Chiefs end season in defeat to Thornbury

SIDMOUTH 1st XV  15pts   v   THORNBURY 1st XV  27pts


A three-try burst just after half time proved decisive for visitors Thornbury in the Chiefs final game of a long hard season.


With nothing at stake, both sides were intent on playing fifteen-man rugby to produce a very entertaining game. The Chiefs enjoyed long periods in attack but, unlike their opponents, had difficulty in turning pressure into points.


Sidmouth kicked off into a strong diagonal wind and quickly regained possession to set up five minutes of continuous pressure inside the Thornbury 22. Although Andrew Dare and Dan Colson got within inches of the line, they eventually had to be content with a Dan Retter penalty as reward for their efforts.


Within a few minutes Thornbury took a lead they would not relinquish, when they turned over possession at a ruck just inside the Sidmouth 22 and a slick handling move was finished off by the outside centre. The try was unconverted.


In the middle of the half, the Chiefs were denied by the bounce of the ball at the end of a spectacular piece of play, which started when a clearance kick was blown back from the touchline by the strong wind. Dan Colson followed up to catch the ball and start a handling move involving several players. As the cover closed in Dan Retter chipped ahead. With two Sidmouth players closing on the ball, it bounced away from them and towards to the one available defender, who cleared the danger.   


Thornbury increased their lead, when they stole the ball at a Sidmouth lineout and the full back joined the line to race in for a try converted by the fly half.


Another handling move set up Steve Trim for a sprint into the opposing 22 to put the Chiefs on the attack. Minutes later Trim was in the action again with a break from a quick tap penalty. Dan Rugg took the ball on to set up a ruck deep in the 22. When the ball emerged, Dan Retter launched a diagonal kick to George Locke on the left wing. He caught the ball on the full and left the full back in his wake to touch down in the corner.


The Chiefs finished the half with a fine move out of defence with Tristan Beavis and Jevon Astley-Jones combining to send Dan Colson on a run down the right to put his side on the attack for the final minutes.


The visitors started the second half as the Chiefs had the first, but with considerably more success. Five minutes of continual pressure ended with the hooker crossing in the right corner from a quick tap penalty move. They were soon back on the attack and the number eight drove over from the base of a five metre scrum. And, from the restart kick, they launched a handling move finished off by the full back for his second try.


The Chiefs regained their concentration to dominate much off the remainder of the game. They came close to scoring on a number of occasions, with Tony Martin crossing the line but unable to ground the ball. Eventually, with a few minutes remaining, Tristan Beavis ran on to a short pass to cut through under the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion to complete the scoring.    




Hornets defeat Chiefs to secure league title

HORNETS 1st XV  90pts  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  10pts


As expected, Hornets secured the league championship, and automatic promotion, with this convincing win over depleted Sidmouth Chiefs. For their part, the Chiefs once again showed commendable spirit against a big and very good side, making them work hard for all their points.


For the first half hour this was a genuine contest thanks to a splendid solo try from Charlie Cotton and some excellent defensive work, which forced the home side into a series of errors. However, once the powerful Hornets pack took control to dominate possession, there was only ever going to be one outcome.


Hornets kicked off in good conditions and, when the Chiefs failed to secure the ball, were quickly on the attack. They kept the ball through several phases until an overlap was created for the number six to score in the right corner. They soon added a second from a lineout catch-and-drive routine. Neither was converted.


When Hornets dropped the ball just inside the Sidmouth 22, Charlie Cotton snapped up the loose ball and jinked through two players before setting off up field. The Colts wingman then unceremoniously handed off the full back before touching down under the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion.


Cotton was in the action again minutes later on the end of a good handling move. As the cover closed in, he kicked ahead but was beaten in the chase.


Hornets scored a third try, when the full back joined the line at pace to cut through to touch down under the posts, leaving a simple conversion.


The Chiefs replied with forwards and backs combining well in a strong attacking move. The reward was a Dan Retter penalty to keep them in touch.


When the Hornets pack rumbled over from another lineout maul to secure the bonus point try, the floodgates opened and tries followed at regular intervals.


Despite the avalanche of points, the Chiefs continued to contribute. Sidmouth man-of-the-match Gavin Pearson salvaged much possession at the base of a retreating scrum to gain a lot of valuable yards. Dan Rugg covered every blade of grass as usual, while Tim Phillips, normally a hooker, made up a hard-working back row. Harry Chesterton, in the unaccustomed position of full back, looked dangerous every time he joined the line, and George Locke made some promising breaks in the centre. Neil Barratt hooked well in a retreating scrum and showed up well around the field.






Depleted Chiefs battle well at Cleve

CLEVE 1ST XV  49pts  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  16pts


For 70 minutes this game was very much in the balance, with the Chiefs contributing to very entertaining game. However, in the closing stages the importance of replacements and the interchange regulation was crucial to the outcome and the margin of victory. Where the Sidmouth had only one replacement available, Cleve had the full three allowed. All came on to make a significant impact, while the ability to interchange the front row players kept them fresh against tiring opponents.


The Chiefs kicked off into the breeze but Cleve showed why they are promotion contenders, as forwards and backs combined well to take play into the Sidmouth 22. The Chiefs did well to keep their line intact, but conceded a penalty, which was kicked by the home scrum half.


Dan Retter levelled the scores after Dan Rugg had burst forward from a lineout maul and James Salter had carried the ball on into the 22.


The Sidmouth backs showed their potential with a slick handling move out of their 22 before Jevon Astley-Jones kicked deep into Cleve territory. But Cleve were soon back on the attack and were awarded a penalty try when a driving maul was collapsed near the line. The scrum half added the conversion.


A fine outside break by George Locke saw him embark on a 40 metre run before linking with Giles Dixon, unfortunately he could not find support as the cover defence closed in. However, the Chiefs finished the half strongly and were rewarded with a second Dan Retter penalty to make the half time score 6-10.


Two minutes after the restart, Cleve extended their lead with a fine piece of continuity, which left their backs running at forwards and the outside centre had the pace to outflank them.


Dan Retter kicked third penalty before Cleve pulled away again when their forwards drove over from a lineout catch-and-drive for a converted try.


Midway through the half, James Dyer kept his side in contention with an interception try from near his own 22. Dan Retter kicked the conversion.


Cleve added a penalty before a crucial change of fortunes in the 70th minute. A break by Giles Dixon sparked a superb move, which took play to the left then right through several phases. They created an overlap on the right. The Cleve winger, faced with three attackers, gambled on an interception. The gamble paid off and he ran in under the posts to give a simple conversion.


With the Cleve replacements paying dividends against the tiring Sidmouth pack, they scored a pushover try. And two tries in injury time further exaggerated the difference between the two sides.


Chiefs lose to Clevedon

SIDMOUTH 1st XV  23pts  v  CLEVEDON 1st XV  42pts


Forward power was once again the decisive factor as Clevedon got the result which removed the final threat of relegation. For their part, the Chiefs showed their fighting spirit with a strong finish and two well-constructed tries.


Despite struggling in the scrums, the Chiefs featured well in the first quarter and deservedly led thanks to three Dan Retter penalties. The backs showed their potential with two slick handling moves to give wingers Jevon Astley-Jones and Jeremy Massey-Birch a run up the touchlines. Between this action Clevedon scored a try, which the Chiefs would rather forget. A poor kick and weak tackling gifted a try to the scrum half, which was converted.


Clevedon regained the lead when a good bit of continuity stretched the Sidmouth defence to create an overlap for the right winger to score in the corner. The successful conversion was soon followed by a penalty.


Clevedon continued to press and both Sidmouth wingers made try-saving tackles, while man-of-the-match Dan Rugg made a vital steal on his goal line. The score remained 9-17 at the break.


The Chiefs started the second half brightly, but a penalty clearance kick pushed them back into their own half. The Clevedon pack took control for the remainder of the third quarter. They powered over for three close range tries in quick succession. The number five drove over from a ruck near the line and two were scored by the number six supporting breaks by the number eight from scrums inside the 22. One was converted.


When the Chiefs used a penalty to kick for the corner, James Salter secured possession from the resulting lineout and the forwards set up a driving maul. Dan Rugg peeled off to gain a few more yards before the ball was released to the backs. Tristan Beavis ran a superb angle onto Dan Retter’s pass to break through and score near the posts. Retter added the conversion.


Cleve were soon back on the attack and the number six completed his hat trick after a series of pick and drives had taken play to the line. A few minutes later, they added a penalty.


The Chiefs finished strongly. Two breaks by Giles Dixon took him close to scoring on each occasion before an inside pass from Dan Retter wrong footed the defence and George Locke cut through to touch down. Dan Retter’s conversion was followed by the final whistle.



Chiefs crash out of Devon Cup

            IVYBRIDGE 1st XV  49pts  v  SIDMOUTH 1st XV  0pts


A weaken Chiefs team, with four late withdrawls, crashed out of the Devon Intermediate Cup at Cross-in-Hand against in-form Ivybridge.


Although in different leagues, only one place separates the two clubs. However, Ivybridge are at the top winning games and brimming with confidence, while the Chiefs are struggling and destined to change places with their rivals at the end of the season.


The Chiefs started confidently but the home side took an early lead with a penalty. The Chiefs again went on the attack but, when Ivybridge turned over possession in their own 22, a fine handling move sent their speedy left winger on a 50 metre run for the first try.


From the restart kick, Johnny Youngman was yellow carded and Ivybridge added four tries in his ten minute absence. All were the result of confident, slick back play. And by the half hour mark another two had been added in similar fashion.


It seemed that another Camborne style rout was in the making. However, the Chiefs showed great resolve in defence to prevent any further scores before half time.


The twenty minutes after the break were spent in Ivybridge territory as the home side lost some of their discipline and the Chiefs showed great determination. The pack made good ground through the driving maul and kept possession well through the phases. Andrew Dare, Christian Goddard and Cameron Grainger all came close to breaking clear, but the reward of a try did not come.


Ivybridge, with their scrum gaining superiority, finished strongly and scored two late tries, both from successful kick chases.