Colts put sparkle in Boxing Day clash

Sidmouth 1st Xv 64, President’s Xv 17

The large Boxing Day crowd enjoyed an entertaining game in this traditional fixture, which was less one-sided than the score line indicates. There was some excellent rugby played and fine tries scored, the best of which was a sparkling, twinkle-toed, solo run debut try by Jeremy Massy-Birch, promoted from the Colts for the day, writes Terry O’Brien.

A young and enterprising President’s team contributed to the spectacle, giving the Chiefs’ defence a thorough workout on a number of occasions. They benefited from the experienced leadership of Chris Daubney in the pack and Glenn Channing in the backs, the former just pipping the latter for his side’s Man of the Match award.

The Chiefs kicked off in perfect conditions and took an early lead when Tom Whelan cut a good angle through the centre to score under the posts. He added the conversion. The President’s XV responded well and took the game to the Chiefs. In a sustained period of pressure Chris Daubney and Cameron Grainger came close before Glenn Channing burst over from close range. He added the conversion to level the score.

Undaunted, the Chiefs stamped their authority with three tries in quick succession. Skipper Sam Richardson peeled off a maul to dive over in the right corner, Sam Meadham crossed in the opposite corner after a break by Tom Whelan, and James Robinson followed up a chip ahead for a score which Whelan converted.

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The President’s XV replied with a Glenn Channing penalty, before young Massy-Birch had the crowd buzzing, when he fielded a kick on his own 10 metre line, and left half the opposition in his wake as he stepped and shimmied his way in under the posts for Whelan to convert.

Chris Higgs was next on the score sheet as he cashed in on a Steve Trim break. Again Whelan added the extras.

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The President’s XV finished the half strongly, but could not add to their score. However, a couple of minutes after the restart Glenn Channing crossed for his second try following a tap penalty move. He also converted. The Chiefs replied immediately when Sam Richardson broke down the blindside of a scrum to send Sam Meadham in for his second touchdown, which Whelan converted.

For the next 20 minutes the contest was even, with neither side adding to their total. Then, as the President’s men tired, the Chiefs ran in three late tries.

Tom Whelan got a second and the conversion gave him a 22 point haul to cap a Man of the Match performance.

Jack Pyne was next to cross, before Jeavon Astley-Jones became the second debutant Colt to score. Dan Retter’s conversion brought the contest to a close.

?The Chiefs are next in action when they travel to Cullompton on January 7, to resume their league campaign.

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