Gritty and gut-busting

Sidmouth 2nds are pictured playing their Exmouth counterparts at the Blackmore on Saturday. Photo by

Sidmouth 2nds are pictured playing their Exmouth counterparts at the Blackmore on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 4923-02-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on MyPhotos24. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth RFC 2nd XV 8, Exmouth 17

The Quins succumbed to a fit, well drilled Exmouth who are top of the merit table, writes Steve Channing.

After suffering a heavy defeat away at Exmouth earlier in the season, Sidmouth restored some pride with a gritty, gut-busting display.

From the outset, the home scrum clearly had the momentum and gave the backs a solid platform to work from.

Luke Bess made ground through the middle, forcing Exmouth to concede a penalty for offside, Will Dunford kicked it for a three point lead.

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Exmouth had spell of pressure which was relieved by Dunford kicking into Exmouth’s half, the chase was good with the ball being gathered by Cameron Grainger who was stopped just short of the try line. A five metre scrum to Sidmouth resulted in captain Stuart Bickerstaff darting up the blindside for a try against the run of play. Will Dunford left the field with a thigh strain replaced by Adam Howe.

Exmouth then used all their experience to score a try, out wide, expertly converted in difficult conditions. The match became a midfield slog for both teams with no real scoring opportunities. Gareth Pearson was replaced by stalwart Roger Goulding.

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A quick tap penalty by the visiting scrum half, caught out the home side, Exmouth creating room for the extra man to score wide out again.

Johnny Hamill combined with Stuart Bickerstaff just before halftime, with the captain being bundled into touch inches from the try line to the sound of the half time whistle. Sidmouth 8 Exmouth 12

The second period was a terrific battle, Exmouth scoring the only try following several phases. Sidmouth had plenty of opportunities to score but were guilty of wrong decision making, or excellent defence from Exmouth.

There were plenty of outstanding displays. Front row, Halford, Barrett, and Keywood, Davies, Bickerstaff and returning Matt Farrington ran themselves ragged in the back row. It was a very good squad performance.

If only some of this attitude and commitment could be repeated, it would stand the Quins in good stead for the rest of the season.

This week they travel to Brixham for another tough encounter.

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