Meadham try seals points

A couple of dozen hardy supporters braved probably the coldest Saturday of the season to watch a match between two strong second XVs.

A couple of dozen hardy supporters braved probably the coldest Saturday of the season to watch a match between two strong second XVs, although the biting wind did persuade some to view from the bar, or was it to see Wales win? The cold induced many handling errors from both sides but Sidmouth were in control for much of the match but poor options made it hard work. From the kick off, the Sidmouth pack were in the face of the opponents and, after just two minutes, won a penalty for a ruck infringement. The kick was wide and, shortly after the restart, Cullompton received a similar opportunity which they took to give them the lead. A period of scrappy play followed and some good possession was kicked away at crucial times but the scores were levelled on 20 minutes by a well struck Tom Whelan penalty. The remainder of the first half was played out in the middle of the pitch with neither side able to break through. The second half started with the home pack taking control and exerting some pressure, resulting in a string of five phases and the ball out of the line through Liam O'Connor to Matt Gingell who touched down in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful but a similarly difficult penalty a couple of minutes later was converted by Whelan to make the score 11 points to three in Sidmouth's favour. With 18 minutes gone and Cully fighting for any possession, the Sid backs were adjudged offside from a kick through and, from a quickly taken tap penalty, caught napping, allowing Cullompton a try under the posts against the run of play which was converted. The Greens' fitness started to come into play as the game progressed and, following some punching runs, Whelan found himself in some space and dropped a goal. Despite searching runs by both forwards and backs, the Cully defence held until, with just a few minutes remaining, simple rugby moving the ball with good hands out through the back line resulted in a run in for Sam Meadham. This sealed the home teams win at 19 points to 10 over an opponent who came to Sidmouth expecting to continue a string of good results.

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