Barnstaple 2nds v Sidmouth 2nds

Barnstaple 2nd 27   Sidmouth 2nd 7  


For the first time in several seasons Sidmouth Quins travelled to North Devon for their fixture with table topping Barnstaple. The assembled team, all of whom deserve credit for turning out for the 126 mile round trip, comprised 11 backs out of a squad of 17 and could have been forgiven for anticipating another hard day at the office. The lack of recognised forwards meant the Quins hoped for an open, running encounter, which fitted in with Barnstaple’s style of play.  As has often been the case this season Barnstaple’s larger pack allowed them to dominate possession from the set piece but their efforts were thwarted by a determined, well organised Sidmouth defence. It took the home team a full 20 minutes before their constant pressure brought results by working an overlap for a score in the corner, which was followed shortly after when their forwards drove over for a second unconverted try, but that was all they managed in the first half.  

Sidmouth, 10 points down but with the advantage of the breeze at their backs, started the second half well, Rory O’Brien and Charlie Cotton both converted into backrow forwards for the day, linked up with Ryan Davies to forge a potent partnership in both defence and attack. The front 5 also worked well as a unit, winning enough scrum and lineout ball to give Jay Wright and Cam Grainger opportunity to get the backline moving, though mainly from deep positions.

Sidmouth scored first after the break, a dropped ball on half way was gathered by Matt Ewings who made good ground then linked with Rory O’Brien who, with much to do, wentover under the posts with Cam Grainger added the extras. The 10 – 7 scoreline stirred Barnstaple but Sidmouth raised their game and began to play adventurous imaginative rugby and could taste the possibility of a famous victory. Unfortunately this was not to be, two Sidmouth yellow cards, both to players who otherwise would have been MOTM contenders, changed the balance allowing Barnstaple to score 3 late tries to make the game beyond recovery. Sidmouth, however made the long journey home with some satisfaction, playing 13 against 15 changed the result on the day but the attitude and resolve of all 17 players will live on  to fight another day. 

Next week Sidmouth entertain Crediton at the Blackmore with 2.30 Kick Off