Much changed Chiefs lose at Crediton
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Chiefs went down 25-14 on their visit to Crediton, writes Terry O’Brien.
Playing into a strong wind, the Chiefs did well to restrict the Mid Devon side to a five point half-time lead. However, the home pack took control in the second half to dominate possession and gain a comfortable victory.
A squad containing three debutants and five changes in the forwards from the previous week proved to be too much of a handicap against in-form opponents.
The Sidmouth backs showed their potential with two good handling moves early on, which had the Crediton defence at full stretch. However, with the wind at their backs, Crediton were enjoying territorial advantage.
A try-saving tackle by Sam Cavin in the tenth minute typified the resolve of the Sidmouth defence but, after a long period of pressure, Crediton eventually took the lead when the number six crashed over from short range. The try was converterd by the left winger.
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The Chiefs replied almost immediately when Sam Meadham fielded a kick deep inside his own half. His run took play into Crediton territory, where the forwards advanced the ball through a few phases. Alex Ford broke through close to a ruck and found Rory O’Brien in support to run in under the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion to level the scores.
Crediton dominated the second quarter but were kept out by a determined and well-organised Sidmouth defence. With two minutes remaining of the half, Gavin Pearson was yellow carded for an offence at a ruck near the line. Crediton opted for a scrum and had no problem shunting Sidmouth’s seven men back for the number eight to get the touch down. The try was unconverted leaving the halftime score at 7-12.
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The chiefs started the second half with real purpose and a fine handling move ended with debutant Tom Elliott crossing in the left corner, but he lost control of the ball as he did so and the score was disallowed.
Once Crediton worked their way into the Sidmouth half, they extended their lead with a well-struck penalty.
With the home forwards increasing their grip on the game, the Chiefs were constantly on the back foot and unable to take advantage of the wind. Twice in the middle of the half Crediton kicked penalties to the corner and mauled their way over with trys scored by the hooker and loose head prop. Both were unconverted.
The Chiefs showed good spirit to finish the game strongly. Under pressure inside their own 22, Crediton had two players sent to the sin bin before the Chiefs scored a consolation try in injury time, when Luke Wells-Burr cut inside the cover defence to touch down near the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion.
On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Torquay Athletic, who lie one place, and one point, behind the Chiefs after a run of four wins. The kick off at the Blackmore field is at 2.30pm.
The Quins travel to play Paignton 2nds and the third team are at Torquay.
The Colts play Paignton Colts at Sidford with a 2.30pm kick off.