Hamill played a blinder

Topsham 26 Sidmouth 2nds 27

Sidmouth came out on top of a good old ding- dong of a match against a Topsham club side. With the usual lack of communication, the Quins only had 14 players to start, until Andy from the home team voluntered to pull on the green shirt to even the numbers up, writes Steve Channing.

Topsham put Sidmouth under pressure, eventually scoring under the posts, the conversion good for a seven point lead.

Chris Pike, who is becomming a influentual player for the Quins, made ground, before being caught in possession, conceding a scrum which Sidmouth stole against the head. Martin Keywood, playing at 8, made in-roads to Topsham's half, forcing the home side to give away a penalty which Ben Pratt slotted over from 35 metres.

Ben Norcombe scored his first try for the club, great rewards for someone who has hardly missed a training session. Topsham were still attacking and were unlucky with a couple of spilt and forward passes to deny them from regaining the lead.

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Topsham, who brought on some replacements, scored a converted try just left of the uprights. The Quins’ front row, captain Mike Down, Rob Mew, and Ben Halford were giving the home side a torrid time. Lewis Tollerfield soldiered on with a bruised shoulder moving to the back row with Dan Prettyjohn.

Following another scrum against the head, Ben Pratt made a decisive break in the middle of the park, veteran Andy Matchett was in support, and drew the covering defence, releasing James Powell to finish one of the best tries the Quins have scored this season. Pratt was again on target for the extra two points for a slender 15-14 winning margin.

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Powell increased the lead with another try, Pratt adding the extras.

Topsham scored a converted try, to peg the Quins back after another conceded penalty with 15 minutes remaining. With five to go Topsham made the most of a dropped ball on Sidmouth’s five metre line to crash over for what they thought was a winning try and conversion.

However, the determined Quins did not give up, Keywood carried the ball into the visitors’ 22. Several forwards tried to bash over the line, but dogged defence kept them at bay.

Fly-half Josh Reed used all of his guile to sneak over out wide to the delight of his fellow players. Perhaps a bit drained from the effort, his conversion drifted wide.

With one more play to go Sidmouth secured the restart, kicking the ball into touch, to hear the final whistle securing a well earned victory, 27- 26.

Scrum half Johnny Hamill played a blinder of a game, with great distribution, and intelligent kicking, always encouraging his team-mates and has a great future at 9.

The Quins, who travel to Okehampton this Saturday for a Merit Table game, will have to show as much, if not more, spirit if they want to get any thing out of the match.

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