Western Counties West
Tiverton 7, Wellington 3

WELLINGTON’S title bid took a hit on Saturday, as they made the short trip to relegation battlers Tiverton and only came away with a losing bonus point for their not inconsiderable efforts, writes Allyn Chetland.

There was no rain on matchday for once, but the previous days’ downpours before made for a boggy, heavy and energy-sapping pitch not suited for a fast-flowing game.

The Red & Blacks tried their utmost to get the win which would have kept them in touch with league leaders St Austell, but it was not to be as they came up short on this occasion.

Credit to Tiverton, who defended heroically for large portions of the game, taking their one scoring chance well halfway through the first half.

The R&Bs, however, felt somewhat aggrieved that two tries were not awarded by the referee when camped on Tiverton’s line during the final 15 minutes of the half - and those decisions would prove so costly in the final reckoning.

All the visitors had to show for their efforts was a penalty by full-back Rob Hooper with 15 minutes of the first half remaining.

It was a very frustrating and disappointing afternoon for the R&Bs, who played the better rugby throughout - despite the conditions underfoot - and had the far superior percentage of territory and possession.

Wellington squad: Marke, Bellamy, M Walker, R Walker, Howe, Lee, Phillips, Kitto, Goldstone, Jarman (c), Harney, Pitman, Gordan, Davey, Hooper, Hancock, Warren, Crosby, Gamlin.

The result leaves Wellington five points behind St Austell, albeit with a game in hand, and the table-toppers can extend their advantage as they visit mid-table side Bideford this coming Saturday.

For their part, the R&Bs are without a league match on Saturday, as they travel to Swindon RFC in the RFU Intermediate Cup divisional final (2.30pm).

Not much is known about Swindon, apart from the fact that they are riding high in Southern League (equivalent to Western Counties).

With home advantage Swindon will be favourites, but Wellington will be desperate to keep their cup run going, and a supporters bus has been arranged.

This game is effectively a national quarter-final, meaning that the R&Bs are two games away from Twickenham.

Anyone wanting a seat on the bus should contact Ash Colman (via 07787 142648) for more details.

Western Counties West
Wadebridge Camels 53, Wiveliscombe 7

WIVELISCOMBE suffered another heavy away defeat at the hands of a useful Wadebridge team who served up some attractive rugby on Saturday, writes Roger Bellamy.

A strong wind down the length of the pitch favoured the hosts in the first half, and they were soon on the scoreboard following a good passage of play, which created an opening for centre Joe Petty to score a converted try.

Wivey once again held their own in the set-pieces and created the odd scoring opportunity, but they spent long periods on the back foot as Wadebridge created a series of chances.

Prop Jack Scott, second row Ben Humber, scrum-half Owen Wilson and Petty (with his second) completed their first-half try count, to lead 31-0 at the break.

The visitors, playing with the wind in the second half, had a greater percentage of the play but they were still outscored four tries to one.

Centre Will Pengelly scored the home team’s sixth try, before winger Sam Gibbs - who had an outstanding game in defence - was rewarded with Wiveliscombe’s only try of the game, and George Rowe converted.

Prop Matt Ballard and winger Cody Armstrong (2) wrapped up a thumping win for the home side, however.

With Tiverton shocking title contenders Wellington on Saturday, they have moved three points clear of Wivey - who are now third from bottom, just three points ahead of Cullompton.

This coming Saturday, March 14, sees Wiveliscombe travel to Tiverton for what could be a pivotal match for both teams.