Western Counties (W)

Kingsbridge 33, Wellington 35

WELLINGTON travelled to Kingsbridge last Saturday in what turned out to be enthralling encounter that ebbed and flowed from start to finish, writes Allyn Chetland.

The R&Bs were quick out of the blocks and opened the scoring when prop Martin Walker powered over for a close range try converted by full-back Rob Hooper.

Kingsbridge responded in kind following an uncharacteristic defensive lapse to even the score.

Both sides generated try scoring opportunities which could not be taken, so it was via a Hooper penalty that Wellington regained the lead after Kingsbridge infringed at a ruck.

Kingsbridge struck back via another converted try to re-take the lead, 14-10.

Hurt by this score, the visitors once again attacked and a break by Cam Venn saw Nev Pitman on hand to cross for a try near the posts converted by Hooper.

Hooper extended the lead with another penalty to make the half-time score 20-14.

Despite confidence being high, the R&Bs did not start the second half well.

The restart could not be gathered and Kingsbridge crossed for try wide out to reduce the deficit to a point.

Kingsbridge dominated the next 15 minutes and crossed for their fourth try of the match, which was converted to again regain the lead.

The R&Bs rolled up their sleeves and put Kingsbridge under pressure.

This paid off when Pitman crossed for an unconverted try wide out to reduce Kingsbridge’s lead to a point.

Immediately from the kick-off, the ball found its way to prop Jack Richards, who showed great skill and pace to gallop 40 metres, leaving tacklers grasping at thin air.

Liam Phillips was on his shoulder to crash over unopposed underneath the posts for the try of the match, which was duly converted by Hooper for a 32-26 lead.

This score could have taken the wind out of Kingsbridge sails but it had the opposite effect as a well worked move saw the hosts cross for try wide out, with the touchline conversion sailing between the posts to hand the hosts the lead once more.

Wellington continued to press and were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes.

Hooper stepped up, putting the disappointment of missing a penalty a few minutes earlier to one side to coolly smash the ball between the posts to give the visitors a nerve jangling 35-33 victory.

On Saturday, Wellington host local rivals Honiton.

Squad: Richards, Dyke, Walker (M), Walker(R), Venn, Hancock, Phillips, Kitto, Goldstone, Jarman (C), Pitman, Hodgson (G), Gordon, Harney, Hooper, Lee, Crosby, Batts

Somerset 1

Wellington 2nd XV 23, Bridgwater & Albion 2nd XV 43

THIS was a keenly contested encounter for 65 minutes but then some unforced errors saw Bridgwater pull away.

Wellington winger Tyler Hart looked sharp in what was his only second start since the end of November.

Western Counties West

St Austell 61, Wiveliscombe 10

WIVELISCOMBE made the trip to Cornwall knowing they were in for a tough afternoon, with their hosts going well in Western Counties West, writes Roger Bellamy.

The visitors travelled with a makeshift team, as has been the norm so far this season, which is a shame because anywhere near full strength and Wivey can be a match for most teams in the league.

Wivey had a good opening quarter, as fly-half George Rowe converted a penalty followed by a conversion, after the visitors scored from a set-piece move finished off by prop Matt Ellis.

Trailing 10-0, St Austell gradually found their rhythm and began to play an expansive game that Wivey could not contain.

The home team led 21-10 at half-time, with tries from centre Ben Plummer, full-back Cavan Boyer and winger Max Bullen; James Tucker converted all three.

Playing with the elements in the second half, the hosts took advantage of a tiring Wiveliscombe team who began to pick up worrying injuries which hopefully aren’t too serious.

Wivey’s scrum came under pressure, giving St Austell plenty of possession to add six second-half tries through Harry Pyatt (2), centre Henry Welch, prop Peter Rowe, No 8 Kyle Marriott and fly-half Tucker, who ended with eight conversions in difficult conditions.

Somerset 2 South

Wiveliscombe 2nds 12, Morganians 33

MORGANIANS clinched victory in this Somerset 2 South top-of-the-table encounter.

Wivey started the stronger and had an early penalty opportunity which they failed to convert.

Morganians then took control for the remainder of the first half, scoring four converted tries.

Trailing 28-0 at half-time, Wivey raised their game and put the visitors under increasing pressure for most of the second half.

The visiting defence was breached on two occasions, Zac Smale and John Palk scoring tries and Jacob Eyres adding a conversion.

Morganians added a fifth try to secure the victory after a strong Wivey finish failed to add to the home team’s tally.

The victors stay top, with Wiveliscombe in third.

Wiveliscombe Colts, meanwhile, secured a thumping 50-0 win over Nailsea & Backwell on Saturday.

This coming Saturday, Wiveliscombe 1st XV host Cullompton, while Wivey 2nds travel to Yeovil 2nds.