Sidmouth suffered their first defeat of the season in unfortunate circumstances at Wadebridge. Having dominated the game without reflecting that on the scoreboard, things began to unravel in the final 20 minutes, as the Chiefs lost 35-17, writes Terry O’Brien.

Play was confined to the Wadebridge half until the 16th minute, but the Chiefs were unable to turn pressure into points. Meanwhile, the home side scored on their first visit into the Sidmouth half. After a turnover on halfway, the scrum half finished off a good handling move.

The Chiefs eventually levelled the score on the half-hour mark when Tom Hodge powered his way close to the line for Harry Emmett to drive over. Jake Allen converted.

Another turnover set Wadebridge on the attack and the number four showed the elusiveness of a winger to finish off for a converted try.

The Chiefs levelled the score just before half time when Harry Emmett put the finishing touch after the forwards drove a lineout maul before Tom Hodge took the ball on for Emmett to force his way over. The conversion levelled the scores at the break.

The Chiefs took control from the restart and Harry Emmett came close to a hat-trick, but a penalty relieved the pressure briefly until Jake Allen kicked his side into the lead with a penalty.

From the kick off, Jake Smith had a kick charged down and the ball bounced nicely for the home flanker to gather and run over unopposed. The conversion opened up a four-point gap.

Things started to go wrong for the Chiefs in the final quarter. Jed Reid, Josh Bess and Tom Hodge all left the field injured, leaving 14 men and a rearranged side. Meanwhile, Wadebridge extended their lead with a very good handling move from halfway for a converted try.

When Shaun Malton was yellow carded, the Chiefs were reduced to thirteen. They defended desperately for the last ten minutes but the home scrum half ran through a spreadeagled defence in the final minute of normal time to complete the scoring.

The Chiefs drop to third place on points difference with Wadebridge replacing them at the top.

On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Burnham-on-Sea kicking off at 3pm. The Quins travel to play Exeter Athletic, while the Colts are at Topsham.