Barnstaple collapse to defeat in second half against Weston-super-Mare
BARNSTAPLE saw a half-time lead wiped out for the second week running as they were beaten by Weston-super-Mare in National Three south west.
After last week's single-point defeat at Avonmouth Old Boys, it was a far greater margin this afternoon.
James Mackay, the Weston fly half, kicked four penalties and converted a late try by Dave Burge as the visitors turned a 13-12 half-time deficit into a 31-13 victory.
Barnstaple had been boosted by the unexpected availability of Ben Vellacott at scrum half after Exeter Chiefs' Academy League match was postponed.
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And the blow of losing lock Kele Taofinu'u to injury in the warm-up was softened by the return of Tom Skelding after illness.
Barnstaple made a flying start as centre Linford Brock sprinted down the right wing from his own half to score after just 45 seconds.
Weston wing Harry Jones weaved through the middle for his side's first try in the tenth minute and Mackay converted to put them ahead.
Barnstaple came back strongly, though, and after Weston's Paul Morrissey and George Sparks were sin-binned within a minute of each other, they regained the lead with Sam Roberts, the hooker, scoring from a 29th-minute catch and drive.
When David Swann was yellow-carded in the 34th minute, Weston were down to 12 men but Barnstaple could not take advantage.
Morrissey and Sparks had returned to the Weston back row by the time Jones overlapped on the right to score in the second minute of injury time to make it 12-10.
But Barnstaple led at the break when Weston were penalised for offside and Will Topps landed the kick.
As the penalty count mounted against the home side in the second half, Mackay kicked three-pointers in the 48th, 53rd, 62nd and 67th minutes.
Then any hope Barnstaple had of even a losing bonus point was dashed as Burge, the hooker, charged over.
The match finished in near darkness and it was one of only two games in the division to go ahead. Brixham beat Avonmouth 27-8 in the other.
It was a fifth successive win for Weston, who moved up to second in the table. Barnstaple remain in eighth place.