Wiltshire Publications

Westbury beat strong rivals after ‘one of their best performances’

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Sat. 18th Jan. Dorset & Wilts Div 2 North. Corsham 2nds 5 Westbury 27

Westbury travelled to Corsham to take on the 2nd XV, knowing that this was always going to be a tough encounter from a team that were equal third in the league and keen to reverse an earlier loss at Westbury.

The match certainly lived up to expectations, with Westbury having to give one of their best performances to overcome a lively Corsham side. 

From the start of the game, Corsham threw everything they had at the visitors and for the first 5 minutes Westbury were pinned into their own 22 metre area.  After sucking up the pressure, Westbury fought their way up field and were awarded a penalty when Corsham were caught offside.  Quick thinking scrum half, James Cately-Day took a tap and released the ball to his backs and the ball finished up in the hands of Dan Heatley who was filling in at standoff, in the absence of Aaron Vaughan.  Using his pace, Heatley managed to carve his way to the try line and score.  Mat Inseal stepped up to successfully take the conversion. 

Corsham immediately came back at Westbury and 3 minutes later, scored an unconverted try from a scrum after Westbury had knocked the ball on.  This was mainly due to one or two Westbury players missing a couple of tackles to allow the Corsham backs to open up.

For the rest of the half both sides were even, with good exchanges but neither were able to capitalise with a try.  That was until 8 minutes from the half-time whistle when, with both forwards and backs in the move, Westbury spun the ball wide to the left.  Seeing that there was no way through, the ball was quickly passed back across the field and into the hands of wing Jamie Dickson, who was able to score in the corner.  The conversion was missed. 

12 – 5 to Westbury at half time and all still to play for. The second half started much the same as the first half, with both sides playing excellent rugby but neither able to score.  That was until 13 minutes into the half, Westbury’s Fijian centre, Koro Sitiveni, who running in support of his fellow backs received the ball and using some of his Southsea Islander skills, outpaced the defence to score in the corner.  Once again the conversion was missed. 

With their confidence now high, Westbury were starting to string together some good phases of play and were beginning to move the ball by hand with some powerful carries by the forwards deep into Corsham territory, then releasing the backs to attack out wide.  This worked well and 5 minutes later after a Westbury scrum, the ball was again passed wide this time into the hands of Alex Down standing out to the left.  Down then skirted his way along the touch line to score.  The conversion was missed. 

This golden patch was to continue and within 5 minutes Westbury were again awarded a penalty, which was kicked into touch about 10 metres out from the Corsham try line.   From the lineout Westbury’s forwards set up a drive for the line and with the ball in the hands of flanker Reece Ball, the try was scored.  No conversion.

Now with approximately 18 minutes left on the clock Corsham had possibly their best period of play when they went all out to pull the lead back and indeed were unlucky on a couple of occasions when they failed to score because the final pass did not go to hand or was dropped. 

That said, Westbury’s defence was certainly up to the job, with the players placing their bodies on the line and putting in some big tackles to stop Corsham from scoring.  It would be difficult to select a man of the match as the whole side including the replacements, stood up to be counted.  In the end the Westbury scrum half James Catley-Day, just about edged it.