Sidmouth Chiefs win well at Tiverton

PUBLISHED: 10:08 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:23 27 February 2018

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Exeter Engineers at the Sidford ground. Ref shsp 06 18TI 7054. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Exeter Engineers at the Sidford ground. Ref shsp 06 18TI 7054. Picture: Terry Ife

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Sidmouth Chiefs were good value for a 22-12 victory at Tiverton in a re-arranged Western Counties (West) meeting, writes Terry O’Brien.

The late withdrawal by Dan Retter saw Cameron Grainger drafted in to fill the fly half position, one he hasn’t played in for a few seasons. He did a creditable job of keeping his side going forward and the back line running smoothly. However, Retter’s reliable goal kicking was missed!

The Chiefs’ ability to turn counterattacking opportunities into points was the decisive factor in this otherwise equally contested game. However, this was certainly not evident in the opening five minutes, when two clear chances from turnovers fell victim to basic handling errors.

Apart from these breakaway opportunities, Tiverton had the best of the opening exchanges without threatening the Sidmouth line.

The Chiefs opened the scoring after six minutes, when Tiverton dropped the ball just outside their own 22 and Ollie Pyne scooped it up. He set up a handling move finished off by brother Jack. The try was unconverted.

Tiverton were soon on level terms when they kicked a penalty to the corner and the forwards mauled their way over from the resulting lineout.

The Chiefs had the better of things through the middle of the half and scored two tries to build up a useful lead.

A Tiverton clearance kick was fielded by Luke Wells-Burr on his own ten metre line and his long pass found Ethan Mead in space on the left. The prolific teenager did well to beat two defenders on his way to touching down under the posts. Rory O’Brien added the conversion.

Minutes later, a good handling move sent Mead on another run into the 22 to create a good attacking position. When Tiverton were penalised in front of their posts, the routine three points was ignored in favour of a quick tap penalty. The decision paid off as good, accurate handling found Ben Pratt in space to race over for an unconverted try.

Tiverton finished the half strongly, but could not make any further impression on the well-organised Sidmouth defence.

Another Tiverton kick downfield, fielded by Luke Wells-Burr, provided the starting point for Sidmouth’s fourth try, but this was one for which they had to work much harder. With forwards and backs combining well, the ball was moved to the right and back to the left until an overlap was created on the right wing for Rory O’Brien to run in the bonus point score, which was unconverted.

Playing down the slope, Tiverton fought back strongly and deservedly cut the arrears midway through the half when the number eight broke from a scrum ten metres out to power his way over. The try was converted by the fly half.

The Chiefs continued to compete well, but each time they worked their way into the opposing half they conceded penalties and found themselves back in defence.

Tiverton, for their part, could not find a way through the Sidmouth defence, which kept both shape and discipline until the final whistle.

On Saturday the Chiefs travel across the Somerset border to take on Chard. The kick-off is at 2.30pm.

At the Blackmore Field, the Colts make a rare appearance when they entertain Teignmouth Colts.

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