Boxing Day Challenge
Wiveliscombe 1st XV 12, Wellington 1st XV 19

BOXING Day rugby has been cursed so much with either rain, snow or frozen pitches all playing their part to spoil this long-standing rugby game between these local towns over the years, writes Roger Bellamy.

Thank God both games did go ahead and the supporters from both clubs showed why these matches are so important to keep going by turning out in great numbers (more than 700) to watch in the most testing conditions.

Following Wellington’s comprehensive victory over their Wivey 2nds hosts in the morning (see report below), home supporters were hoping the senior XV could produce some festive cheer for their supporters.

Wellington had other ideas, starting on the front foot despite playing up the slope.

They were caught napping early on, however, when Jake Sharland scored one of his typical tries, rounding the visitors’ defence to put Wivey five up.

Back row forward Danny Lee was then in a good position to finish off a period of pressure by the visitors to dive over for a try to tie the scores.

Wivey were finding it hard going and struggling to adapt to the conditions. The visitors were giving the home team a hard time at rucks and looked dangerous in the backs with their pace and counter-attacks.

Wivey rode their luck during the first quarter but gradually built a foothold in the game.

Conditions were becoming difficult with rain increasing in intensity and Wellington were still looking the stronger of the two teams: home supporters must have feared the worst with their forwards tiring.

As a result, Wellington scored two tries in the middle of the second half through Tyler Hart and Corey Jenkinson.

Alex Davey converted both to give Wellington a 19-5 lead and the visitors looked favourites to take the spoils.

Wivey have been in difficulties before this season but they have shown good character to come from losing positions to win games.

They couldn’t quite achieve that in this game but the final quarter of this game was probably their best.

Matthew Ellis went over from a well-worked set penalty move and Gareth Bellamy converted to close the gap to seven points.

The weather was deteriorating with the wind strengthening and rain increasing.

What rugby was being played took place in Wellington’s territory but a combination of the weather and the visitors’ sound defence ended in players and their supporters making a dash to the clubhouse to continue past memories and create new acquaintances with the score at 19-12 and victory to the visitors.

There is no local league rugby this weekend.


Wiveliscombe 2nd XV 0, Wellington 2nd XV 48

WELLINGTON gained a comfortable victory over their Wivey counterparts in this annual Boxing Day fixture at Plain Pond, on a pitch that wasn’t too bad considering the heavy overnight rain.

The visitors looked the stronger team right from the first whistle with both forwards and backs playing to a game plan with everyone carrying out their duty competently.

Wiveliscombe, on the other hand, played as individuals which meant they were disjointed and rarely posed a threat to the visitors’ try line.

The home side defended well enough the first half, limiting Wellington to two tries, Jason Rowlands and Jamie Hayman crossing for the five pointers.

Fly-half Ricky Marks converted one to make it 12-0 to the visitors at the break.

Wellington took full advantage of a tiring home defence as the game progressed and numerous changes in Wivey’s line-up throughout the second half was never going to help.

Cameron Venn led the way for Wellington, scoring a hat-trick of tries and Jacob Brister Thorne and Jamie Haymen added one apiece.

Ricky Marks added another three conversions to make the final score 48-0.