Chiefs thrilled by win over St Ives

Cheered on by a large crowd, the Chiefs gained their first league victory of the season with a spirited performance against St Ives.

Sidmouth 1st XV 24pts,

St Ives 1ST XV 16pts

Cheered on by a large crowd, the Chiefs gained their first league victory of the season with a spirited performance against St Ives.

The crowd was boosted by the participants in the 'One Big Club' day" which celebrated the work and achievements of the mini/junior section. This was further highlighted by the fact that 14 members of the Chiefs' squad were products of the club's youth policy.

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With the set pieces evenly matched, the Chiefs edged the battle up front thanks to another commanding display by the backrow trio, who were at the centre of all the main action.

The new centre pairing of Andrew Dare and Giles Dixon added some go-forward while the goal kicking of fly half Glenn Channing provided the icing on the cake.

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Playing down the slope, the Chiefs had an early scoring opportunity when a powerful run by Sam Richardson started a move, carried on by Giles Dixon, which opened up the defence, but the referee spotted a forward pass.

However, the pressure was rewarded in the ninth minute by a Glenn Channing penalty.

Play was untidy as both teams became error-prone in the middle of the half, but the Chiefs' lead was doubled when Channing kicked a second penalty from inside his own half.

The lead was soon reduced when some sloppy defending near the line allowed the St Ives scrum half to scurry over in the corner for an unconverted try. The visitors edged in front when the same player dropped a goal from 40 metres. Those watching were evenly split as to whether the ball had actually cleared the bar, but the most important man, the referee, judged that it had.

A few minutes later, the lead changed hands again when Channing kicked another long- range penalty. The Chiefs should have added a try almost immediately after, when breaks by Andrew Dare and Channing took play to the visitors' line, but a huge overlap to the left was ignored. To compound the error, a penalty for killing the ball in a ruck was reversed when Nathan Hannay decided to dispense justice himself. He was sent to the sin bin for his pains, as was the offending St Ives player.

In injury time the Chiefs produced an excellent handling move which sent Simeon Lewry sprinting down the left, but the cover defence brought him down short of the line leaving the score 9-8 at the break.

The Chiefs increased their lead in the third minute of the second half. A well-judged kick by full back Tom Whelan brought his side a lineout inside the St Ives' 22. A set move sent Sam Richardson on a run through the centre.

Giles Dixon carried the move on and, when he was brought down a few metres short of the line, Andrew Dare was on hand to pick up and dive over. Channing added the conversion.

The St Ives forwards continued to pose a threat through some powerful mauling and pick-and-drive tactics but, when the ball was moved to their back, they could not make progress against the Sidmouth defence. Their back three also had difficulty dealing with any kicks, which the Chiefs chased more effectively than in recent games.

Both kickers exchanged penalties in the middle of the half before the Chiefs scored a crucial try. Nathan Hannay crowned another outstanding performance when he ripped he ball away from a St Ives' maul and peeled off to set up a move finished by Steve Trim in the left corner. The try was unconverted.

The visitors came back hard and camped in the Sidmouth half for several minutes until their scrum half darted over from close range after the outside centre had burst through to within a couple of metres of the line.

The conversion attempt rebounded from an upright, leaving his side needing two scores to win but the Chiefs held on comfortably through several minutes of injury time.

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