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Under-strength Pats beaten but not disgraced in Weston

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

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OLD Patesians were well beaten but far from humiliated in a scrappy encounter against table-toppers Weston-super-Mare in National League Three South West.

Pats' selectors had made the conscious and deliberate decision to rest a number of their key players for this tough fixture.

Those that stepped into the breach performed adequately, but their hosts were just too strong, particularly in the forwards division.

The referee ruled that the Recreation Ground was unfit for play, so the match was transferred to a reserve pitch on a nearby public park.

Pats started well with full-back Danny Davies safe under the high ball, using his pace and muscle to drive deep into the Weston half.

Unfortunately for Pats, the ball was spilled in contact and with only two minutes on the clock Weston right wing Harry Jones raced the length of the park for a try between the posts, converted by fly-half James Mackay.

A few minutes later Mackay benefitted from the complete dominance of his forwards in securing and maintaining possession to glide through a gaping hole in the Pats defence for another try near the posts which he duly converted.

Pats' scrum was a shambles with hooker Chris Dean, the stand-in skipper, being shunted backwards and upwards before he could strike on his own feed, of suffering the wheel being forced by the Weston front five tight unit to win turnover ball.

The game was more or less lost for the Pats in the first quarter when left wing Paul Sprague showed the defence a clean pair of heels for the third try in a row between the uprights, converted again without fuss by the reliable boot of Mackay.

Pats' only quick, clean possession came from the lineout where back-rowers Josh Stevens and Paul Scott performed admirably under pressure to give scrum-half Matt Mudway half a chance to give his three-quarters a feel of the ball.

Weston were cock-a-hoop with the glut of possession and despite the Pats' valiant defence could have scored almost at will, but they spurned the basics.

Their half backs were far too elaborate with an array of dummies, miss-moves and feints to such an extent that they confused each other and their back line, and unforced errors were the order of the day.

Pats failed to take any advantage of the mistakes and quite simply were starved of any quality possession.

Weston closed the half with a try for number eight Ash Russell, converted by Mackay, and led 28-0 at half-time.

The second half was a stop-start affair littered with penalties and injuries, but Weston continued to rule territorially and dominated possession.

On the few occasions the Pats went forward they looked quite sharp, with centres Lee Taylor, James Butler and winger Callum Kerr making good breaks, but they were always cut down when they got a sniff of the goal line.

Weston trotted over the winning line with two more tries through prop Phil Hobbs and full-back Chris Young, and Mackay added a conversion before he was carded for a high tackle.

Just before the final whistle Pats lost Stevens when he was yellow-carded for dragging down a maul, followed by a red card for something he muttered to himself at his sheer frustration in letting his team-mates down.

Weston-super-Mare: C Young, H Jones, S Smee, S Edwards (L Blizzard 50), P Sprague, J Mackay, R Bennett, D Swann (S Donegan 40), D Burge, P Hobbs, H Somers, A Glen, S Eaton, P Morrissey, A Russell. Unused replacement: K Hobbs.

Old Patesians: D Davies, C Kerr, L Taylor, J Butler (B Tupper 61), D Burrows, G Hughes, M Mudway, C Thompson, C Dean, R White, G Evans, S Trust, J Stevens, P Scott (D Redbourne 60), L Hughes (J King 65).

Referee: J Leahy (Yorkshire Society)

Man of the match: Weston fly-half James Mackay

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