CULLOMPTON 1st XV  18  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  33


The Chiefs bounced back in style with this bonus point win to claim local bragging rights against East Devon rivals Cullompton.


Sidmouth kicked off in perfect conditions at Stafford Park and took an early lead when Luke Wells-Burr did well to keep an attempted touch finder in play. He passed infield to Sam Cavin supporting from full back and his long pass found Zac Bess. The left winger beat three defenders on his way to the line. Dan Retter added the conversion.


Cullompton showed their ability to keep possession through the phases to create pressure in the Sidmouth half and their persistence was rewarded with a penalty struck by the number 12.


In the middle of the half, the Chiefs extended their lead with a well-worked try from a scrum midway along the 22 metres line. The impressive Ollie May broke from number eight to cross the gain line and found Paul Richardson in support. Once again Sam Cavin was on hand to provide the link to send Zac Bess in for his second try, which was unconverted.


The home side hit back almost immediately when the inside centre burst through a couple of tackles and found the number seven in support to finish the move off. The try was unconverted.


On the half hour, the Chiefs scored the try of the match, when Cullompton overthrew at a lineout deep inside the Sidmouth 22. Stuart Bickerstaff latched on to the loose ball and linked with his backs. Good handling sent James Powell on a run into Cullompton territory. He found plenty of support and the move was finished off by Luke Wells-Burr. Dan Retter kicked the conversion.


Cullompton finished the half strongly and a second penalty by the number 12 made the half time score 19-11.


Five minutes into the second half the Chiefs notched up the bonus point fourth try. A series of forward drives near the line stretched the defence but there was still much to do when the ball was released to the backs. Accurate handling , and a pass under pressure out of the top drawer from Rory O’Brien, put Zac Bess in at the corner for his hattrick. Dan Retter converted from wide out.


The Chiefs opened up a winning margin when Paul Richardson took a quick tap penalty in front of the Cullompton posts and more slick passing by the backs was finished off by Luke Wells-Burr. Retter again converted from the touchline.


When the Chiefs failed to control the ball in a scrum, the Cullompton flanker launched an attack, which took play into the Sidmouth 22. The Chiefs were forced to desperately defend their line. They did so successfully until a knock on gave them an opportunity to clear upfield.


Cullompton finished the game strongly and were rewarded with a late try when a forward forced his way over following a quick tap penalty. The try was converted before the Chiefs played out the remainder of the game without incident.