Thursday, October 10, 2013
Sidmouth Under-12s began the new season with an appearance at Land Rover Trophy hosted at Exeter Saracens, writes Craig Moran.
When Finlay Morgan got a sniff of the line his ever-reliable pack of forwards shoved him in-elegantly over the white wash for the first try of the day.
Shortly afterwards the Topsham pack exerted some uncompromising pressure which resulted in tears flowing and a try being conceded.
Net result – bruised egos, but an honourable 1-1 draw.
Game two was against a talented Teignmouth side that claimed the County title two seasons before.
Sidmouth made a superb start and the impressive Will Kennaugh tore through the Teign defence. This clearly shocked the opposition and the Sidmouth pack were in no mood to release their strangle hold on proceedings and so the game finished in a handsome 1-0 victory.
The final Pool game presented Exeter Chiefs as the opposition. The Premiership youngsters had won their opening two games with real power, but Sidmouth, boosted by the support of almost al the neutral watchers, gave as good as they got.
Kennaugh once again led inspirationally from the front and scored the opening try. Chiefs replied with a try of their own before Josh Roberts, from a deep defensive catch, made headway and punted deep into Chiefs territory where Kennaugh arrived to run clear and score to launch real celebrations as w bottles, pasties and Sidmouth Heralds all headed skywards as Sidmouth won and also sealed pool winning status!
In the semi-final Sidmouth faced a Withycombe whom they rarely get the better of.
Both teams looked as if the earlier pool game exertions had taken it out of them. Then, a flash of brilliance from Kennaugh saw Sidmouth register the opening try.
With just three minutes remaining a Withy forward pounced on a loose ball and galloped over the line for an equaliser. In the final minute Withy struck again to seal a 2-1 success.
Post competition the Sidmouth coaches were ecstatic with the whole team performance through the tournament and congratulations must go to the pack for a monumental level of commitment and tenacity.
Will Kennaugh in particular has taken his performance to the next level - a fact not lost on the tournament organisers as they awarded him the ‘Spirit of Rugby Award’ and he received a trophy for his brilliant efforts and some quality training kit for his team.
Withycombe went on to lose the final 0-2 to a completely massive Plymstock Oaks outfit who wouldn’t have looked out of sorts in an Under-15 tournament!