Colts get gritty in dour struggle

Topsham RFC Colts 8,Sidmouth RFC Colts 11

Sidmouth Colts recorded their second victory in their new Merit Table league in a gritty victory over rivals Topsham, writes Jack Colwill.

The match was always going to be tight, the previous two matches between the two having been decided by margins of one and two points respectively.

Topsham had the better of the opening exchanges as their pack came roaring out the blocks, leading to a missed penalty from their fly-half.

Sidmouth took advantage to advance rapidly upfield and Rob Jones went over in the corner. As the match progressed, neither side gave the other any clear-cut opportunities, although strong running from centre Jeremy Massey-Birch caused problems, along with Gavin Pearson and Dan Rugg putting in strong performances in the pack.

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Alex Dunn slotted a penalty to extend Sidmouth’s lead but Topsham hit back with one of their own. The half-time score was 8-3.

The match continued in a similar vein after the break, with Fin Cawthera prominent in attack and defence and U16 prop Hayden Down acquitting himself well against older players.

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Dunn pushed over another penalty to make it 11-3, but Topsham were still very much in the game, as was proved when, with just minutes remaining, a Topsham player broke down the wing and evaded all tackles to go over.

As Topsham pushed for a winning score, Sidmouth held firm and sealed a fine victory.

The Colts have given themselves a good platform for when the league resumes but will be aware that they will have no easy games in this league, as has been proved by their first two opponents.

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