Wiltshire Publications

Westbury RFC cement top spot with another league win

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Sat. 7th March. Dorset & Wilts Div 2 North Colerne 22 Westbury 48

After the euphoria of the Cup win two weeks ago, Westbury returned to the League with a visit to Colerne.

The match kicked off and within 3 minutes Colerne struck with a penalty when Westbury were caught off side, defending a ruck.  Within another 3 minutes Westbury took the lead when Colerne kicked out of their own 22.  The ball was caught by Westbury wing Alex Down, who was well inside his own half.  Alex decided to run the ball back and set off in an arching run where he linked with his other wing Jamie Dixon, who took the ball into the opposition 22 and off loaded to flanker Hayden Adams.  Hayden charged up to just short of the try line and passed to his supporting prop Michael Tuck, who from that distance was never going to be stopped from scoring.  Aaron Vaughan kicked the conversion. 

5 minutes later Westbury scored again when Colerne were awarded a scrum just inside their 22. Westbury hooker, Jack Bates, took the ball against the head, for No 8 Will Dennett to set off on a run and with the support of scrum half Dan Heatley and the ever present Hayden Adams, the ball finished in the hands of second row Chris ‘Flash’ Nash, who needed no invitation to touch down for the try.  Possibly the most popular try of the day, Chris is one of those players who always gives 100% in doing the donkey work.  One of the unsung heroes of the club and this was to be his first try for the 1st XV.  The conversion was missed. 

Dan Heatley then added a brace of tries to the scoreline.  Both tries scored from scrums 5 metres out and Dan showed how devastating he can be to avoid defenders to score.  Vaughan converted one of the tries.

Colerne fought back hard and were rewarded with a try after they had kicked to touch when Westbury were penalized for not releasing a tackled player.  From the resulting lineout, the ball was caught and a drive set up from which they scored a try, but the conversion was missed. 

Just before half time and from a Colerne kick out of their half, full back Ash Hart ran the ball back at the opposition.  This time though Hart ran up the touch line to link with his forwards, where the hard working Chris Nash received the ball, for him to score his second try.  Unfortunately, Vaughan missed the conversion. 

Half time and Westbury leading 29 – 8 and a try bonus point in the bag.  So then Westbury kicked off full of confidence and after 4 minutes Dan Heatley scored once more, after replacement No. 8 Ash Gray, charged up the field ball in hand supported by his scrum half.  Gray took the defender on and passed to Heatley who scored in the corner.  Not converted. 

Shortly after this, Heatley scored his fourth try when Colerne were awarded a scrum, 5 metres out from their try line. The ball was put into the scrum by the scrum half but it squirted out of the side where Heatley pounced to score the try.  Vaughan added the conversion. 

There then followed a period of time when Westbury seemed to lose the plot.  First of all, a player was sent to the bin because the referee deemed that they were deliberately collapsing the mauls that Colerne had set up.

Using the one-man advantage Colerne fought back hard and closed the gap with a converted try again from a lineout catch and drive. 

With the home team on the front foot and Westbury at sixes and sevens, Colerne immediately attacked deep into the visitors’ territory, but threw a loose pass which was intercepted by Aaron Vaughan, who from inside his own 22 won the foot race to score under the posts.  He then converted his own try. 

Colerne were to have the last word though.  With Westbury picking up another yellow card just as the first one had run out and again using their numerical advantage they managed to touch down for their 3rd try, which was converted.  

Westbury ran out winners with the score at 48 – 22, so a bonus point win, but they will want to forget the last 20 minutes where the game plan went slightly wrong. 

Next week Westbury will face their biggest game in the club’s history when they welcome Gloucester side Old Cryptians in the South West Divisional Final, to then hopefully progress to the semi-final of the national competition on the 11th April. 

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