Brayne Shines as Weston beat Kingswood
Bradley Brayne shone this Sunday for Weston in their victory over newly formed Kingswood & Walcot
Weston entertained Kingswood and Walcott for the first time and whilst victory always looked likely against this newly formed team in their first season together Weston did not have it all their own way in a spirited contest which we hope will only encourage their opponents to stay together for next season and build their confidence.
Weston introduced Ash Shepherd to the no 8 role and Corey Turnbull into the three quarters at 13; they also had a set of changes planned for the second half as they continue to develop their own squad of players.
The game began a little scrappily for both teams, but Weston quickly established an advantage in both territory and possession. K&W were assisted by the agreement to make scrums non-competitive as it appeared that Weston had the advantage in size over their opponents. A few players looked as though they had a dose of try line fever and missed the opportunity to pass with players on the outside in a bid to score themselves, but after a difficult season you cannot blame a player wanting to score can you?
The first try was not far away; Ash Shepherd broke a tackle and off loaded to Tom Burge who never looked like being stopped from 15 metres. Hayden Main converted.
K&W pressed forwards and from the kick off kept Weston in their 22 but were turned over, Morgan Taylor was on it like a flash and sped outside the covering defender and sprinted two thirds of the pitch before touching down under the posts to score a fine solo try and give Hayden Main the simplest of conversions.
It looked as though the boys were going to make hay whilst the sun shone on the rec, but they let their standards slip and conceded some needless penalties, going off their feet at the ruck, tackling too high and giving the referee a little bit too much chat saw them pegged back and lucky not to concede. In between all that Hayden Main was harshly adjudged to have stepped into touch when clean through and then scoring and converting minutes later from another breakout. It was during this period that Bradley Brayne made three great defensive tackles showing anticipation and commitment he stopped K&W players before they got moving.
However Weston had lost their discipline and the referee was now watching them like a hawk and with the penalty count mounting against Weston the referee eventually had enough and Dylan Way unluckily was the player who attracted his ire and was yellow carded not for his infringement but for his team’s accumulation of offences.
Starting the second half with some words of caution from the coaches Weston looked a little unsure about how to defend an enthused K&W offence who ran directly into their midst and looked to ruck, with Weston under threat of losing another player if they continued to go to ground they held off. With the ball they always posed a threat with direct runners such as Matthew James and Tom Burge in their midst, it wasn't too clear how they stole the ball but Tom Burge wasn't asking any questions and sped through, with Hayden Main off the pitch having been substituted Corey Turnbull stepped up to convert.
K&W responded, their right winger who had been a constant threat with his direct pacey running broke three tackles to score in the corner for a deserved try and delighted the visiting supporters. Weston responded, Brandon Davies made a couple of good carries and the boys moved the ball well through the hands especially on the right as they looked to respond. Matthew James had a typically great run deep into their 22 and it was for that position that Weston held territory allowing Tom Burge to score. Hayden Main back on the pitch just missed the far post.
Weston lost a little fluency as they looked at players in other positions and it appeared to cause some confusion particularly amongst our half backs when it appeared at times as though we had three players vying for two positions.
It was fitting that K&W had the final say, they exploited Weston's ill discipline on their left and spent 2 minutes camped on the try line before finally crossing in the last play of the game.
This was another good win for the boys who are closing in on their best season since the U12's when they won as many as they lost. Today was as much more about development, we saw some real positives, Ash Shepherd at no 8 played really well, he put in some really good hand offs and picked well from the back of the scrum making good yards. Brandon Davies showed real confidence at last and took the ball forwards into contact. Tom Neale showed himself to be a real brute of a runner, the work on handling and tackling is working. James birch also impressed the coaches and has good pair of hands; Isaac Bliss made some absolutely stinging tackles on the wing. Ethan Williams and Bradley Robinson are enjoying some healthy competition; Corey looked good defensively at outside centre but didn't get the ball with any real space to exploit. Ethan Kirkham was a key defender when we were under pressure, as was Jake Roberts at lock. Callum Bristow put in another good shift as hooker and is learning with every match. Edward Land was unlucky not to score and was up against K&W's most potent threat. But this week’s player of the match sponsored by Howards Citroen was Bradley Brayne who carried and tackled better than ever before.