Wiltshire Publications

Sat. 29th Sept. Dorset & Wilts Division 2 North Westbury 36 Royal Wootton Bassett 19

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Westbury continued their good run of form with a five try win over a strong Wootton Bassett side.  

The opening try was scored by hooker Jack Bates, following a Westbury lineout inside the visitors’ 22 metre area. A maul was set up and the ball was worked back to Bates at the rear, and the forwards drove hard over the try line for the hooker to touch down.  The conversion was missed.  

The next try came from more excellent work by the forwards. The ball went loose, flanker Ferran Adams pounced and set up a ruck, allowing scrum half, James Catley-Day, to send the ball via the hands of Aaron Vaughan to centre Lee McClerg. He barrelled his way through the defenders to score the try.  Skipper Vaughan added the conversion. With about 10 minutes to go in the first half, standoff Vaughan added to his tally with a perfectly executed drop goal, after outside centre Matt Inseal, had carried the ball deep into the visitors’ 22 with a scintillating run from his own half of the pitch. He was caught by the Bassett full back, but the ball was recycled to Vaughan by the Westbury supporting players for him to kick the goal. 

Westbury were then guilty of a loss of concentration, allowing Wootton Bassett to take a quick tap penalty and after a few missed tackles by Westbury defenders, they scored under the posts and added the conversion. 15 – 7 at half time and all to play for. 

Shortly after the restart, Lee McClerg scored his second try when the forwards won a scrum against the head, with prop Michael Tuck, working particularly hard to force the turnover. The ball was quickly passed out to McClerg for him to score.  Vaughan again added the extra points.  Five minutes later, full back Ashley Hart crossed the line after the Westbury forwards, working as a unit, gained a huge amount of territory and passed the ball out to Hart for him to score.  Vaughan added the conversion.

Wootton Bassett closed the gap after the ball was stripped from an attacking Westbury player. This allowed the Bassett player to break away to score a converted try.  On the half hour, replacement Reece Ball, making his first start of the season, was the beneficiary of some great interplay between the backs and forwards, with the ball being moved swiftly from one side of the pitch to the other and into the hands of Reece for him to touch down.  Once more Vaughan kicked the conversion. 

The visitors had the last word when, with 5 minutes to go and Westbury perhaps thinking the game was won, took their foot off the gas, allowing Bassett to score an unconverted try.

Westbury won 36 – 19, beating a good and lively Wootton Bassett side that always looked dangerous and only some great defending by the home side, especially the back 3 of Paul Clark, Ash Hart and Koro Sitiveni, saved a couple of certain tries.

Paul Couzens

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