Lauren Provis try double as Sidmouth girl’s U15s edged out by Exeter

Sidmouth Under-15 girls in action against Exeter. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Sidmouth Under-15 girls in action against Exeter. Picture CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Under-15 girls went down by the narrowest of margins – a single try – when they entertained Exeter before another excellent Sunday turnout at Sidford.

From the start it was clear that the visiting side held the advantage in terms of size.

However, the Sidmouth girls have been improving at a rapid rate this season and again, their dominance in the scrum was a feature throughout!

Indeed, the team served up some of their strongest scrimmaging of the season as Lily Baker, Lauren Provis and Eve Converso, making her debut standing in at the front row, and Annabel Emmott, consistently winning the ball as the hooker, working so efficiently as a unit.

In the second row, providing overwhelming power were Esme Bagwell and Maddy Johnson with Annabelle Bird and Lucy Moore showing great versatility playing filling in at second row when not playing in the centre.

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Cleo Turley in at eight demonstrated how to pick and go throughout the match and draw three or four defenders to her before offloading to Esme Bagwell, who was always quick to get back in the game and support the runner.

Flanker Abbie French had a strong, game peeling off the scrum with very strong tackles taking down the biggest of the Exeter players and also dished up some of the strongest rucking this season.

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The other flanker, Ellie Wood, took the initiative to once again make it her mission to clean up loose ball as well as executing very good tackles.

It was Exeter who scored the games first try, using power as their best weapon, but only after a lengthy period of heroic Sidmoutb defence.

With the sun clearly an issue, Exeter took advantage, kicking the ball high for a chase, but Sidmouth full back Amber Coombes was equal to the kicks – despite the sun – and the home side were often able to quickly regain possession.

The Exeter pressure continued and they added two further tries, but Sidmouth refused to lie down and hit back in style! A try was got back when Lauren Provis sped through a gap in the Exeter line and half-time arrived with Exeter leading by three tries to one.

After the break, Sidmouth again gave as good as they got. There were some fearless shifts from Harriet Austin Rigby, Holly Hales and Anya Gosal playing at flanker, second row and the inside wing respectively.

Lucy Tanner and Minty May once again mixed it up from the scrum-half and fly-half berths, the duo constantly setting up solid foundations and forward momentum to set the home backs up to cause mayhem with the Exeter defensive line!

Sidmouth centres’ Lauren Chown and Lucy Moore, along with full back, Amber Coombes, combined to make a number of stunning runs to gain vital ground, probing the Exeter defence whilst keeping the ball under control for phase after phase.

As the home confidence grew, Exeter began to play on the back foot and, with some composed work from wings Daisy Grove and Bella Breen, the home side were able to maintain good levels of pressure. Maddy Johnson scored the second home try with a superb effort, and, with the clock ticking down, Exeter held a two try lead. Sidmouth kept going and it was no more than they deserved when a surging drive ended with a second try for Luren Provis before the end.

So a narrow single try defeat for the Sidmouth girls, but each and everyone of them can be so proud of their individual and collective efforts on the day.

Both sides were keen, post match to thank, Devon RFU referee Will Thomas for officiating the game.

Sidmouth RFC are always delighted to welcome new players to their girls section. The club provide rugby from the age of seven upwards with mixed rugby on offer up ti the Under-12s from which the club then field full girl’s teams at U13, U15 and U18 age groups.

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