Paignton turn screw in U15s plate final
FIVE months after the original date of the final of the Devon Plate (the match cancelled due to swine flu) Sidmouth U15s ran out on the Sandy Park pitch against Paignton.
FIVE months after the original date of the final of the Devon Plate (the match cancelled due to swine flu) Sidmouth U15s ran out on the Sandy Park pitch against Paignton. After a closely fought match they went down 13-5.
Paignton kicked off to start what turned out to be a close fought match. Kieran Davies caught the ball and Sidmouth drove a full 30 metres up the pitch in superbly controlled maul. To some extent this move defined the match with Sidmouth's forward power being offset by Paignton's edge in the backs.
For the next ten minutes the game was evenly balanced and the first notable break was by Ash Caldwell, playing at centre rather than in his more usual position as winger, but his 40m sprint was floored 10 metres short of the Paignton line by a great covering tackle.
The first clear cut scoring opportunity came when Paignton missed a penalty attempt from 30 metres out. Whilst Sidmouth maintained good control in the scrum and at the breakdown Paignton prospered in the lineout and generally made better use of the ball in open play. After a period of sustained pressure, Paignton eventually scored from their second penalty.
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Sidmouth's defensive tackling became more determined with flanker Nick Dunn driving players backward and full back Nathan Brace pulled off a spectacularly abrasive covering tackle on the opposition winger.
Paignton turned the screw with a number of scores being denied by last ditch defence by Sidmouth.
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Sidmouth kicked off the second half three points behind and for a time it looked like they were achieving control with scrum half Ollie Cave and fly half Jevon Astley-Jones settling in to their unfamiliar positions and moving the ball well.
However, Paignton scored first when, after a series of drives, they scored to the right of the posts. With extras secured, Paignton held a 10 point lead.
Sidmouth fought back and dominated the game with attack after attack. From a scrum 10, the forwards wrestled the ball over the line only to knock on. Sids maintained the pressure and the front row secured the ball at the scrum, it moved smoothly through the locks to number 8 Josh Sergeant who picked up, ran 20m, crashing through the Paignton defence to score to the right of the posts. The conversion was missed but with 10 minutes left Sidmouth still had a great chance to win. It was not to be. Paignton picked up three more points from a penalty to secure victory.