
The visitors opened the second half with Squires’ fourth penalty but Weston increased their lead when the forwards battered the tryline for Somers to finally barge over from short distance for a seven pointer and the bonus try.
31-17 became 37-17 with a brace of Mackay penalties.
Barnstaple fought back with a carbon copy of their first try, this time touched down by Skelding as they made a rare visit to Weston territory. Mackay inched the hosts further ahead with a beauty from halfway, and then converted a penalty try awarded on full time as the under pressure Barum eight buckled.
Full time scoreline… WSM 47 Barnstaple 24.
This was a good hard working all round team effort. The forwards dominated their opponents at scrum time and in the loose, and the backs, ably marshalled by the physical midfield presence of Edwards, tackled effectively, snuffing out the threat of Barnstaples’ reputedly lively runners who struggled to break the gain line and never looked like scoring.
Next week brings a tricky test at Newton Abbot who are themselves going well and have only lost once to date.
WSM Team…Smee, Arnold, Jones, Edwards, Watkins, Mackay, Waldon, Swann (Donegan), Burge, Hobbs, Eaton, Somers, Simpson,(Wright), Morrissey, Sparks.