Sidmouth Under-16s in Fisherman’s Cup Plate win over Exmouth
PUBLISHED: 15:05 12 December 2017
Sidmouth Under-16s were 33-17 winners when they entertained Exmouth in a Fisherman’s Cup Plate fixture.
In this competition, Sidmouth take on Tiverton, Exmouth and Honiton on a home-and-away basis with the top side then going on to meet the winners of a similar sized group of teams from South and West Devon.
Sidmouth had already seen off Honiton prior to the meeting with the Cockles.
Since the last cup fixture, Sidmouth have played a couple of sides from outside the Plate competition in the form of Cullompton and Crediton and equipped themselves well.
A waterlogged Blackmore pitch saw the contest switched to Sidford and, when play began, both teams looked keen to play a running game despite the heavy underfoot conditions.
What added to the problems for the players on both sides was a strong wind that made handling difficult.
The early passages were dominated with knock-ons and minor infringements, and it was the away side that were the first to use the conditions to their advantage, managing to gain good field position and using their captain and powerful number eight to force himself over for the opening try.
Sidmouth began to get frustrated with the stop-start nature of the game, but gradually bagged themselves a foothold in the contest and powerful runs from Fin Keywood and Ollie Jones saw the home side run in a brace of tries.
Exmouth, with the elements at their backs in the first half, continued to exploit the home side’s mistakes and managed to nick another couple of tries to hold a narrow lead at half-time.
Whatever was said to the Sidmouth team during the break worked! From the restart they had an extra spring in their step and, with Ollie Parry-Leyshon impressive at the line out, guaranteeing ball, the forwards collectively imposed themselves at the scrum.
Keywood crossed for this second try before Louis Stamp and Cole Monaghan both crossed the whitewash.
Despite the gusty conditions, the home team were able to serve up some excellent passages of play involving both forwards and backs and they also showed huge commitment to prevent Exmouth from scoring in the final 20 minutes when the Cockles came back strongly.
Sidmouth face Tiverton early in the new year, but will now enjoy the Christmas break knowing they have their season up and running.