On day ideal for running rugby Wellington welcomed ‘The Devon Red & Blacks’ to The Athletic Ground on Saturday. The home side were hampered by a late withdrawal of new comer Alex Moy at scrum half with Matt Parsons stepping up from the bench to make the starting XV at late notice.
The first period was a keenly fought affair between two evenly matched teams. Cullompton were the first to break the deadlock after Wellington were caught offside at a ruck to take an early 0-3 lead. The home side, following a Cullompton player being sent to the bin, responded after an attacking lineout on Cullys 5m line, saw a deft chip by outside half Paddy Jarman being expertly gathered by the excellent Nev Pitman who scored near the posts. Parsons stepped up to majorise to give The Red & Blacks a 7-3 lead. Cullompton, however, punished poor discipline from the hosts to land two more penalties to give the visitors a 7-9 lead at the break. In the final minutes of the game the passion & pride on show by both sides boiled over with a bout of fisticuffs resulting in Wellingtons Trae Gosling being sent to the bin.
Cullompton picked up the intensity after the interval with Wellington finding it difficult to find a way out of their own half and to keep any meaningful possession. The kicking game employed by the home side was not as successful in this match as in the previous games played with Cullompton dealing with this tactic with ease. The visitors piled on the pressure, with the Red & Blacks resistance eventually yielding under the power of Cullompton’s rolling maul as the Devon side crossed for two tries both of which were converted. Wellington did have their moments when the ball was kept in hand with George Hodgson once again showing how dangerous he can be with ball. From one such attack saw a smartly taken drop goal by Jarman, this was unfortunately the only attacking highlight in the second period for home side. The final score could have been much worse if not for superb tackling and defence from Jack Woodland & Joe Dyke who gave their all for their teams cause. Final score 10-23 to Cullompton who thoroughly deserved to take the spoils on their second half performance.
The improvement in the tight most noticeably in the scrum was pleasing for all to see with young props Jack Richards and Ryan Mark having good games, however Wellingtons achilles heel in this game was the amount of penalties conceding which will be a huge concern to the coaching team.
Next Saturday the 1st XV are away to Burnham-on Sea KO 3pm whilst the 2nd XV entertain their counterparts from Clevedon, again KO 3pm
Match report: Allyn Chetland