Western Counties (West)

Wellington 51, Cullompton 24

WELLINGTON welcomed near neighbours Cullompton last Saturday in their first home match of the season.

On a very warm September day, the large 400+ crowd were treated to an excellent display of fast open rugby from both teams in a highly entertaining game.

Danny Lee, Nev Pitman & Chris Batts came into the starting XV for the unavailable George Hodgson and Cam Venn, with Will Brewer taking a spot on the bench.

The game was preceded with a minute's silence for club stalwart and life member Keith Colman who suddenly passed away at the beginning of week – Keith will be sorely missed by all at WRFC.

Playing away from the clubhouse in the first half, the R&Bs were quick out the blocks and put the visitors under immediate pressure.

This pressure soon told when Jack Richards crossed for the opening try after great work by Danny Lee.

Full-back Rob Hooper made no mistake with the extra points.

Hooper then extended the lead via a penalty after Cullompton were caught offside in front of their posts.

The R&Bs were now playing with confidence, running in further tries by Liam Philips after a great break by captain Paddy Jarman and an outstanding team try rounded off by Ash Harney.

Hooper was successful with one of the conversions.

Cullompton got on the score sheet twice in the final five minutes with a converted try after a series of scrums and rucks on try line and an unconverted forward try on the final whistle.

Hooper kicked a penalty in between these two tries to make the half-time score 25-12.

The second half started with the R&Bs again on the attack with Cullompton finding it increasingly difficult to come to terms with the pace of the hosts' game.

Harney crossed for his second try of the match after an excellent attacking move and this was closely followed by another try from Chris Kitto, Hooper converting both.

Cullompton picked up their game and crossed for well-deserved unconverted try to reduce the arrears.

Stung by this score, Wellington responded with a try of their own via Dan Goldstone following a sublime pass by Will Brewer and a blistering break by Will Hinchcliffe. Hooper again made no mistake with the conversion.

The visitors once again came bouncing back with a converted try thus ensuring a try bonus point, however the hosts were not finished yet either and Phillips scampered over in the final minute for an unconverted try to make the final score 51-24.

For the second week in a row, Harney received much praise by the home faithful in the clubhouse afterwards and not far behind was Phillips, both players having excellent games.

However, the whole squad can be immensely proud of their contribution in this first home victory of the season.

Next week sees Wellington travel to Falmouth for one of their longest trips of the season.

With the long journey to contend with and with a home team desperate for their first win this is sure to be a stern test for the R&Bs, who will need to be on top form to continue their winning ways.

Squad: Richards, Dyke, Marke, Walker (M), Walker (R), Kitto, Phillips, Lee, Goldstone, Jarman (c), Pitman, Batts, Davey, Harney, Hooper, Crosby, Hinchcliffe, Brewer.

Western Counties West
Wiveliscombe 34, Saltash 24

WIVELISCOMBE secured their first Western Counties victory on Saturday, writes Roger Bellamy.

They were still missing players through injury but always had the edge, especially up front with the scrum, in particular, working well.

Saltash were first on the scoresheet after Wivey were caught napping in the opening minutes when right winger Will Morton rounded the home defence; Kieran Down converted.

Wivey hit back with some good approach play, finishing in a try for skipper John Ker after a driving maul. The conversion was missed.

Sixteen minutes in and Wiveliscombe took the lead after last season's top scorer Jake Sharland broke away to put Wivey 10-7 up.

Saltash were awarded a penalty after a high tackle which Kieran Down converted.

On the half-hour, Wiveliscombe went 15-10 up after fly-half George Rowe found himself at the back of a driving maul to score the try. 

The visitors looked good when running the ball with scrum half Kieran Down catching the eye.
He crossed for the visitors' second try which he also converted to give Saltash a half-time lead.

Playing down the slope in the second half, the home team took the lead through a try from scrum-half Hugh Kelly, diving through a hole in a driving maul. 

Jake Sharland then crossed for his second try, converted by Dan Quick, to extend the lead to 27-17.

Saltash replied as full-back Ryan Cruickshank scored near the posts and Kieran Down converted.

However, Wiveliscombe secured the victory with their sixth try with captain John Ker crossing for his second

Dan Quick converted to make it 34-24 at the final whistle.

Wiveliscombe's 2nd XV match at Chard was cancelled because of a shortage of referees.

On Saturday, Wiveliscombe 1st XI visit Chard (3pm), while the 2nd XV entertain Weston-super-Mare 4ths.