Going into the game Wellington were confident that if they could re-produce the level of performance from the two previous league games then they could take the points from this game, writes Allyn Chetland. However, it was the Devon outfit who were quicker out of the blocks, catching Wellington cold by taking an early five- point lead within the first couple of minutes. Despite this early set back Wellington rolled up their sleeves and went onto to dominate the rest of the half in both territory and possession.
Prolonged periods of pressure on Tiverton’s line unfortunately did not provide the scores that the team’s efforts deserved due to wrong options being taken but was predominately down to the visitor’s constant infringements whilst defending their line. The official’s patience eventually ran out, sending Tivertons’s scrum half to the bin, and awarding Wellington a penalty try after Tiverton once again infringed on their line. Full back Tom Hawkings made no mistake with the conversion in front of the post, making the half-time score 7-5.
The second period again saw Wellington again in the ascendancy having the greater possession and territory during the first 25mins of the half. Excellent scoring chances were thwarted by desperate defence by the visitors and the final pass going astray. Wellington extended their lead to 12-5 on the 20min mark when replacement Josh Hancock smashed his way over the line after an excellent rolling maul by Wellington pack. Hawkings touchline conversion was a gem to increase the lead further to 14-5.
This score was the spur for Tiverton to pick up their game and soon reduced the arrays via a penalty on the 25min mark. Wellington bounced back but unfortunately a penalty opportunity that would have extended their lead could not be taken. Tiverton were not finished either coming back to score an unconverted try with 10mins remaining to make the score 14-13. Like the previous week the final minutes were nerve jangling affair but Wellington stood firm to take the spoils in what was a full-on local derby.
A well-deserved win, the whole playing squad have been working hard over the last couple of weeks to keep on improving, and this was evident during this game. The pack had the edge all afternoon with Luke Sellick having an excellent 1st XV debut before being replaced just after half time by Hancock, props Ryan Marke & Jack Richards also had excellent games against older & more experienced opponents. Out back the three-quarters looked dangerous with ball in hand and comfortable in their defensive duties, fullback Hawkings, centres George Hodgson & Patrick Jarman having good all-round games.
No game on Xmas Eve but on Boxing Day Wellington entertain local rivals Wiveliscombe in what is sure to be another full on and exciting local derby – KO 2.30. Boxing Day morning the clubs 2nd XV also entertain their counterparts from Wiveliscombe – KO 11am – both teams would appreciate as big as support as possible.