Colts play-off Devon Plate v Tavy

The Colts got a firm wake-up call in advance of their Devon Plate semi final from this defeat at the hands of Okehampton.

The Colts got a firm wake-up call in advance of their Devon Plate semi final from this defeat at the hands of Okehampton. For their part the mid Devon team looked a far better side than their lowly Merit Table position would indicate.A sparkling opening few minutes seemed to inspire a complacency in the Sidmouth youngsters which they did not shake off until the final quarter. For long spells the pack could not match the fire of the Okehampton eight, and poor decision making compounded the problems. A splendid try in the fourth minute gave every indication that the Colts would add to their fine record of 19 wins this season. Following a lineout on halfway, a well constructed backs move took play into the Okehampton 22. Quick recycling and a switch of direction found James Robinson in space and he burst through the centre to score under the posts. Tom Whelan added the conversion.From then on it was all Okehampton for the rest of the half. They closed the gap with a well-worked try. A driving maul following a lineout sucked in defenders to leave an overlap and good handling put the right winger in at the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful.Sidmouth were forced to defend for long periods and several last ditch tackles were needed to keep their line intact. When a drop goal attempt rebounded off the wrong side of the upright it seemed that they would hang on to their lead up to the break. However, a penalty in the last minute of the half gave the visitors a slender 8-7 lead.The Colts had a chance to regroup and refocus in the half time team talk. But whatever good might have been achieved was undone by an opportunist try within two minutes of the restart. Sidmouth failed to control the ball at the back of a scrum on their own 22 and an Okehampton player snapped it up and found his way clear to the line for a second unconverted try.To their credit Sidmouth did not let their heads drop and gradually worked their way back into the game. They enjoyed territorial advantage but will rue the decisions not to take two very kickable penalties, one in front of the posts. They opted to run both and came away with no points.Tom Hodge came close to scoring after a miss move had put him through a gap but Okehampton were not about to let their lead go lightly and three players hauled him down five metres short.The Colts' enterprise was eventually rewarded with 5 minutes to go when a powerful run by Ollie Pyne took play deep into the Okehampton 22. Two rucks later a huge overlap was exploited for Olly Derriman to score wide out. The conversion drifted wide, leaving the visitors one point ahead. The Colts had a last minute penalty chance to win the game but the kick went wide and Okehampton celebrated as if they had won a cup final.l Sidmouth finished the League in a creditable 3rd place which gives them a play off against Tavistock at home on Saturday for the Devon Colts Plate.

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