SIDMOUTH 1st XV  20  v  TIVERTON 1st XV  0


The Chiefs produced one of their most complete performances of the season to defeat old rivals Tiverton and reach the mid-point of the league campaign just above halfway in seventh position.


With the forwards providing a good supply of possession, the Sidmouth backs ran and handled well in damp, slippery conditions to provide a constant threat to the opposition and entertainment for the supporters.


The Chiefs have been notoriously slow starters but on this occasion they caught Tiverton cold to take the lead in the sixth minute.


Straight from the kick off, they had Tiverton under pressure. When they won a lineout just outside the 22, the pack drove forward before releasing Gavin Pearson on a powerful run, which was carried on by Josh Bess to within 10 metres of the line. The ball was quickly recycled from a ruck and passed swiftly along the backline to James Powell, who exploited a gap in the defence to dart over for an unconverted try.


The score was almost cancelled out immediately following the restart kick, when the Chiefs tried to run out of their own 22 only for the ball to be intercepted. It took a fine tackle by Sam Meadham to keep the line intact.


Tiverton maintained the attacking position and the Chiefs were fortunate to see a penalty attempt drift wide of the posts.


Every time the Chiefs broke out of their own half, they were promptly pegged back by Tiverton’s effective kicking game. And, when Ben Halford was sent to the sin bin midway through the half, the Sidmouth defensive organisation and resolve was thoroughly tested. They came through the ten minutes without conceding any points.


As soon as they were restored to a full 15, Cameron Grainger latched onto a loose ball from a Tiverton lineout on his own 22 and found Gavin Pearson in support. The flanker enmbarked on a 50 metre run into the opposing 22, where his side were awarded a penalty. Dan Retter kicked the three points.


The Chiefs finished the half strongly and increased their lead when Dan Retter launched a diagonal kick to the left inside the Tiverton 22. The defending winger misjudged the catch and James Powell gratefully pounced on the ball to run in unopposed for his second try. Dan Retter converted from wide out to make the halftime score 15-0.


Ten minutes into the second half, Sam Meadham increased the lead with a fine opportunist try. He chased up a box kick and charged down the attempted clearance kick. The ball bounced perfectly for him to gather and race in at the corner. The try was unconverted.


From then on, the game was confined mainly to the Tiverton half but the Chiefs could not get the elusive bonus point fourth try. They turned down a number of penalty kicks at goal in the attempt, but could not break down a determined defence.