Intermediate Cup South West Divisional Final
Swindon 14, Wellington 17

WELLINGTON made an unusual trip north on Saturday to take on Swindon last Saturday in the divisional final of the National Intermediate Cup, writes Allyn Chetland.

Jack Richards, George Hodgson and Cam Venn all returned to the starting XV, as did Joe Dyke, for his first appearance for six weeks due to a foot injury.

The Red & Blacks ran out 17-14 winners in what was a highly entertaining encounter against a well-drilled Swindon team.

Playing with the wind in the first half, the R&Bs knew they had to get points on the board, and they opened the scoring via winger Ash Harney when he crossed following an excellent team attack wide out; full-back Rob Hooper slotted the conversion to make it 7-0.

Stung by this, Swindon put together a fine move themselves to cross for an unconverted try against the elements, something the R&Bs could not do when playing against the wind in the second period, to reduce the lead to two points.

The visitors bounced back with an unconverted try, again by Harney, after fine play by second row Regan Walker.

Wellington continued to press Swindon, this pressure eventually paying off when their other winger, Alex Davey, crossed for an excellent team try, to lead 17-5 going into the final 10 minutes of the half.

Swindon had not finished scoring themselves, and two well-taken penalties made the half-time score 17-11.

With the wind now at their backs, Swindon were soon camped deep in the R&Bs’ half and were soon awarded a penalty for an illegal tackle.

The penalty was duly taken to reduce the R&Bs’ lead to three points.

The remainder of the half was a topsy-turvy affair, with Swindon having plenty of possession but not really threatening the try-line.

They did have an opportunity to score via another penalty but fortunately for the visitors this could not be taken.

The R&Bs did have opportunities to score themselves; Harney looked like he would get his hat-trick try, but a thumping tackle on the try-line stopped him.

In the dying minutes a penalty attempt by Hooper clattered into the upright, but the R&Bs still took the spoils after a pulsating game.

Wellington squad: Richards, Dyke, Marke, M Walker, R Walker, Howe, Venn, Kitto, Goldstone, Jarman (c), Harney, Hodgson, Gordan, Davey, Hooper, Hancock, Hinchcliffe, Crosby, Gamlin, Sestaret, Lee, Hart.

This result sees Wellington progress to the national semi-final of the Intermediate Cup, where they will entertain Old Colfeians - but it is no longer clear when this can take place.


Western Counties West
Tiverton 24, Wiveliscombe 20

WIVELISCOMBE came close to gaining a vital win in their survival bid, but had to settle for a losing bonus point away to fellow strugglers Tiverton on Saturday, writes Roger Bellamy.

Wivey are now third from bottom in the league table and will need to pick up points in their four remaining matches if they are to avoid dropping back down to Somerset Premier.

Tiverton started strongly and were 12-0 up after 15 minutes.

Right wing George Whiting crossed for the home team’s first try after his fellow threes created space for him to run in, and they produced another opening to send fly-half Matt Down clear.

He converted his own try to give his side a 12-0 lead.

The visitors gradually gained a foothold in the game, with their pack putting the home eight under increasing pressure.

That pressure eventually told, as No 8 Simon Adams finished off a driving maul to touch down.

Wivey then reduced the gap to four points when Tiverton were penalised for not releasing in the tackle, and George Rowe’s penalty made it 12-8 at half-time.

The visitors took the lead early in the second half after a carbon copy of their first try, with Adams crossing for his second try of the game.

The visitors had the edge territorially in the second half but Tiverton always looked good with ball in hand and they created an opening on the blindside of a scrum, to allow Whiting to outpace the defence and score his second try in the corner.

Going into the later stages of the game both teams began to tire, with underfoot conditions becoming increasingly heavy.

Wivey thought they must had secured the victory when space was created for winger Sam Gibbs to round the home team’s defence to score wide out, and Rowe converted for a 20-17 lead.

The visitors had a chance to increase their lead late in the game, as they were awarded a penalty.

They opted to go for a lineout to try and score a fourth try, but they failed to win possession and Tiverton cleared.

Wivey failed to secure the clearance kick, which resulted in the home team scoring a fourth try through hooker Olly King, and Down converted from wide out.