The Colts produced an outstanding performance to defeat Ivybridge and win a place in the final of the Devon Colts Cup for just the third time in the history of the competition.

In perfect conditions, a large crowd were treated to a game of high quality between two very skilful and committed teams. On the day Sidmouth won the tactical battle, but still needed to produce a titanic defensive effort to repel the visitors second half onslaught.

Ivybridge started the match strongly and deservedly took the lead with a penalty after five minutes. Sidmouth immediately showed their attacking intent, and potential, when they ran back a clearance kick following the restart kick. Charlie Cotton’s run up the left wing was only halted a few metres short of the line. However, he had put his side in an attacking position, which was rewarded by an equalising penalty kicked by Jay Wright. A few minutes later Wright kicked his side into the lead with a second penalty after an Ollie Blyth break had put pressure on the defence.

The lead was further increased by the first try of the game. A slick handling move following a scrum enabled James Dyer to join the line at pace and time his pass perfectly to send Charlie Cotton in at the corner. Ivybridge responded almost immediately when their hooker forced his way over at the end of some trademark forward driving.

In the closing minutes of the half Ivybridge paid dearly for trying to kick for position out of defence, rather than finding the safety of touch. Twice the ball was run back to produce tries.  James Bramley  finished off a superb piece of inter-passing up the left before Charlie Cotton touch down his second try after James Dyer had made the running. Both tries were unconverted leaving the score at 21-8.

Jay Wright increased the lead with a penalty two minutes after the restart. But that was the signal for Ivybridge to up their game and keep Sidmouth pinned inside their own half for much of the remainder of the game. The Ivybridge pack hammered away at the Sidmouth line but met a rock-solid defence. Christian Goddard tackled like a fourth backrow forward to compliment the excellent work of skipper Bramley, Gavin Pearson and Sam Carlisle.

When Bramley and Carlisle were forced off by injury, there was no let-up in the defensive effort. The intensity was typified by the front row. Tom Reed took a vital five metre scrum against the head. Then props Dan Rugg and Haydon Down brought off try-saving tackles in quick succession. The front row union will be glowing with pride.

The Sidmouth kickers did not make the same mistakes as their opponents. They found touch with their clearance kicks and, when they won two lineouts against the throw, they were at last able to ease the pressure and play out the final minutes for a well-deserved place in the final.

The final is against Okehampton at Okehampton on Sunday.