Wellington travelled to Bath for their first Western Counties North division match in 20 years but were unable to mark the day with a win. The side included three debutantes in Jack Richards and Luke Brereton from last year’s U18’s and Wivey convert Jack Woodland, all of whom acquitted themselves with distinction, particularly Woodland who scored the side’s only try.
The Red and Blacks were first to score through a penalty from Coach Matt Parsons who played at scrum half but this was quickly countered by home fly half Rob Fitch who also put over a three pointer.
It became clear quite early on that the home pack were going to be on top in set pieces and it was from a simple catch and drive that they went ahead with hooker Ben Hurd getting the unconverted try.
The Red and Blacks were however the more mobile in loose play and came back strongly with captain Micky Norman storming through to set up good positions on numerous occasions ably supported by fellow back rowers Chris Kitto and Woodland and the rest of the pack.
From one such play Parsons grub kicked through and Woodland was first to reach the awkwardly bouncing ball, collect and go round the defence to score by the posts. Parsons added the conversion for Wellington to take the lead into the half time break.
An early home penalty in the second period restored their lead and another stretched the advantage shortly after even against the odds when they were reduced to fourteen men as the visitors were denied a try by the home side illegally killing a ruck on their own try-line, despite this, with men waiting, the referee decided he couldn’t award a penalty try for some reason.
The deficit was reduced however with another Parsons penalty to keep the Chiefs in touch with their hosts.
The match was effectively decided as Avon got their set scrum really going as they attacked and won a series of penalties in the Wellington 22 which they elected to take back to scrums.
In the effort to relieve the pressure wing Neville Pitman mistimed a tackle on the receiver of a clearance kick and was sin binned. After more scrums at which Wellington were put under pressure prop Lee Wadham was unlucky to join him as he was disrupted for the first time in the match and was also the first to infringe following a general warning to the Wellington pack. The match official also rather generously decided that in this instance a try would probably have resulted from the disrupted scrum and therefore awarded a penalty try.
With the conversion going over the visitors needed two scores to get back in front and whilst they manfully set about the task were unable to get back on terms and also conceded two more penalties in the process.
Whilst the result was a disappointment the performance was a creditable and competitive effort against a side that finished fifth in this division last season and bodes well for the future.
Wellington 2nd xv started their 2015/16 campaign on fine fashion on Saturday, with a resounding win over their Yatton counterparts at the Athletic Field.
Skipper Dave Turney led by example scoring a try early on which was converted by Steve Mason, who had a good day with the boot converting 4 of Welly’s 7 tries. Ryan Symmons had a roller coaster of a day grabbing 2 tries but also picking up a yellow card. Other tries were scored by Alex Davey, man of the match George Hodgson, Kez Hitchcock and Leigh Cash. This was a really good team performance with everyone playing their part.
Wellington did not have it all their own way however as Yatton ran in three tries of their own, but skipper Turney will be delighted with this start to the season which saw his team run out comfortable winners 43 – 15.
Wellington U18’s 14 Weston U18’s 8
A new look Wellington Colts took to the field for their first game of the season against a strong Weston Super Mare side in front of a large crowd on Beech Grove playing field. Under the guidance of new Coach Tim Jenkinson ably assisted by Will Brewer gained the win in what was a tight and entertaining affair.
Playing up the slope in the first half the Wellington boys struggled to put any attacking phases together and were defending for much of the half, their solid defence was finally broken when Weston went over for a well worked un-converted try late in the half.
With some stern words from the coaching staff the Wellington boys started the second half well with set piece domination beginning to tell when the forwards drove over from five metres out after a well worked lineout. Jason Rowland emerged from the pile up as the try scorer to cap off a brilliant first performance from the prop forward. Fly Half Tom Kelvey added the extras from wide out.
The Wellington boys followed up with another soon after when new boy Jacob Coles intercepted a wayward pass to go under the posts on his debut, Kelvey once again converting to make the score 14 – 5. Weston then applied the pressure with a well taken penalty goal to reduce the gap to 14 – 8 making the last ten minutes a real nail biter. The Red & Black defence however stayed firm denying a strong Weston team the win to the delight of the home fans. A scrappy performance from Wellington with much to improve upon as the backs rarely got to show what they were capable of however the Coaches and players alike will no doubt be delighted to finish the weekend with a Win after a cup winning season last year. A special mention must go to the referee who after being appointed late gave a very good performance with the whistle.
Next weeks matches:
The Firsts take on Chosen Hill Former Pupils in the first home game of the season in the Tribute Western Counties North Division. The match will be preceded by the Past Players Association Annual General Meeting and lunch.
The Seconds travel their Keynsham counterparts after their good win against Yatton to open their account in the Somerset One division.
The Thirds start their campaign with a trip to Minehead in Somerset Three South.
The U18’s travel to Chard for their next match following their successful match against Weston Super Mare.