Counsell try and conversion proves to be the match winning score as Sidmouth Under-14s make County Cup progress

Sidmouth 14 Barnstaple 12 Sidmouth edged their way into the 3rd round of the County Cup with a hard earned, but deserved success over Barum.

Pre-match, there had been much speculation as to how close this contest might be, and the two teams let nobody down on that score!

Barum forced the early pace and Sidmouth were put under intense pressure, but defended superbly.

Eventually Sidmouth were able to clear their line and began to show their talents further forward.

From a four man line-out Syradd won the ball, Davies got it out to Dunn, who pop-passed it to Wright and his angled fleet-footed run took him the 40-metres to the line to score under the posts.

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Moore converted and confidence seemed to sweep through the Sidmouth ranks. Now playing some fast-paced, slick handling rugby Sid threatened again. Nic J-G intercepted a pass and almost burst through.

Hughes and Pearce, supported superbly by Dix, made some probing runs and it was not long before Sidmouth were camped on Barnstaple’s line.

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Robinson tried to burrow over, but was driven back, however it was not long before quick ball was secured by Unsworth and Moore. Davies fired it to Down, who popped it to Counsell who powered it over. He converted his own try which, although he did not realise it at the time, gave his side a two point advantage.

Never had a half been over so quick, but never had a second half seemed so long! It started brightly and Kennaugh, almost burst clear, but after this the tide turned. Barnstaple stepped up the intensity.

Sidmouth gave away some penalties and the momentum completely switched. Barnstaple’s wing caught Sidmouth napping after one penalty and their scrum half scored from another.

Only one was converted. The last five minutes were so tense, but Sidmouth showed great maturity and togetherness denying Barum space and time and the final whistle was greeted with much joy by players and supporters alike.

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