SIDMOUTH 1st XV 32pts v PENRYN 1st XV 22pts

The Chiefs erased the memory of the disappointing performance at Paignton the previous week with this six try win against newly promoted Penryn. It was a victory founded on a dominant scrum and a defence that was rock solid, at least until the closing minutes, when the spirited visitors gained some reward for their enterprise.

Playing in conditions more suited to cricket, the Chiefs took an early lead with a splendid length of the field move. Starting from a scrum on their own 22, the ball was moved to Chris Higgs on the right wing. He made ground into the opposing half before the ball was switched to the left. A strong burst up the middle by Sam Sowden drew in defenders before more good handling put Sam Meadham in at the left corner.

Any thoughts of an easy win were gradually dispelled as the Chiefs were pinned inside their own half for most of the next 20 minutes by the well organised Cornishmen. However, the visitors could not find a way through, or around, the speedier Sidmouth backs.

Eventually a penalty gave Dan Retter the opportunity to kick his side into an attacking position. From the resulting lineout the pack drove a maul over the line where Sam Richardson got the touchdown. From the restart kick the Chiefs launched a handling move going left. After a burst down the wing, Sam Meadham chipped ahead over the covering defenders and ran on to catch the ball and dive over for his second try.

Penryn were eventually rewarded for their territorial advantage with a well struck penalty by their fly half. The score remained 15-3 at half time.

A couple of minutes after the restart prop Liam O’Connor was replaced by hooker Alex Spurdle. Despite the complete reorganisation of the front row, the Penryn scrum gained no respite from a torrid afternoon in the sun. In fact a scrum against the head led to the fourth try early in the half. Sam Richardson and Sam Meadham combined in a move down the left before the ball was switch right where Tom Seward found a gap in the defence to dart over. Seward also scored try number five when he followed up a Dan Retter kick to gather and run in from the 10 metre line.

The superiority of the Sidmouth scrum was underlined once again when they scored a pushover try from a five metre scrum under the posts. Phil Spenser’s touchdown was soon followed by ironic cheers as Dan Retter kicked his only successful goal of the match.

The final 10 minutes was all Penryn as the Chiefs fitness wilted in the Indian Summer sun. The blindside flanker forced his way over following a move from a five metre scrum. The outside centre finished off a period of pressure inside the Sidmouth 22. Then, deep into injury time, the number seven followed up a high kick to score under the posts. Two of the tries were converted.