Down senior and Down junior skipper Sidmouth XVs on the same matchday!

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Devonport 2nds. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 6500-37-13TI To order your copy

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Devonport 2nds. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 6500-37-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Quins 18, Devonport Services 32 Sidmouth Quins opened their Merit Table season with Devonport Services at the Blackmore, a real blend of youth and experience took to the park with skipper Mike Down at the helm, writes Robert Baugh.

The forwards from the outset were more than capable of competing in all areas, the backs unfortunately only showed glimpses of their true potential, the greasy ball and being unfamiliar with each other’s play caused too many errors, but many positives could be drawn and things will improve to produce a cohesive unit.

The visitor’s left wing opened the scoring latching on to a chip ahead from their experienced fly half, who all game used his boot to good effect, pushing the Quins back at every opportunity.

Wing Adam Squance took the direct route into the Services half to create some sustained pressure, from a line out quick ball reached fullback Josh Ledger joining the line, his pop pass put Scott Davies away for a try in the corner to level the scores, minutes later he was making a try saving tackle at the other end.

All was undone when a long pass was intercepted on halfway for converted try and then fly-half Ben Pratt traded penalties with his opposite number before half time to send Quins into the break trailing 15-8.

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Ten minutes into the second half, following a penalty, a cross-field kick was fielded by the Services right wing for a converted try. Twnety minutes in Pratt showing good footballing skills, took the ball 30 metres up field, only to be unceremoniously taken out before the line leaving the match official with no other option than to award a penalty try and issue a yellow card to the Services player.

Flanker Stuart Bickerstaff, who had a busy afternoon also enjoyed a 10 minute breather when received a yellow card for a late tackle and it was during this period the visitors made the game safe with a converted try from their forwards.

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Another penalty extended the lead. With a full complement back on the field the Quins finished strongly with centre Jeremy Massey-Birch going over after good work by scrum half Jay Wright.

Last year’s colts hooker Tom Reed, wing Harry Shayler, prop Jack Colwill, second row Johnny Youngman, scrum-half Jay Wright and centre Jeremy Massey-Birch all acquitted themselves well at the senior level.

What must be a first in recent times, Mike Down and his son Hayden skippered the Sidmouth Quins and Colts respectively on the same day.

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