Thursday, May 8, 2014
Sidmouth 15, Thornbury 27.
A three-try burst just after half time proved decisive for visitors Thornbury in the Chiefs final game of a long hard season, writes Terry O’Brien.
With nothing at stake, both sides were intent on playing fifteen-man rugby to produce a very entertaining game. The Chiefs enjoyed long periods in attack but, unlike their opponents, had difficulty in turning pressure into points.
Sidmouth kicked off into a strong diagonal wind and quickly regained possession to set up five minutes of continuous pressure inside the Thornbury 22. Although Andrew Dare and Dan Colson got within inches of the line, they eventually had to be content with a Dan Retter penalty as reward for their efforts.
Within a few minutes Thornbury took a lead they would not relinquish, when they turned over possession at a ruck just inside the Sidmouth 22 and a slick handling move was finished off by the outside centre. The try was unconverted.
In the middle of the half, the Chiefs were denied by the bounce of the ball at the end of a spectacular piece of play, which started when a clearance kick was blown back from the touchline by the strong wind. Dan Colson
followed up to catch the ball and start a handling move involving several players. As the cover closed in Dan Retter chipped ahead. With two Sidmouth players closing on the ball, it bounced away from them and towards to the one available defender, who cleared the danger.
Thornbury increased their lead, when they stole the ball at a Sidmouth lineout and the full back joined the line to race in for a try converted by the fly half.
Another handling move set up Steve Trim for a sprint into the opposing 22 to put the Chiefs on the attack.
Minutes later Trim was in the action again with a break from a quick tap penalty. Dan Rugg took the ball on to
set up a ruck deep in the 22. When the ball emerged, Dan Retter launched a diagonal kick to George Locke on the left wing. He caught the ball on the full and left the full back in his wake to touch down in the corner.
The Chiefs finished the half with a fine move out of defence with Tristan Beavis and Jevon Astley-Jones combining to send Dan Colson on a run down the right to put his side on the attack for the final minutes.
The visitors started the second half as the Chiefs had the first, but with considerably more success. Five minutes of continual pressure ended with the hooker crossing in the right corner from a quick tap penalty move. They were soon back on the attack and the number eight drove over from the base of a five metre scrum. And, from the restart kick, they launched a handling move finished off by the full back for his second try.
The Chiefs regained their concentration to dominate much off the remainder of the game. They came close to scoring on a number of occasions, with Tony Martin crossing the line but unable to ground the ball.
Eventually, with a few minutes remaining, Tristan Beavis ran on to a short pass to cut through under the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion to complete the scoring.