Wiltshire Publications

Westbury cement top spot with win over close rivals

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Dorset & Wilts Division 2 North. Sat. 1st Feb. Swindon 2nds 10 – Westbury 29

Once again, Westbury RFC were to be on the road for another away game. 

This time they played Swindon 2nd XV. The team who are second place in the League, just 11 points behind Westbury.  So this was always going to be a hotly contested fixture. 

Westbury started well with the prevailing wind at their backs and soon found themselves deep in Swindon territory where they looked to be on top.  Although with Swindon defending well and Westbury making a couple of handling errors, it was to be 14 minutes before the deadlock was broken, which was when Westbury had a lineout deep in Swindon’s half.  

In the windy conditions hooker, Jack Bates, did well to connect with his front jumper, Ferran Adams, who caught the ball cleanly and a maul was set up.  Westbury then drove hard towards their opponents’ try line and released the ball to the backs and into the hands of centre, Lee McClerg.  Lee then brushed the defenders aside to score the try. As skipper Aaron Vaughan, was unavailable to play, Mat Inseal took on the kicking duties, a difficult task in the strong wind, Inseal was successful on this occasion. 

Four minutes later, Swindon were making a foray into the Westbury half. Unfortunately the ball got knocked on and into the hands of Lee McClerg.  With the referee playing advantage, Lee set off on a run into the Swindon half, where after handing off a couple of defenders, he scored his own and Westbury’s second try.  The conversion was missed. 

On 26 minutes and Westbury looking to score another try, scrum half James Catley-Day was high tackled when he was just feet from the try line.  The referee deemed that he would have scored and awarded Westbury a penalty try and the full 7 points.  On 34 minutes winger Alex Down scored in the corner after Westbury flanker, Ryan Knight, caught the ball after a Swindon player tried to kick from inside their 22 metre line but missed touch.  Knight charged towards the Swindon line and fed the ball out to Down for him to score.  No conversion.  24 – 0 at half time and Westbury’s turn to face the strong wind.  

With the wind at their backs Swindon threw everything they had at the Westbury defence, but as has been said before in previous matches, the visitors’ defence stood strong and kept Swindon out for nearly half an hour.  Swindon at last started to use the wind and kicked deep into Westbury territory where they were able to capitalise and after a ruck, their hooker was able to cross the try line to score.  The conversion was missed. 

Five minutes later Swindon scored again when they were awarded a penalty 5 metres out from the Westbury try line.  They moved the ball wide to the blind side and touched down in the corner.  Once more the conversion was missed, with the strong wind it was not a day for kickers. 

Westbury were to have the last word though.  With minutes to go, wing Jamie Dixon broke out of his half and ran deep into Swindon territory, where he was brought down.  His supporting players set up a ruck and quickly moved the ball wide to full back Ash Hart, the defence forced Ash out towards the touch line but his pace was too much for them and he scored in the corner.  The kick at goal was held up in the wind, so the conversion attempt failed. 

The score at full time was 29 – 10 to the visitors, so Westbury have moved further ahead in the table which they now lead by 16 points, so promotion next season looks to be beckoning. 

There will now be a break in the League for one week and Westbury’s next match will be on the 15th February where they will take a short trip to Devizes to play their 2nd XV.