Barum match left bitter taste

Having comfortably beaten Torrington last weekend, Sidmouth Colts were on a high leading into this game against Barnstaple.

The visitors were clearly just as eager and were first to open the scoring after just a few minutes. Sidmouth were quick to respond with a clever chip and run by James Powell leading to the first Sidmouth try in response.

Hugo Gosden took care of the conversion putting Sidmouth into a deserved lead. Nimble footwork soon led to a try from Jeavon Astley-Jones, further increasing the Sidmouth lead.

It was then disappointing to hear accounts of bad behaviour by the visiting team in the rucks which were unseen by the referee. This caused unwelcome stoppages whilst Sidmouth players received treatment. It was unnecessary and unsportsmanlike behaviour from a team with undoubted talent.

The second half was a closely fought battle with Barnstaple easing ahead and defending well to stop the Sidmouth forwards driving over the line in the dying seconds.

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Although a defeat on paper, this was a victory for the Sidmouth team in the way they played and the manner in which the players conducted themselves.

There is an old saying that "football is a gentlemen’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen".

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Sadly, and not for the first time in the meeting of these two sides, there appeared to be crossover in the behaviour of some players, causing visiting spectators to voice their embarrassment.

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