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Weymouth battle on against the odds
WEYMOUTH 14 WIMBORNE 53
WEYMOUTH head coach Paul Harding applauded his team’s battling qualities after injuries and a yellow card saw them reduced to 12 men for a period in the second half of this encounter.
Prop Tim Comben (ankle), back row Sam Morris (back) and Mike Robinson (knee) all had to leave the field in the first period and by the time Ryan Lewendon (head) and Steve Nation-Grainger (dislocated shoulder) departed within 10 minutes of the restart Weymouth had already used up their replacements.
That left them two players short against one of the top sides in Southern Counties South and their task was made even tougher with 25 minutes to go when Max Vallance was sin-binned.
Weymouth had only trailed 24-14 at the break but with such a depleted team it was inevitable that Wimborne would romp to a comfortable victory.
However, Harding, although aware that his men made too many costly mistakes, commended them for never throwing in the towel.
“We made some errors for their tries but we also played some really good stuff,” he said. “I was really happy with the overall standard of our performance.
“It was an uncompromising game with some huge hits going in and from an injury point of view it was horrendous for us. “It was like a battle field out there with players sprawled all over the pitch.
“But full credit to the lads who played on, they were outstanding even though in the second half it was damage limitation.
“You can’t win games when you’ve only got 13 men and you’re already playing a good side anyway.
“I thought the attitude of our boys was first class and they worked their socks off. I can have no complaints. As a coach, I was massively impressed with them and they demonstrated great team spirit, effort and commitment.”
Fly-half Nick Sheppard had given Weymouth the lead as he converted his own try and despite conceding three themselves, the hosts battled back with Vallance crashing over to make it a 10-point game at the interval.
But when Lewendon clashed heads with the Wimborne full-back and Nation-Grainger was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder it all opened up for the visitors to run in try after try.
As for the walking wounded, Harding can’t see Nation-Grainger playing again this season and the others at least have a free weekend to recover for a trip to Corsham on March 23.
Elsewhere, Weymouth Seconds lost 18-13 to Ellingham & Ringwood Seconds in Dorset & Wilts Two South.
* Dorchester’s game at Super-marine in Southern Counties South was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.