Saturday, April 19, 2014
Sidmouth 23, Clevedon 42
Forward power was once again the decisive factor as Clevedon got the result which removed the final threat of relegation, writes Terry O’Brien.
For their part, the Chiefs showed their fighting spirit with a strong finish and two well-constructed tries.
Despite struggling in the scrums, the Chiefs featured well in the first quarter and deservedly led thanks to three Dan Retter penalties. The backs showed their potential with two slick handling moves to give wingers Jevon Astley-Jones and Jeremy Massey-Birch a run up the touchlines. Between this action Clevedon scored a try, which the Chiefs would rather forget. A poor kick and weak tackling gifted a try to the scrum half, which was converted.
Clevedon regained the lead when a good bit of continuity stretched the Sidmouth defence to create an overlap for the right winger to score in the corner. The successful conversion was soon followed by a penalty.
Clevedon continued to press and both Sidmouth wingers made try-saving tackles, while man-of-the-match Dan Rugg made a vital steal on his goal line. The score remained 9-17 at the break.
The Chiefs started the second half brightly, but a penalty clearance kick pushed them back into their own half. The Clevedon pack took control for the remainder of the third quarter. They powered over for three close range tries in quick succession. The number five drove over from a ruck near the line and two were scored by the number six supporting breaks by the number eight from scrums inside the 22. One was converted.
When the Chiefs used a penalty to kick for the corner, James Salter secured possession from the resulting lineout and the forwards set up a driving maul. Dan Rugg peeled off to gain a few more yards before the ball was released to the backs. Tristan Beavis ran a superb angle onto Dan Retter’s pass to break through and score near the posts. Retter added the conversion.
Cleve were soon back on the attack and the number six completed his hat trick after a series of pick and drives had taken play to the line. A few minutes later, they added a penalty.
The Chiefs finished strongly. Two breaks by Giles Dixon took him close to scoring on each occasion before an inside pass from Dan Retter wrong footed the defence and George Locke cut through to touch down. Dan Retter’s conversion was followed by the final whistle.
On Saturday the Chiefs travel to Weston super Mare to take on league leaders Hornets.
At the Blackmore the Colts entertain Crediton Colts kicking off is at 3pm.
On Good Friday there is a special challenge match with a Sidmouth XV playing Ottery Pixies. The kick off is at 3pm.