Finsbury Park regain winning habit against Weston
PUBLISHED: 14:30 14 December 2016
Three unanswered tries in each half put Finsbury Park firmly back on track as they recovered from their first loss of the season with a 34-0 win at Weston.
The north Londoners had tasted defeat for the first time in 27 matches a week earlier, against Epping Upper Clapton – but there was to be no hangover as they dominated a team who had restricted them to one try in October.
It took 10 minutes for Finsbury to create and exploit a gap when number eight Evan Gwilliam exchanged passes with vice-captain Dan Brett, outpaced the covering Weston full-back and slid in under the posts.
Chris Burgess added the conversion and, with the Finsbury front three of Alastair Walters, Freddie Bromley and Alex Thomas holding their own, the visitors extended their lead 10 minutes later.
Fly-half Frazer Findlater sent a kick into the corner and, from the 5m lineout, Bromley threw long to Alex Whitehead, receiving the ball back from the initial drive and burrowing down for the score.
This time Burgess was unable to add the extras from the left and, for the next 20 minutes, Finsbury struggled to see a great deal of the ball – but at the same time they extinguished most of their opponents’ attacks.
And they stretched their lead to 17-0 with an unconverted try just before the interval, running a penalty and finding Sam Parkes, who feinted for the line but then passed back inside for Paul Baker to apply an easy finish.
There was no let-up in the second half as Finsbury Park exploited space on the right-hand side and quick handling in the backs enabled Morgan Carter-Tocny to beat two defenders and dot down, with Burgess adding the conversion.
Walters added his side’s fifth try virtually out of nothing, collecting the ball from a turnover on the halfway line and steaming past his opposite number to score with a spectacular 50m run.
Not to be outdone, Patrick Joyce – who had made a nuisance of himself with his tackling and rucking – scored Finsbury’s sixth try almost immediately, taking a deft pass from Gwilliam and racing across the line from 45m out.
With both sides clamping down their defences in the last 15 minutes, Finsbury saw the game out with no hint of slowing down as their pack won the last two against the head.
Mike Godfrey, who produced an excellent performance on the wing, was named coach’s man of the match, while newcomer Jack Collier shone as a substitute in the second row.
Finsbury Park: Walters, Bromley, Thomas, Brett, Whitehead, Joyce, Parkes, Gwilliam, Burgess, Findlater, Godfrey, Hart, Carter-Tocny, Sanchez-Tarre, Lyons. Replacements: Turner, Collier, Baker.