First win of the rugby season for Sidmouth
- Credit: Sidmouth RFC
Sidmouth Chiefs registered their first league win of the season in a hard-fought match against North Petherton with the result in doubt until the final whistle.
There were several unforced errors from both sides but enough passages of open rugby to entertain the assembled crowd.
The visitors kicked off in good conditions and were immediately awarded a penalty but the attempt at goal drifted just wide. Three minutes later, Dan Retter was on target with a kick from similar range to open the scoring.
The North Petherton number six latched on to a loose ball just inside his own half and galloped into the Sidmouth 22, where full back George Roberts made a secure tackle, but the ball was quickly recycled from the resulting ruck and passed swiftly to an overlap on the right for the winger to score. The fly half kicked the conversion from wide out.
George Jarman, playing his first game since returning to the club, made a powerful burst into the opposing 22 and found Rabbie Hansford in support to carry the move on. He was tackled just short of the line. The forwards were quickly in support to maintain the pressure.
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The ball was moved to overlap on the left. The North Petherton winger went for an interception but only succeeded in deflecting the ball into the hands of Dan Armstrong, who touched down unopposed. Dan Retter added the conversion.
In first half injury time, North Petherton levelled the score with a penalty. The Chiefs started the second half strongly with good handling to send Cian Warren on a run down the left wing. When he was stopped, the ball was moved swiftly to the right, where James Powell was tackled just short of the line.
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However, a penalty was awarded for offside, and Dan Retter kicked his side back into the lead. A few minutes later, he extended it with a drop goal after more good interplay had created the position.
North Petherton replied almost immediately with a set move from a lineout, which sent the number seven bursting through unopposed. The try was unconverted.
With ten minutes to go, the Sidmouth pack had their opponents on the retreat in a scrum near halfway. Cameron Grainger fell on the loose ball as it emerged from the base. The Chiefs won the resulting ruck, and the ball was transferred to the backs. James Powell made a break through the centre. He linked with Cian Warren, who did well to beat the full back and score in the corner.
The North Petherton response was determined, and the Sidmouth defence was tested for several minutes before the final whistle confirmed their win.
On Saturday the Chiefs travel to Cheltenham to take on Old Patesians. At the Blackmore Field the Quins entertain Brixham 2nds kicking off at 3pm. The Colts play Teignmouth at Sidford with a 3pm kick off.