WELLINGTON came out on top in the traditional Boxing Day meeting with Wiveliscombe at The Athletic Ground.

Wellington's 1st XV triumphed 32-15 over their Wiveliscombe counterparts, and the home 2nds beat Wivey's 2nd XV 22-0.

A record crowd turned out for their taste of festive rugby, ahead of the return of the league programme on Saturday, January 5.

The 1st XV fixture was nip and tuck for the first 10 minutes of the first half, with each side testing each other out. 

The deadlock was broken when the Red & Blacks' marauding No 8 Cam Venn was on the end of a fine attacking move to score the opening try of the game, duly converted by Wellington captain Patrick Jarman. 

Wivey came storming back, using their chunky forwards well, and these efforts were rewarded when George Rowe crossed for an unconverted try following a series of attacking scrums, making the score 7-5. 

Wivey briefly took an 8-7 lead when Rowe calmly kicked a penalty after the hosts were caught offside, but then Wellington winger Ash Harney benefited from an accurate cross-field kick from Jarman to score an unconverted try. 

As the half drew to a close, Wivey started to tire and found it difficult to contain the Red & Black attacks. 

Following one such attack the visitors were caught offside in front of their posts, and the penalty was coolly slotted over by Jarman to give the home side a 15-8 advantage at half time.

Playing with the slope in their favour, Wivey started the second half well and looked to use their big scrum to their advantage. 

But Wellington weathered this storm, and as the away team tired, they again began to struggle with the pace and continuity on display from the hosts.

They were blown away in a clinical 15-minute period when the the Red & Blacks scored three superb tries. 

Firstly, centre Chris Batts crossed for an unconverted try following an excellent handling move involving several of his team-mates. 

With their tails now well and truly up, the hosts went straight back onto the attack, and following numerous rucks on Wivey’s line, hooker Joe Dyke powered over for a try which was converted by Jarman to take the score out to 27-8. 

The Red & Blacks were not finished yet, and following another attack that looked like it was on the verge of breaking down, impressive replacement Sandy Kiddle kept it alive, allowing Tyler Hart to beat the covering defence and score an unconverted try out wide. 

With 10 minutes of the match remaining Wivey eventually exploited their advantage at the scrum, ex-Wellington player Dan Smythe-Moore getting the final touch, with Rowe converting to make the final score 32-15.

See the picture gallery above for action shots taken by County Gazette photographer Aisling Magill.