Western Counties (W)

Wellington 41, Honiton 10

THE R&Bs welcomed near neighbours Honiton to The Athletic Ground last Saturday on a chilly and, for once, dry day, writes Allyn Chetland.

Conditions underfoot were heavy as one would expect following the rainfall leading up to the match.

Playing away from the clubhouse in the first period, Wellington made light of the heavy conditions, showing willingness to play some decent attacking rugby.

Early pressure told when Honiton infringed at a ruck in front of their posts and the resulting penalty was kicked by full-back Rob Hooper for a 3-0 lead.

The R&B continued to press, showing great composure when camped on Honiton’s line.

Honiton defended well but could not stop the rampaging Cam Venn crashing over for a try from short range.

Hooper made no mistake with conversion to extend lead.

Following this score, Honiton had their best 10 minute period of the game as they applied pressure.

These efforts were rewarded when the hosts gave away a penalty in front of their posts which was taken to reduce the lead to seven points.

The R&Bs' response was immediate when winger Nev Pitman crossed for an unconverted try wide out following great play by Alex Davey and captain Paddy Jarman.

From the restart, Wellington played with composure and discipline and scored an excellent try which went unconverted, Davey benefitting from a superb break by flanker Liam Phillips to give the hosts a comfortable 20-3 lead going into the break.

Honiton knew they would have to increase their work rate to keep Wellington in check but they could not contain a team now playing with confidence.

Soon after the restart, the R&Bs were once again camped on Honiton’s line looking for the bonus point fourth try.

This try was not long in coming when Venn crossed for his second close range try of the match which was duly converted by Hooper.

Further attacks ensued, which had Honiton’s resilient defence at full stretch, but they could not stop the impressive Hooper bulldozing his way over a try which he converted himself to give Wellington an unassailable lead going into the final quarter.

Credit to Honiton, who never gave up and crossed for a converted try in the dying minutes of the game.

Wellington had the final say, however, when Hooper set off on another mazy run, beating numerous defenders in the process, before Pitman popped up on his shoulder to take the final pass to cross underneath the posts for the final try.

Hooper made no mistake with the extra points to make the final score 41-10.

Davey, in his first outing at scrum-half this season, had a fine game whist Scott Howe, who came on for the injured Jack Richards half way through the first half, showed up well on his first team debut.

This Saturday, the R&Bs take a break from league rugby but they are in action as Somerset’s representative in the National Intermediate Cup competition as they host Barton Hill of Western Counties (North) – kick-off is 2.30pm and all support would be greatly appreciated.

Squad: Richards, Dyke, Walker (M), Walker(R), Venn, Hancock, Phillips, Kitto, Davey, Jarman (C), Pitman, Batts, Gordan, Hodgson, Hooper, Bellamy, Howe, Hart

The 2nd XV's match away at Keynsham was cancelled due to waterlogged pitch.

Western Counties (W)

Wiveliscombe 15, Cullompton 14

WIVELISCOMBE held on for a narrow victory over Cullompton after finishing strongly in the last ten minutes, writes Roger Bellamy.

The game was played on a pitch that deteriorated as the game progressed, making it difficult to play open rugby.

The home team won the toss and played up the slope in the first half.

Good pressure near the visitors' try line was finished off with a try from prop Matt Ellis to put Wivey 5-0 up.

The game continued to be played in the middle third of the pitch with both teams struggling to build any momentum because of handling errors and both defences halting any attempt to move the ball wide.

Cullompton took the lead after they built a period of pressure in the home team’s 22 which ended in a try for prop Ollie Schuster Wood, converted by Josh Luxon.

Neither team was able to add to their score before half-time, which arrived with the score 7-5 to the visitors.

Playing down the slope in the second half, the home team went ahead after scrum-half Hugh Kelly touched down following a driving maul.

Fly-half George Rowe converted before adding a penalty when the visitors were penalised for a high tackle to give Wivey a 15-7 lead, a handy advantage given the conditions.

Cullompton, to their credit, never relaxed and were rewarded with a try from winger Charlie Roberts after a fine cross field kick enabled him to win the chase and score in the top corner.

Luxon slotted a fine conversion from the touchline to reduce Wivey’s lead to one point.

Tiring legs on both teams made the game a real dogfight during the final quarter.

Cullompton pressurised Wiveliscombe’s half on several occasions, using their large forwards to good effect, but the home team’s defence fought hard and held on to their one-point lead to secure a vital victory and four precious league points.

Wivey host Tiverton this Saturday.

Somerset 2 (S)

Yeovil 2nd XV 15, Wiveliscombe 2nd XV 24

WIVELISCOMBE seconds secured their eighth win of the season, placing them in third position.

The West Somerset team are having one of their best campaigns for several years and they crossed for four tries in this game through Paul Gridley, Olla Hawthorne, Tom Lally and Rob Pike.

Lally added two conversions.