Winscombe 1st XV 13 Wellington 1st XV 14 - 30.03.19
By Allyn Chetland
A win full of Pride & Passion
Winscombe 1st 13 Wellington 1st XV 14 – 30.03.19
The R&Bs made short trip up the M5 to Winscombe last Saturday in what turned out to be entertaining and controversial encounter. Danny Lee & Nev Pitman returned to the starting XV and Ash Harney made a welcome return after numerous weeks on the side lines with an ankle injury replacing Alex Davey in the squad.
Playing up slope in the 1st half The R&Bs dominating territory & possession in the opening 20mins but found the hosts defence a hard nut to crack. Against the run play Winscombe opened scoring with an unconverted try after a promising R&Bs attack was intercepted 10metres inside Winscombe’s half. This try was the momentum changer as Winscombe went onto dominate the majority of the half during which they scored another unconverted try which The R&Bs will be very disappointed to concede to increase the lead to 10 – 0. In the dying minutes of the half The R&Bs eventually got their hands on the ball and scored a wonderful team try, with flanker Liam Phillips to the fore, when the galloping No.8 Cam Venn crossed underneath the posts. Winger Rob Hooper made no mistake with the extra points to make the half –time score 10 - 7.
With the slope in their favour, and buoyed by the score just before the break, The R&B were confident of more success. However, it was Winscombe who scored first via a penalty after The R&Bs had been penalised at a ruck with 5 minutes of the half played. The re-start proved to be a very controversial moment. The R&Bs backrow forward, Danny Lee, was somewhat harshly shown a red card, for a 2nd yellow card offence, after he was penalised for playing the ball on the floor meaning The R&Bs played most of the second half with 14 players. This half was strewn with stoppages, injuries and massive amount of frustration for The R&Bs as they could not get any consistency and continuity into their play. It did look like the game would finish 13-7 as The R&Bs were becoming more & more frustrated and desperate. Like the previous week the never say die attitude again came to the fore and in the final minutes of the game scrumhalf Dan Goldstone sliced through Winscombe’s defence and found Nev Pitman on his shoulder who powered over for a try to bring The R&Bs within one point of Winscombe with a tricky conversion to come. Hooper stepped up to thump the ball between the posts to give The R&Bs a 13-14 lead. There was still time for Winscombe to re-start the game but this was easily dealt with by The R&Bs and the game finished 13-14.
A frustrating afternoon for The R&Bs but they once again showed outstanding commitment & passion to drag themselves back into the game, despite being a player down, to get the result. Rob Hooper caught the eye with some excellent runs out in the three-quarters whilst up front Chris Kitto & Phillips were thorns in Winscombe’s side all afternoon. As a result of his red card Dan Lee will not be available for selection this coming weekend.
Next week The R&Bs welcome Bideford to The Athletic Ground. When the two sides met earlier on the season the game was played in monsoon like conditions & ended in a riveting 5-5 draw. The North Devon side convincingly beat Wadebridge in their last outing and will be looking for another win as they look to consolidate their WCW position and pull away from the regulation battle. The R&Bs will need to be on top form and be prepared for another tough encounter in the penultimate league fixture of the season.
Squad: J.Richards, J.Dyke, R.Marke, C.Kitto, M.Walker, L.Phillips, D.Lee, C.Venn, D.Goldstone, P.Jarman(c), T.Hart, V.Gordon, N.Pitman, R.Hooper, G.Hodgson, R.Walker, O.Price, A.Harney