Plymouth Albion development XV 23 Weston-super-Mare 17
A NUMBER of players took their chance to impress as a Plymouth Albion development XV overcame South West One side Weston-super-Mare at Brickfields.
Albion’s director of rugby Graham Dawe had said first team squad places were up for grabs and he got the response he wanted out of his young players.
Apart from Andy Chesters, who is coming back from injury, and Chris Courtier, none of the rest of the 23 matchday squad have signed for Albion yet.
Chesters, Courtier and trialist fly-half Elliot Bale were the only senior players in the Plymouth team, which was largely made up of under-20s, but they led from the front.
It did take the home team a while to get used to the physicality Weston-super-Mare brought and to playing with each other for the first time.
But as they game went on the Albion side settled and showed plenty of encouraging signs, with all the back-row impressing, along with teenage second-rows Paul Hamber and Jim Massey, half-backs Bale and Dan Goldstone and full-back Jordan Shakespeare.
Bale gave Albion the lead in the fourth minute with a penalty, but Darren Crompton’s Weston-super-Mare went 12-3 up with tries by full-back Ross Bennett and hooker Ed Hunt.
But after that Plymouth had a really good spell. They were held up over the line in the 28th minute before scoring their first try just before the break when flanker Cameron Thompson went over from a drive.
Albion continued where they left off after the interval and Shakespeare scored a good try in the right corner after an earlier good off-load by Massey to make it 13-12.
And it got better for the home side when former Devonport Services lock Hamber showed good strength to reach out and score.
Weston-super-Mare did close the gap to 18-17 when replacement George Sparks scored but Plymouth made sure of the win when Plymouth University winger Ian Davidson went over out wide.
Albion XV: Jordan Shakespeare, Ian Davidson, Conrad Andrews, Ben Stean, Jordan Huie, Elliot Bale, Dan Goldstone, Ross Crang, Chris Farrell, Tom Brown, Jim Massey, Paul Hamber, Cameron Thompson, Andy Chesters (capt), Chris Courtier. Reps: Rory Briers, Curtis Reynolds, Jack Rouse, Jack Norris, Joah Nash, Mounga Molisi, Chris Swash.
Weston-super-Mare: Ross Bennett, Chris Young, Matt Burns, Harry Jones, Robbie Mackay, Glen Dickson, Hayden Tuttlett (capt), Sam Coles, Ed Hunt, Phil Hobbs, Andy Green, Brian Webb, Sean Eaton, Sam Fisher, Rich Bignall. Reps: Ollie Streeter, Rich Ford, Blaine Tottle, Ben Cox, Troy Hannam, George Crapmann, Huw Morgan.