Under 14's in Devon Cup 2nd Round

Sidmouth 14 Barnstaple 12

 There had been much speculation about this match and the general consensus had been that this was going to be a close one. We were right! Sidmouth were put under pressure immediately by Barnstaple and for ten minutes Sidmouth defended heroically. Eventually Sidmouth were able to clear their line and start to show what they could do in attack. From a four man lineout Syradd won the ball. Davies got it out to Dunn, who pop passed it to Wright. Wright’s angle and speed of run created chaos in the Barnstaple defence and he ran 40 metres to score under the posts. Moore converted. Confidence flooded through the team and Sidmouth started to play some quality rugby. Nic J-G intercepted a pass and almost burst through.

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Hughes and Pearce, supported superbly by Dix, made some probing runs and it was not long before Sidmouth were camped on Barnstaple’s line. Robinson tried to burrow over, but was driven back, but it was not long before quick ball was secured by Unsworth and Moore. Davies fired it to Down, who popped it to Counsell who powered over. He converted his own try, which, though he did not realise it at the time, were the winning 2 points. Never had a half been over so quick, but never had a second half seemed so long! It started brightly and Kennaugh, almost burst clear, but after this the tide turned. Barnstaple stepped up the intensity.

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Sidmouth gave away some penalties and the momentum completely switched. Barnstaple’s wing caught Sidmouth napping after one penalty and their scrum half scored from another. Only one was converted. The last 5 minutes were so tense, but Sidmouth showed great maturity and togetherness. Barnstaple were just unable to score. Bolton’s final  kick into touch meant Sidmouth had won. Relief (and pride) was the final consensus.

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 (Squad photo : (Back row)Bright, Smith, Chugg-White, Hughes, Hartley, Dunn, Kennaugh,  Counsell, Down, Dix, Wright,

Front row) Pearce, Johnson-Graves, Unsworth, Morgan, Davies, Moore (Captain),  Hankin, Bolton, Robinson, Syradd.