Geran try double before Meadows penalty see Cockles to superb win over Weston
PUBLISHED: 14:43 15 March 2020 | UPDATED: 22:40 15 March 2020
Exmouth recorded, arguably, one of their finest results of the season when they defeated third placed Weston-super-Mare 28-27 in a thrilling contest played out before a good turnout at the Imperial Ground.
The Somerset side pitched up looking to strengthen their bid for a top two finish while, for the Cockles, defeat would have left them continuing to 'look over their shoulders', but victory would give their efforts to avoid a bottom two finish a massive boost!
Weston started powerfully and took a fourth minute lead when Brad Talbot crossed for an early try and, with the conversion slotted by Archie Tilsey, some of the home faithful might have feared the worst!
Not so as the home defence then shut the foot on any hopes the visiting side had of further early scores, though they did slot a penalty in the 18th minute with Talbot again arrowing the ball between the uprights.
It was not all one-way in the first quarter of the game though and the Cockles played their part in some end-to-end-action, coming close to scoring themselves on a number of occasions, but were thwarted each time by control of the ball being lost late in the play!
On 24 minutes, a George Meadows penalty saw the Cockles finally get their first points on the board and, boosted by the score, the Cockles again went in search of a try and this time there was no mistake as the industrious - and adventurous - forwards laid the platform for quick ball delivered by James Bath, that went along the back line where it arrived in the arms of Lewis Geran and he crossed the whitewash for a try that was converted by Meadows to level the scores up at 10-10.
In a see-saw contest, back came Weston with a try from Talbot to lead 15-10 before another successful Meadows penalty closed the gap to pone of two points and the Cockles trooped off at the break trailing 15-13.
A boisterous crowd, perhaps boosted by the lack of TV sport, were clearly right behind the Cockles who made a bright start to the second half and, eight minutes in, it was the home faithful warming their hands to acknowledge their side taking the lead for the first time on the afternoon after some fine skill from Henry Goldson who went over out wide and a slick conversion from Meadows saw the score board click over to one showing a Cockles lead of 20-15.
Weston once again hit back and the scores were levelled once more after a try from Sam Rees.
However, the Cockles were soon back on the front foot and Geran got through the visiting back line to cross for his second try and, although the conversion effort cannoned back into play off the upright, the Cockles still sported a 25-20 lead.
With 15 minutes left the lead changed hands once again with Weston seizing the initiative after a momentary lapse from the Cockles defence that saw Rees gallop through the middle and
run in under the posts leaving Tilsey with a straight forward conversion and the Somerset side led 27-25.
Both sides threw their all into the final 10 minutes and, when a penalty opportunity was presented to Meadows, he stepped up and drilled the ball between the posts to see the Cockles edge back in front at 28-27.
Exmouth fronted up and threw everything at Weston and they did the same. The forward pack deserved the plaudits, as a collective they made life difficult for the visitors. The backs delivered pace and lovely running lines to keep the Weston defence guessing. The Cockles did miss a few
scoring opportunities, could have grabbed the all-important try bonus but what was ultimately a priceless four-point win was richly deserved.
Next up, the Cockles are scheduled this coming Saturday (March 21) to head for Gloucestershire and a meeting with Drybrook.
However, the game going ahead is dependent on the on-going corona virus situation and supporters hoping to follow the Cockles up the M5 on Saturday are asked to keep an eye on the clubs social media accounts and website which will carry any updated news regarding the fixture.
Exmouth Nomads were in action when they stepped in to take on Sutton and Epsom RFC in Exeter when their home game was postponed. Nomads ran out big winners but both teams agreed that the meeting was a good workout for both sides.