Table-topping Sidmouth hosting first Patrons luncheon of the season before taking on Tivvy

PUBLISHED: 09:32 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:32 20 September 2018

Rugby. mscsp 48 17TI 3879. Picture: Terry Ife

Rugby. mscsp 48 17TI 3879. Picture: Terry Ife

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Sidmouth never quite reproduced the sparkling form they have shown in their two games on the Blackmore, but they were still good enough to come away from St Austell with a 20-13 victory, writes Clive Dwerryhouse.

In the first half, St Austell were content to use the wind and slope advantage to kick into the corner, but Sidmouth’s set piece was solid and the try line was never seriously threatened.

After 26 minutes St Austell again attempted to plant a kick in the corner, but a misjudgement saw the ball go over the dead-ball line.

From the ensuing scrum on the halfway line, full-back Sam Meadham entered the line at pace and powered up-field before off-loading to James Powell to run in for the try and Dan Retter converted to give Sidmouth a 7-0 lead.

St Austell tucked over a late first-half penalty and the sides trooped off at the interval with Sidmouth holding a 7-3 lead.

Four minutes into the second half, an attacking move by St Austell broke down on the halfway line.

Luke Wells-Burr reacted quickly to scoop up the loose ball and had plenty of pace to outdistance the defence and score under the posts.

Another Retter conversion left Sidmouth 14-3 to the good. Soon after it was 17-3 thanks to a Retter penalty.

Sidmouth nearly scored when George Locke seized on a loose ball, following a St Austell handling error, and embarked on a 50-metre run.

Powell was on hand to carry the move on, but was tackled short of the try line.

Aspeli Vea made a barnstorming run from a Sidmouth line-out before handing the ball on to Hadyn Down, who did enough to give his fly-half field position for an attempted drop kick.

It wasn’t Retter’s finest kick, but the ball defied gravity just long enough to clear the crossbar. They all count!

The score left Sidmouth leading 20-3 with 13 minutes remaining.

At this point Sidmouth let their concentration and discipline slip and conceded a barrage of penalties. This enabled St Austell to force their way over for a converted try and then convert a penalty to close the gap between the sides to seven points at 20-13.

However, what might have become a tricky final three minutes did not come to fruition as, from the re-start, the Sidmouth forwards took control and retained possession through to the final whistle.

On Saturday (September 22), the club holds its first patrons’ lunch of the season, which will ensure an appreciative audience for the challenging contest against Tiverton.

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