Wiltshire Publications

Win for Westbury sees them increase lead at top of league

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Dorset & Wilts Div. 2 North. Sat. 11th Jan. Westbury 17 – Pewsey Vale 8

For the first home fixture of this year, Westbury welcomed the third placed team in the league, Pewsey Vale.  

Westbury knew this was going to be a much tougher fixture than last week’s game at Combe Down and had prepared well in training. The game was played with a strong wind blowing straight down the pitch and Westbury started with the wind in their faces. For the first 10 minutes or so they were playing well, with most of the territory and ball possession, but could not break down Pewsey’s defence. 

Gradually Pewsey started to gain more possession and were becoming a bigger threat.  On 24 minutes and just 10 metres inside the Westbury half, they won a penalty because Westbury were guilty of an illegal play of the ball when tackled. With the wind assisting, the Pewsey Vale kicker confidently slotted the ball over for the 3 points. 

The rest of the half seesawed until virtually at the end of the half, when Westbury carried the ball into the Pewsey 22 and the ball carrier was tackled at head height.  Mathew Inseal kicked the penalty.

It was then 3 points each at half time, but Westbury would now have the wind at their backs, so confidence was high.  Within 6 minutes of the start of the half Westbury, now in full flow, were awarded a scrum 5 metres out.  No 8, Will Dennett, was stopped inches short but ruck flanker, Ferran Adams, powered over to score.  Aaron Vaughan kicked the conversion. 

Westbury were now in the ascendency and 10 minutes later, after pressurising the Pewsey Vale defence, were again awarded a scrum close to the try line.  The ball was moved backwards into the hands of hooker, Jack Bates, who assisted by his scrum half, James Cately-Day, powered over the line, followed by the rest of the Westbury pack.  During this move Bates slipped the ball into the hands of Cately-Day who was awarded the try.  Vaughan again kicked the conversion. 

Pewsey Vale came back hard and after 25 minutes scored an excellent try to cut the deficit. The wind would work against the Pewsey kicker whose kick looked good, before the wind blew it back infield.

This concentrated the Westbury mindset and although they failed to add to their total, they kept the visitors in check, to finish as the victors. 

This was possibly one of the hardest games that Westbury have had this season, against a tough Pewsey Vale outfit.  

What made Westbury’s day even more pleasing was the news that their nearest rival in the league, Swindon 2nd xv, had lost their game at Amesbury. This meant that Westbury were able to open up a 7 point lead to keep them top of the table.

Next week Westbury travel to fourth placed Corsham 2nds, where a warm welcome and another tough game will await them.