Colts step up to Quins’ task

Sidmouth Quins 10, Barnstaple 17

The Quins gave Barnstaple a good game at the Blackmore and perhaps, if a few decisions went their way, could have claimed a victory.

Barnstaple started the stronger of the two sides scoring a converted try after 15 minutes. Sidmouth then had the lion’s share of possession and territory, No 8 Pete Springfield was eventually awarded a try after some great forward work. Gavin Pearson, up from the Colts, played as if he had been in the seniors all season, soon to be joined by fellow colt, Jeremy Massey-Birch who replaced Ben Salter, departing with a dead leg.

Pete Springfield got his second try of the match to give the Quins a three point lead. Both wings Adam Squance and James Leat with ball in hand stretched the visitors. On one such run James Leat chipped ahead and was taken out by the visiting fly-half, who received a yellow card and 10 minutes in the cooler. James had to leave the field dazed. To rub salt into the Quins’ wounds, the guilty party came back on just before half time to slot over a penalty to tie the score.

The second half was an even battle. Barnstaple scored the winning try with 15 minutes to play. Despite plenty of effort the Quins could not manage to get over the visitors’ line. With the last play of the game Josh Reed intercepted and tried to batter his way gamely through two defenders but was held up short, to the sound of the final whistle.

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Tom Irish, another Colt, proved he will add competition for a place next season. Stuart Bickerstaff who has captained the side whilst Quins’ club captain Mike Down has set up his new business as a publican in the Volly at Ottery (all the best Mike, from the second XV) was always in the thick of the action and non stop in his efforts for his team, and looking like a good bet for skipper next season.

?This weekend the Quins travel to Tiverton for their final merit table game.

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