Sidmouth Chiefs v Thornbury

THORNBURY 16 SIDMOUTH 16

This match was preceded by a minute's silence to remember the life and service of "Tug" Wilson, Sidmouth's director of rugby, whose untimely death a few days ago saddened all who knew him. 

Subsequently the game started with the visitors in the ascendancy, turning over the initial Thornbury lineout and sending the ball wide to take play deep into home territory. 

As the game settled down it became apparent that, while the home eight held an edge in the tight, their opponents were winning the breakdowns. 

The first score came before the game was 15 minutes old and it went to Thornbury when Sidmouth were adjudged to have collapsed a maul close to their own line. The penalty kick was accurate and the home side led 3-0. 

The game continued with the home side holding an edge up front but having to keep a watchful eye on the Sidmouth back division. 

They did double their lead however by kicking a second penalty around the end of the first quarter. 

The game continued to be competitive and, some five minutes before the break, a successful Whelan penalty kick reduced the arrears. 

Better was to come before the break for, after winning a lineout, Sidmouth sent the ball along their back division and Meadham made a telling incursion into the line and touched down by the posts. 

Whelan's conversion kick bisected the poles, and he kicked another penalty goal before the break to give his side a half time lead of 13-6.

Sidmouth certainly started the better in the second half, with centre Goss being held up over the home line. 

They continued to impose pressure subsequently but eventually conceded a penalty and Thornbury kicked clear. 

In fact the home side drew level a few minutes later after they had found the narrow side inadequately defended at a scrum on halfway. 

The try was converted and with the score standing at 13-13, it was still anyone's game. Thornbury certainly won the territorial battle throughout the third quarter but could not score, and it was Sidmouth who edged ahead when, rather against the run of play, Whelan kicked his third penalty goal of the game. 

From the restart however, Sidmouth were penalised for holding on in front of their own posts and the successful place kick was the final score of the game. 

In fact it was the visitors who ended the game the stronger, forcing Thornbury into desperate defence. 

The score line remained unaltered and, in the end both sides would probably have felt that half a loaf would be better than having no bread in the pantry.

Keith Jenkin says:- 'While my contact with "Tug" was in respect of rugby matters only, I had great respect for him and certainly recognised the contribution he had made and in fact, continued to make to Sidmouth rugby, until his untimely death. His passing leaves a gap the filling of which will prove to be very difficult.'