Weston put the last couple of sub standard performances behind them as they inflicted a first defeat on the League leaders. A truly excellent afternoon, reminiscent of rugby days of the past with the visiting contingent playing their part. A large good natured crowd, a close evenly contested match played in good spirit, a charming well supported committee and a good “bunch of lads”. Players were actually spotted talking to one another after the game, and there was even a rarely seen “boat race” (which L.I. won with consummate ease).
Anyway, on to the rugby. The key was once again the dominance of the home side forwards, although this was an all round team effort. LI have a formidable high scoring back division, but the Weston backs were equal to the task, minimising the opportunities afforded to the visitors with committed defence.
The home side took the lead after 4 minutes with a Mackay penalty and increased this to 10 points after 22 minutes with a converted try by centre Edwards, who clattered through the midfield for a fine individual score. The visitors responded within three minutes when lively full back Betty popped up at the back of a ruck to exploit an unguarded gap and run in under the posts from 25 metres. They scored again ten minutes later when the ball was moved from side to side for winger Quinn to score under the posts. 14-10 to the enemy!
Weston retook the lead on the stroke of half time as the forwards drove over for Sparks to touchdown. Mackay converted, but in the fourth minute of extra time, L.I. tied the scores at 17-17 with a close range penalty.
The second half brought stalemate for long periods. The home forwards gradually took control as the coaches used the rolling subs. laws to good effect and the visitors found it increasingly difficult to use their backs, resorting to kicking for position. After 70 minutes, Mackay edged Weston in front with his second penalty, and with five minutes remaining, the forwards, after a series of attacking lines-out, once again drove the opposition over for Morrissey to score the winning try, which was converted.
Frustration boiled over in a belated bout of “duelling handbags” as Sparks for Weston and McKinney for the visitors were despatched to the sin bin. In a delightful little cameo, the pair, both sons of fiercely competitive players, were seen to shake hands and embrace at the final whistle….it wouldn’t happen in soccer!!!
WSM team..Bennett, Watkins, Smee, Edwards, Oupuh, Mackay, Waldon, Swann, Burge, Hobbs.P., Somers, Russell, Sparks, Hobbs K,
Simpson (c). Reps all used Morrissey, Blizzard, Donegan.