SIDMOUTH 1st XV  19  v  ST IVES 1st XV  12


The supporters, who braved the winter cold, and the ladies attending the Charity Lunch sponsored by Beauty Within, were treated to an entertaining game of rugby contested by two well-matched teams, both intent on playing open rugby.


The Chiefs, who did well to recover from the loss of two players to head injurys in the opening ten minutes, just deserved to win as they created more scoring opportunities and were perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a late bonus point score.


The forwards, who had suffered a torrid time at Bude the previous week, regained a solid platform to provide a good supply of possession, while Ollie Pyne at number eight, well supported by Tom Seward, Matt Farrington and Nick Mills, provided some go-forward in the loose.


Meanwhile, the backline dealt seemlessly with the early loss of Tom Whelan. Rory O’Brien’s distribution at fly half gave his outsiden backs plenty of opportunity and Giles Dixon provided thrust at inside centre to give the outside backs plenty of opportunity.


St Ives, clearly unaffected by the long journey, started strongly and took an early lead, when the outside centre ran through three would-be tacklers to score near the posts. The scrum half added the conversion.


Brushing off this early set back and injury disruption, the Chiefs created pressure at the other end to narrow the gap midway through the half with a neatly constructed try. The forwards provided the platform with a lineout catch-and-drive play to take play close to the St Ives line. Chris Higgs came from the blindside wing to take an inside pass to cut through a gap and touch down for an unconverted try.


A long period of St Ives pressure followed but the Chiefs defended very well until Ollie Pyne broke from a scrum inside his own 22. He found James Powell in support, who sprinted upfieled before kicking ahead. He caught the full back in possession, who conceeded a penalty for not releasing.


It was Sidmouth’s turn to apply pressure but an interception by the St Ives winger was followed by a long kick downfield. Rory O’Brien did well to get back and cover the immediate danger, but St Ives earned a five metre scrum. A well executed move by the backs created an opportunity for the left winger, who did well to beat the cover and score. The try was unconverted. The half time whistle soon followed with the score 5-12.


When St Ives hacked on a loose ball inside the Sidmouth half, Luke Bess did well to get back, fall on the ball near the line and get back to his feet long enough for the support arrive. St Ives remained on the attack but, when the ball was dropped, Tom Seward scooped it up and raced downfield. The full back made a fine try-saving tackle but the Chiefs were in an attacking position.


15 minutes into the half, the Chiefs scored an outstanding try. The ball was moved by backs and forward through several quick phases until they created the smallest of overlaps for Sam Meadham to dart over in the left corner. Rory O’Brien converted to level the scores.


Two minutes later, they took the lead when Ollie Pyne latched on to a loose St Ives pass inside his own half and sprinted downfield. As the cover closed in, he found Rory O’Brien in support to run in under the posts before adding the conversion.


A powerful break by Giles Dixon created an opportunity for James Powell. He crossed the line under a pile of players leaving the referee unsighted and unable to award a try.


The Chiefs played out the closing minutes safely inside the opposing half.