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Agony for Sheppard as Weymouth fall
Weymouth 20 Frome 22
WEYMOUTH came agonisingly close to snatching a dramatic draw only for Nick Sheppard’s last-ditch touchline conversion to go inches wide of the posts.
The hosts still came away with a losing bonus point but having led 15-0 at one stage in the first half coach Paul Harding was disappointed his men couldn’t hold on.
The win saw Frome swap places with Weymouth in the Southern Counties South table to move to seventh while victory also gave them a league double over their rivals.
“It was a little bit disappointing,” said Harding. “We had a tough few days before the game with losing players so it was always going to be a difficult test for us.
“We lost a whole back row and our full back on top of those missing anyway so it was a much-changed side that we put out.
“But it was also good to give other players some experience of playing at that level and we could have won it. We were 15-0 up after 20 minutes and really played well but lost our way in the second half.
“We didn’t look after the ball well enough and stopped doing the things that were working well for us.
“Nick had a chance to get a draw with the last kick and in fairness that would have been a fair result for the effort we put in.”
It was rough luck on the fly-half who had opened the scoring with a great solo try, which he also converted.
Weymouth’s second score was equally as good with wing Will Quick rounding his opposite number then standing up the Frome full back before leaving him standing with his electric pace.
A Sheppard penalty made it 15-0 and everything was going the way of the hosts. But when Weymouth slackened off slightly Frome took advantage and a converted try and penalty reduced the arrears to 15-7 by half-time.
Another Frome penalty with 15 minutes left drew the sides level and what turned out to be the match-winning score came from a Weymouth scrum deep in opposition territory.
Somehow the ball bobbled out and into the hands of a Frome player who gleefully ran 60 metres from his own half for a try that was also converted.
Undeterred, scrum-half Lewis Allan pounced for Weymouth’s third try in the corner but Sheppard’s conversion from wide out narrowly missed the target.
Captain Julian Quick, flanker Tom Smethurst and prop Max Vallance shone for Weymouth who travel to Oakmeadians next.