Wellington travelled to Whitehall on Saturday with a side that saw several changes from the one who beat Burnham two weeks ago.
Playing with a stiff northerly breeze at their backs in the first half, Whitehall used the conditions well and Wellington were unable to break out of their own twenty two. After five minutes the hosts went ahead with a penalty in front of the posts followed soon after with an unconverted try to give them an early eight point lead. Wellington managed to get a foothold in the game and saw a penalty of their own drift just wide.
On twenty-five minutes a penalty in front of the posts saw Whitehall ease out to an eleven point lead, and the Wellington cause was further hampered by the loss of centre George Hooper to a shoulder injury. This meant a further reshuffle in the already disrupted back line. Everyone knuckled down and good tackling in defence saw half time arrive with the score at eleven nil.
The second half saw Wellington come more into the game and it wasn’t long before Dan Rottenbury reduced the deficit with a penalty. Wellington’s back line started to make inroads as the forwards got stuck into the home side pack and started to get slightly quicker ball.
A couple of minute’s loss of concentration however cost Wellington dear. Luke Bereton was hit high across the face in a tackle in his own twenty two, however when skipper Micky Norman pointed it out, the referee sin binned him. The resulting penalty made it 14 – 3 and when from the restart Whitehall took advantage of some weak tackling the game appeared over as a contest.
The last quarter saw Wellington come right back into the game however when Jack Woodland disrupted a home scrum and kicked the ball on he was able to fall on the ball over the line for five points.
Wellington then found themselves defending deep in their own half when winger Alex Johnson intercepted to run seventy yards up field before he was brought down. George Hodgson kept the move alive and ran in under the posts. Rottenbury added the extras.
With five minutes to go an unlikely win looked a possibility but the Bristol side showed cool heads and kept the ball tight denying Wellington any possession and ran the clock down.
Next Saturday sees unbeaten Matson arrive at the Athletic ground looking to secure their promotion to the next league up
Wellington 2ndxv 71 Castle Cary 7
This was a match that Wellington 2’s really wanted to win, against a Castle Cary team who were equal on points coming into this game, who won easily in the previous encounter earlier in the season.
Wellington certainly hoped to build on the good showing at Bridgwater in their last match. Staring with probably their strongest line up of the season the home side were quietly confident. It was the visitors who scored first however after 3 mistakes in quick succession, they scored near the posts. The conversion made it seven nil to the visitors. This was the wakeup call Welly needed, and straight from the restart they hit Cary hard. Turnover possession saw quick hands which allowed Ben Williams to score his first of the day. With the conversion missed the score was 5-7 to Cary.
The game settled into a good even battle then with Wellington in the ascendancy in the Scrums, but Cary carrying the ball well. After 15 minutes Welly set up a number of pick and drives sucking in defenders before the ball was rapidly spread wide to Ben Gamlin, who sat the Cary full back down hard before crossing the try line. A penalty shortly after by Ricky Marke preceded complete Wellington domination as Ben Williams crossed for two more tries. In the final minutes of the half. Wellington scrummaged hard on the visitors 5 metre line, allowing Dan Smythe-Moore (who has been in excellent form for the 2’s) to pick the ball from 8, and cross the line with surprising ease. Half time came with Wellington 30-7 ahead.
The second half started in the same way as the first finished, with Welly scrummaging on the Cary 5 metre line, and the result was the same. Wellington pushed Cary back to their try line and Dan Moore picked and drove over. To their credit the visitors the came back into it, when they had a period of possession, and for ten minutes pinned Wellington in their 22. This resulted in Scot Davey receiving a yellow card, but the Welly defence held strong, and it wasn’t long before Ben Williams scored his fourth try.
Five minutes later, Ben Gamlin scored his second, to make the score line 49-7. Wellington were now in top gear and playing some beautiful rugby. On 72 minutes, Ben Williams broke the Cary line, and with some amazing changes of direction, scored under the posts. With five minutes to go the Cary 8 had a loss of control and recieved a yellow card.This allowed Wellington to kick for deep in the corner. After a catch and drive, Wellington drove again for the Cary line and this time the 2nd team stalwart Marcus Westcott found himself in control, and scored Wellys 10th try.
This was richly deserved, as Marcus put in another great performance for the team. After a scrum inside the Cary half, Wellingtons back line decided to try a few training ground moves. All of the backs bar the scrum half and right winger, lined up directly behind the scrummage. As the scrum moved forward the ball found its way to Moores feet. The back line all ran left, taking the whole Cary back line with them. The ball was moved right to Leigh Cash and then to for Tom Hawkings on the wing to cap a brilliant move. 66-7.
With the last play of the game, Wellington broke out and were stopped a metre short of the Cary try line. The ball was illegally stopped from being recycled. Cash took a quick tap, and was shipped swiftly to the wing for Tom Hawkings to score his second. The final score 71-7 was made up of; 12 tries a Marke penalty and three conversions and a Hawkings conversion. A fantastic score line for a team who are playing some of their best rugby in years. A true team effort but Williams who’s five try haul were scored with great foot work and skill deserves mention as does Jack Richards who carried the ball all day, making the hard yards and also joining the back line with his great offloading. A big thank you to the past players/ VIP’s who enjoyed a meal at the club, and then came out to cheer on, and certainly spurred their welly team to their best performance of the season.
Wellington 10 Taunton 18
Meeting for the first time this season these two local teams met to resume a great rivalry that has seen them vie for both Somerset Cup and league honours over a number of previous seasons.
With Wellington winning the toss and choosing to play down the slope the hosts quickly gained control of both possession and territory playing some outstanding attacking rugby repeatedly making their way into the Taunton 22. With a slight edge in scrummaging Wellington really pushed the Taunton team hard but a number of early periods of play were very well defended to prevent an early score.
Around the ten-minute mark Wellington were attacking once more; with the ball moved wide scrum half Corey Jenkinson chipped ahead. Initially it looked like the ball would go out of play but full back Jordan Mace ran hard beating the opposition defenders to recover the kick and score a great try which he then converted taking the score to 7 – 0.
Throughout the rest of the half it is fair to say that Wellington were almost constantly in the Taunton half but missed a number of try scoring opportunities due to solid defence from the opposition but also through a number of unforced errors. As the half drew to a close the Taunton side made a rare break into the Wellington half, following infringements at the ruck Taunton were awarded a penalty that was well taken to see the half time arrive with the scores at 7 – 3 in the hosts favour.
Following the restart, it was quickly evident that Taunton were the livelier of the two sides and they very quickly took the score to 7 -6 after being awarded a penalty deep in the Wellington half.
Wellington made substitutions hoping to bring the tempo of the game back in their favour and shortly afterwards were awarded a penalty a short distance into the opposition half. This was well taken by Tom Kelvey to extend the score to 10 – 6
As the match progressed Wellington struggled to secure possession with the Taunton players pressurising and forcing a number of errors. A period of sustained pressure by the Taunton forwards saw a hard fought try which was well converted by the Taunton fly half.
Wellington continued to fight hard but through their own errors and good Taunton defence they failed to secure possession and on the 34th minute the Taunton squad’s hard work resulted in another good try to secure a Taunton victory at 10 – 18.