Somerset Premier
Wiveliscombe 1sts 22, Gordano 1sts 19

WIVELISCOMBE went top of the Somerset Premier table after beating previous leaders Gordano in an enthralling game on the Wivey Rec, writes Roger Bellamy.

Gordano suffered only their second defeat of the season, with the West Somerset side gaining the double over their visitors after coming back from 12-0 down at half time.

Playing on difficult under-foot conditions (though much improved from the Boxing Day game), this match proved a good watch for each team's supporters, with a good mixture of play from both forwards and threes.

Playing down the slope in the first half, the visitors struck first as Noah Holmes crossed after Wivey lost possession in their opponent's half, and quick hands from the threes allowed Holmes to score in the corner, with Joe Rowsell converting.

Gordano's second try came from Sam Hodge, who broke through the home team's defence to score near the posts, although the conversion attempt hit the upright, and so the lead was 12-0 at the break.

Wiveliscombe had looked strong in the scrums throughout the first period, which gave them hope for the second half, territoriality they had the upper hand, and they would continue to gain dominance in this area as the match progressed.

Hugh Kelly forced his way through a ruck to cross for the hosts' first try, with fly-half Gareth Bellamy converting to reduce the away side's lead to five points.

Ali Vivian then crossed for Wivey's second try, following good pressure from his fellow forwards, to level the scores at 12-12.

Gordano were limited to the odd visit into the home team's territory, with the Wivey scrum continuing to provide a good supply of ball, which they used to good effect.

The visitors, meanwhile, looked strong with their driving mauls and rucks, but the home defence held firm.

Pitch conditions were deteriorating as the match progressed, but the hosts used the firmer areas along the top touch line to cross for a third try from speedster Jake Sharland, following good hands from the forwards and backs, for 17-12.

But the table-toppers weren't finished, and they levelled the scores with a Tim Stratton try, before Hodge converted to give the visitors a two-point lead with 10 minutes to go.

The next score would prove decisive, and it came from the home team, who again found space out wide for Sharland to claim his second of the match, which gave his team a precious bonus-point victory.

Somerset 2 South
Somerton 1sts 29, Wiveliscombe 2nds 10

WIVEY 2nds gave a good account of themselves in their fixture in East Somerset, but their fifth-placed hosts had the edge over Wivey, who sit eighth in the table.

Skipper Charlie Rowe and youngster Frank Norman crossed for the visitors' tries.

This coming Saturday (January 13), Wivey 1st XV are away to Imperial, while the 2nds host Minehead Barbarians 2nds.


Cornwall & Devon
Wellington 24, Penryn 10

THIS top-of-the-table of clash was always going to be a game an encounter of high intensity, excitement and passion, writes Allyn Chetland.

Playing away from the clubhouse, the R&Bs - missing several first team players due to holidays and injuries - started brightly in what was dogged first half.

For much of the first period Wellington had the majority of territory and possession, spending a good percentage of the half camped deep in Penryn’s territory, but only had three points to show for all of this effort via a penalty from full-back Alex Davey.

The hosts created numerous try scoring chances but were thwarted by valiant and tenacious defence from Penryn, who did have their moments during the first half and levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time.

The visitors started the second period with renewed vigour, putting the R&Bs under pressure for the first 15 minutes of the half, however the R&Bs stood firm and soon started to once again to grip on proceedings.

An attacking lineout 5m out from Penryn’s line was easily claimed and an impressive unstoppable rolling maul ensued - Penryn stopped it illegally and the resultant penalty try gave the hosts a 10-3 lead.

The pace and physicality of the game was starting to take its toll and Penryn exploited Wellington going down to 14 players, due to injury, to score a converted try to even the scores with 15 minutes of the game remaining.

Tempers frayed and the game boiled over, but the R&Bs dug deep and their efforts were rewarded when they crashed over for another try following another excellent driving lineout.

Replacements Josh Hancock and Tim Jenkinson both claimed the try but Jenkinson was eventually credited with the score after a polite conversion in the bar afterwards.

Davey made no mistake with extras to make the score 17-10 to the R&Bs.

Spurred on by this score, the R&Bs doubled their efforts and were soon once again camped deep into Penryn’s territory.

Following a number of impressive forwards drives, Jenkinson exploited a hole in Penryn’s defence to crash over for his second and his team’s third try of the match.

Davey again slotted over the extra points to make the score 24-10 to the R&Bs, which was how it stayed.

Hooker Joe Dyke caught the eye and was named man of the match in the clubhouse afterwards.

Next week the R&Bs make their longest away trip of the season, travelling to Pirates Amateurs, who are based in Penzance.

Away games are always difficult and this encounter will be no different.

Pirates are a much changed side from the one that travelled to The Athletic Ground earlier on in the season, only narrowing losing 6-0 to Penryn in recent weeks.

Wellington: R.Marke, J.Dyke, L.Wadham, R.Walker, C.Kitto, L.Phillips, H.Ramsay, M.Norman, C.Jenkinson, P.Jarman (c), J.Hayman, G.Hodgson, C.Batts, T.Hart, A.Davey, J.Hancock, T.Jenkinson, M.Walker