Battled against elements

OPMs 1st xv 10, Sidmouth 2nd xv 13

The Quins travelled to Plymouth to take on OPMs who are mid table in Devon 1, writes Steve Channing

It was an inauspicious start - a wait for someone to open the changing rooms was followed by a massive downpour and a strong wind blowing into the faces of the away team throughout the first half.

Receiving the kick off, Sidmouth showed they were not too worried about the elements and ran the ball back at every opportunity. The scrum was solid and often pushed the home side back. OPMs opened the scoring with a penalty for offside at a ruck. The format for the half was that Sidmouth worked the ball down in to OPMs’ 22, only for the hosts to clear with a big wind-aided kick into Sids’ 22. Another raid into the scoring zone ended with Stuart Bickerstaff forcing his way over for a well deserved try.

OPMs managed a converted try before half time for a 10- 5 lead. Wade Cooper was replaced at half time after taking a stray knock from Bryn Thomas, who made a welcome return to 2nd team rugby.

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The experienced Greg Howell went into the front row with Tony Martin moving to blindside. Sidmouth once again pressed the home side, who were welcome to the weather, but it turned much calmer. Adam Squance slotted a penalty reducing the lead to a couple of points.

Dan Colson, Ben Salter and Robbie Ross were all keen in running with the ball in hand. Chasing the winning score, the Quins were guilty of a inability to put away several two or three man overlaps. Nick Mills at no8 was always a thorn in attack and defence for the home team. Tony Martin, who had a stormer of a game, finally crashed over after the second attempt, from which the Ref was the right side to see the grounding.

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Sid had a three point lead with 10 minutes to play. OPMs finally exerted pressure in the Quins’ 22. In the last two minutes Andrew Doidge was given a red card for punching - apologies after the game do not make up for what his teammates had to withstand to ensure a victory was achieved. Hopefully Doidge will learn from his mistake.

Big thank you to Mr and Mrs Hamill for their help on the touchline which was very much appreciated.

This week the Quins take on Bideford 2nds at the Blackmore.

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