Clevedon fall away in the Somerset Cup final

PUBLISHED: 14:19 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:20 19 April 2017

Owen Biggins.

Owen Biggins.

Archant

Clevedon came runners-up in the Somerset Cup final after defeat to Weston on the new artificial surface at Hornets.

The Somerset Cup final was played in front of a large crowd on Hornets’ new artificial surface between Weston and Clevedon, who finished first and second respectively in the league, so this was always going to be a lively affair.

The game started a furious pace with both sides keen to gain the early momentum and it looked like Clevedon would take an early lead when Kieran Hill broke into the Weston half and offloaded to the Clevedon pack, who quickly recycled the ball only for Weston to concede a penalty which Hill converted.

From the restart, Weston broke back and tested the Clevedon defence, earning a penalty of their own to level the scores. The game continued in this back and forth manner with the two fly-halves both kicking penalties to leave the scores level at 6-6 after 20 minutes.

The first scrum of the game came just after 20 minutes and Weston showed their superior weight and power in the set piece earning a penalty, from which they drove on to score the first try of the game through their forwards, for 13-6.

Back came Clevedon, who may have struggled in the tight, but were superior in the loose. The Weston defence again conceded a penalty, which Hill slotted for 13-9. Hill struck again with another penalty to close the score to 13-12 at the break.

The second half continued to be a tight affair with both sides battling hard, Clevedon could have moved ahead when a slick handling move by the Clevedon backs cut through the Weston defence, only for the final ball to be dropped with the line at their mercy.

It was Weston who increased their lead with another penalty for 16-12. Clevedon upped the ante, with the forwards recycling and some superb driving play was rewarded with a try by Brian Largenton, Hill converted for a 19-16 lead.

Again Weston came back and pressured the Clevedon defence and squared the match with a another penalty for 19-19. In the 68th minute, the game was ended as a contest, after a sin binning of a Clevedon prop at scrum time.

Weston opted for another scrum which went absolutely nowhere, but it did not matter because, to everyone’s amazement, the referee decided to award a penalty try.

Shortly afterwards Clevedon were down to 13 men when a Clevedon player asked the referee if they could bring on a replacement for an injured player, this seemed to upset the referee who brandished another yellow. Weston quickly took advantage of their numerical supremacy and scored another try to finish the game.

Head coach Nick Hill said: “We are absolutely gutted, you need an element of luck in tight games and we did not get any, taking nothing away from Weston, whose set piece and defence were very good, but we definitely had the upper hand in the loose and looked threatening all game, at least until the 68th minute when the occasion seemed to get to the referee.

The journey is not over yet with one more league game and the play-off final in two weeks, we will be prepared.”

On Saturday, Clevedon are home to Okehampton (3pm). There will be a sponsor’s day, vice-presidents and life members event starting at 1pm.

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