SIDMOUTH 1st XV  68  v  BUDE 1st XV  17


The Chiefs recorded their biggest win for 12 years, and their first league victory of the season, against Bude. The visitors were below stength but battled hard until the end, making the Chiefs work hard for every point.


The forwards continue to provide a good supply of possession from a solid platform in the the set pieces, which has been a problem area in recent seasons. The side made good use of it to run in ten tries.


The opening quarter showed every sign of providing a repeat of the previous week’s disappointing showing at Wadebridge. Poor handling saw two scoring opportunities go to waste, while giving Bude the opportunity to counter-attack. On both occasions the visitors took play from their own 22 to the Sidmouth line. Fortunately the defence scrambled back well to keep their line intact.


Good work by the forwards from a lineout maul ended with Aidan taylor crossing the line but he was penalised for a double movement and Bude cleared upfield. When the Chiefs were penalised at the resulting lineout, the ball was kicked to the corner. Ollie Pyne did well to steal the ball and stop the immediate danger. However, Bude kept play inside the Sidmouth half and were eventually rewarded with a penalty kicked by the fly half.


The Chiefs replied almost immediately, when they fielded a loose clearance kick. Rory O’Brien and James Powell combined to send Luke Wells-Burr sprinting up the left touchline. He outpaced the cover to score in the corner. Tom Whelan kicked the first of nine out of ten conversions.


When Bude dropped the ball near halfway, Gavin Pearson hacked it on and followed up to gather the rolling ball. Aidan Taylor was quickly in support to provide the link to send James Perry in for try number two.


The Chiefs gained in confidence and began to cut loose with some excellent handling and support play. The result was tries for James Powell, making a welcome return after injury, and Tom Whelan.


In first half injury time, Tom Seward scooped up a loose ball just outside the Bude 22 and sprinted in for a fifth try and a 35-3 halftime lead.


Given time to regroup, Bude started the second half strongly and, when the number eight broke from the base of a scrum, the fly half was in support and had too much pace for the Sidmouth defence. He converted his own try.


Bude were soon back on the attack and pressing near the Sidmouth line. The defence held firm and the Chiefs eventually broke out to score an outstanding try. Backs and forwards combined to take the ball through many phases before Brad Cooke drove over in the right corner.


Another try soon followed scored by Aidan Taylor after Haydon Down, Tom Seward and Sam Richardson had made good yardage. Then, straight from the restart kick, the ball was moved along the backline to Rory O’Brien overlapping on the left. He showed a good turn of speed to sprint in from halfway.


The Bude fly half capped a man-of-the-match performance with an interception try, which he also converted.


With the Bude players tiring, the Chiefs ran in two more tries on the closing minutes. Gavin Pearson finished off a move started inside the Sidmouth 22, and Rory O’Brien followed up a Johnny Hamill grubber kick to gather  and outpace the cover.