Chiefs show glimpses but not enough to win match
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FORWARD power paved the way for Wellington to beat Sidmouth 27-15 for the bonus point win that ensures they avoid relegation.
The Sidmouth backs showed glimpses of their capability, but lacked enough front foot ball to rescue the game.
With a strong cross-field wind, the Wellington game plan was to kick for position and let the pack apply pressure in the Sidmouth half. This they did successfully.
The four tries required no more than ten metres of running in total by the scorers.
In contrast, the Chiefs had no kicking game and were unable to sustain pressure in the opposing 22 for any length of time for much of the game.
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The opening play gave no indication of what was to come as the Sidmouth backs and forwards combined well to take play through several phases 70 metres downfield. In the fifth minute, James Powell intercepted a loose pass and put Tom Seward in space. His well-timed pass sent Charlie Cotton in for the opening score.
Wellington had two near misses near the line before getting on the board with a penalty.
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A Dan Retter penalty restored Sidmouth’s five-point lead before Wellington took control for the second quarter.
The Chiefs stopped a score from a line-out play, but Wellington maintained the pressure until the loose head prop forced his way over for a try converted by the fly half.
Five minutes later the same player powered his way over from five metres out for an unconverted try and a 15-8 half-time lead.
Five minutes into the second half, the Sidmouth backs found some space on halfway to set up a handling move to send Ben Salter sprinting up the left wing.
Salter was stopped short of the line, but the forwards followed up to set up Jack Madge on a drive over the line. Dan Retter’s conversion levelled the scores.
Wellington replied almost immediately the referee awardig a penalty try, which was duly converted, after a driving maul collapsed going towards the line.
Midway through the half Wellington increased their lead with a push-over try.
A flare up resulted in a player from each side being yellow carded and missing the final ten minutes of the game. This seemed to galvanise the Chiefs.
A 50-metre run from his own 22 by Cotton put the Chiefs on the attack. A break by Harry Chesterton was supported by Tristan Beavis, who sent James Powell sprinting for the line. Powell was overhauled by the cover defence, but the Chiefs maintained the pressure on the Wellington line, where Christian Edbrooke was held up.
A minute later, a knock on was followed by the final whistle.
On Good Friday at the Blackmore the resurrected Sidmouth 3rd Team take on Ottery. The kick-off is at 3pm.
On Easter Saturday the Chiefs entertain Honiton to contest the David Turner Memorial Cup (3pm).
Before the match the Friends of David Turner are providing a buffet for supporters of both teams from 1.30pm.
The Colts entertain Newton Abbot Colts at Sidford kicking off at 3pm.