Explosive power of Sidmouth's young guns
This was a battle between the young fit Sidmouth team and an experienced, mature Honiton XV which was won on tactics.
This was a battle between the young fit Sidmouth team and an experienced, mature Honiton XV which was won on tactics.Although the weather was bright, the cold was biting on the Blackmore for the early kick-off prior to the England/ Wales six nations match.Within five minutes there were several injuries and a penalty to Honiton which they failed to convert. Sidmouth then took control and the young guns proved more than a match for the much heavier visitors. They secured clean possession to enable full back Steve Bowler to make a good break, finally thwarted a metre short of the try line. From the resulting secured scrum, centre Keith Upham made a break and moved the ball out to Scott Davies who touched down on the wing, Nick Gingell narrowly missing the conversion. The Greens continued to dominate and, from a penalty on the visitors' five- metre line, a drive and ruck saw the ball shipped to prop Mike Down who showed a good turn of speed over 10 metres to add another five points. On 15 minutes Honiton conceded another penalty and Gingell took the score on to 13-0. The next 10 minutes were fairly even until a penalty awarded to the visitors in the 22 resulted in a forward pushover to reduce the deficit by five points. Returning to the tactics of moving the ball wide whenever possible again gave Sids the upper hand and a slick passing movement, through Upham and centre partner John Kitchin, resulted in a second try for Down. Gingell added the two points. Just on half time another solid scrum by the front five of Chris (Biscuits) Otway, capt Reg Turner, Mike Down, Bryn Thomas and Matt Vicary produced quick ball passed down the line to Giles Dixon on the wing who outpaced the cover to score under the posts. Gingell again added the conversion. The half time score was a creditable 27-5. Honiton's team talk must have reviewed their style of play and, from the restart, they kept it tight in the forwards but again the youngsters were up to the task and defended well, especially the back row of Alex Shanahan, James Matthews and James Salter, who was making a nuisance of himself. After weathering the visitors' pressure without conceding any points, Sidmouth's fitness started to pay off. Scrum half Dan Webber made ground, enabling breaks for Davies and Bowler. With the benefit of replacements John Hurson, Martin Ford and Adam Greaves coming into play, Sidmouth took control and a three-quarter move through six pairs of hand resulted in a touch down for evergreen Upham, converted by Gingell. In the last 10 minutes, two further tries were scored, the first from a scrum on the 15 metre line with a solo break by Davies, and the second following a turnover by Salter and out to Dixon on the wing. One was converted by Gingell. The final score was 44-5 in Sidmouth's favour, and completed the double over the local rivals.