Exmouth see off Weston-super-Mare to net home play-off tie

PUBLISHED: 11:59 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:59 20 April 2015

Exmouth took on Weston at the Imperial Ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 3541-17-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Exmouth took on Weston at the Imperial Ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 3541-17-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

Exmouth went into their final league game of the season with Weston-super-Mare, knowing they could secure home advantage this coming Saturday in the winner-takes-all National Two (S) play-off, writes Chris Wright

A sun-kissed, but blustery, Imperial Ground saw another superb turn out of support and the Cockles’ faithful were not to be disappointed as they witnessed the home team outscore the visitors five tries to two, to win 31-14.

Weston, with former Exmouth junior, Bath, Bristol and England prop Darren Crompton and former Northampton Saints’ number ten Glenn Dickson in their ranks, played their part in a fine contest, showing the form that had deserted them earlier in the season.

The visitors’ cause was not helped in the early exchanges by a lack of discipline. The Cockles seized the initiative, took played deep into the Weston twenty-two and, after an early yellow card for visiting skipper George Sparks, home flanker James Harris dived over, but the George Meadows conversion, struck in the difficult conditions, drifted wide.

The Cockles reshuffled their pack early on taking no risks with a couple of players after a number of early knocks were picked up and young Ollie Dawe was called from the bench to make his debut and was joined in the action by Ben Hawley.

Using the wind to good effect the Cockles pegged the visitors back once more, and, after several phases of play, Meadows sold a perfect dummy to glide in untouched under the posts. He converted the try and the Cockles held a 12-0 win.

Weston tried to take the game to their hosts, but a fine run from elusive full-back Ollie Rice took play back to half way where quickly re-cycled ball to Meadows saw the fly-half use the wind hoisting a high ball over the Weston defence. Inexplicably, the visitor’s wing failed to clear the threat and home speedster Richard Bright snaffled the ball and dived over in the corner. The conversion was just wide and, for the remainder of the half then action was of the stop-start variety.

After the break Weston came back strongly and the home defence was made to work hard. Fifteen minutes into the half the Cockles secured the all important bonus point that guarantees that home play-off tie.

Great work in the lineout and a rumbling diving maul took play deep into the visitors twenty-two where Cockles’ Man of the Match Jack Fahy took the ball on and, with the full weight of the Cockles eight behind him he crashed over for the try. George Meadows tricky kick sailed between the posts and the Cockles led 24-0.

Weston replied with some great interplay and live-wire scrum-half Hayden Tuttiett squeezed over beside

the posts to score with Chris Young slotting the extras.

The Cockles were swiftly back onto the front foot, powering their way upfield, switching play delightfully on their way before birthday Ross Morshead slipped a great pass to Hawley who in turn found flanker Harris and the latter cruised over beside the posts. Meadows landed the conversion.

adding the extras.

Weston scored again with centre Sylvan Edwards scoring and Young tucked away the conversion.

Despite losing a player to the sin bin for a team offence, the Cockles prevailed and the final play of the game saw centre Henry Goldson crash over in the corner. However, after a discussion with the touch judge the try was chalked off and the final whistle blown.

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