Western Counties West
Wellington 60, Winscombe 6

WINSCOMBE were the visitors to a soggy Athletic Ground last Saturday, for what was a repeat of last season’s Somerset Vase final, writes Allyn Chetland.

The playing conditions between the two encounters were vastly different but the result was the same, with The Red & Blacks running out worthy winners.

The R&Bs started the match the better of the teams and were soon camped on Winscombe’s line.

Following a series of quick rucks, centre Vinny Gordon popped up to crash over for the opening try, which was converted by captain Patrick Jarman.

The hosts went further ahead soon after, when full-back George Hodgson showed some deft footballing skills to capitalise on a loose Winscombe pass, Jarman again converting for a 14-0 lead.

Winscombe came storming back and reduced the arrears via a penalty, but this score was cancelled out when Jarman coolly slotted a penalty after a fine attack was halted illegally.

The visitors bounced back again and reduced the arrears with another penalty.

Chris Kitto took the wind out of Winscombe’s sails when he powered over for a try, which was duly converted by Jarman to extend the hosts’ lead.

Winscombe had their fair share of possession and territory throughout the half, but Wellington went further ahead when winger Ash Harney scored a wonderful try after excellent work by Liam Phillips just before the half-time break to make the score 29-6.

Despite having the elements against them in the second period, Wellington kept pushing and Hodgson scored a sparkling individual try which went unconverted.

With Winscombe heads now starting to drop and their bulky pack tiring, Jarman exploited a gap in the defence to scamper over for a try which he converted himself.

Harney then showed the visiting defence a clean pair of heels to cross for his second try, though the extras could not be taken.

Winscombe had no real answer to the clinical style of play on display from The R&Bs, and Hodgson crossed for his hat-trick try which was converted by replacement Alex Davey.

Not to be outdone, Harney soon crossed for his third try, also converted by Davey, to make the final score 60-6.

The R&Bs proved that they can play excellent rugby, no matter the conditions and against heavier opponents.

Hat-trick heroes Hodgson and Harney caught the eye but not far behind was Jarman, who had his best game of the season so far. The pack stuck to their tasks well against bulkier and heavier opponents, with Liam Phillips, Jack Richards and Joe Dyke having fine games.

On Saturday the R&Bs travel to Bideford, a team they haven’t played for a number of seasons.

Wellington squad: J.Richards, J.Dyke, O.Price, R.Walker, C.Kitto, D.Lee, L.Phillips, M.Walker, D.Goldstone, P.Jarman(c), A.Harney, V.Gordon, C.Batts, N.Pitman, G.Hodgson, C.Venn, A.Davey, R.Marke.


Somerset Premier
Wiveliscombe 50, Yatton 14

LEADING by two points at half time, Yatton gave a very good account of themselves in the first half of Saturday's Somerset Premier match on the Wivey Rec, writes Roger Bellamy.

Yet a strong second-half showing from Wiveliscombe ensured they collected an 11th consecutive victory.

The visitors put the home team under pressure throughout the first 40 minutes, with their forwards and threes making repeated inroads into the hosts' territory.

Yatton took full advantage of playing down the slope, breaking the deadlock with a penalty from Mike Gane.

Wivey, as always, looked threatening with ball in hand, and prop Matthew Ellis finished off a spell of pressure to cross for a try, which was converted by fly-half George Rowe.

But Yatton were rewarded for their attacking play when left wing Ben Bushell crossed for a well-worked try, and the hosts fell further behind after being penalised at a ruck, Gane knocking over the penalty.

Wiveliscombe were always looking to move the ball wide and they were rewarded with a try from talismanic full-back Jake Sharland.

Still the visitors continued to play attacking rugby and pushed the home team to their limit, forcing them to dig deep in defence, and they could not stop Yatton from leading at half time, 14-12, through a third penalty from Gane.

Wivey took some time to subdue Yatton's attacking game but the home team's third try, scored by hooker Tom Stone and converted by Rowe, caused the visitors' heads to drop, and from that moment on there was only going to be one winner.

The hosts went on to score another five tries, through Sharland (3), John Ker and Rowe with one apiece; Rowe added another three conversions.

The 50-14 final score means that Wiveliscombe cement their position as leaders of the Somerset Premier standings, following defeats for nearest rivals Avon and Nailsea & Backwell.

Having won 11 on the spin, Wivey lead the table by 11 points, and this coming Saturday, they are away to Avon.