Player shortages hit Sidmouth secodn’s and they get well beaten at Newton Abbot

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Topsham. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 7079-39-13TI To order your copy of thi

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Topsham. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 7079-39-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

Newton Abbot II 69, Sidmouth II 0 It was as if the gods of rugby had conspired against the Sidmouth second team, writes Bob Baugh.

Just a week after securing an impressive 22–14 win over Topsham they had to face the might of Newton Abbot.

From 27 players available seven days previously Sidmouth were down to a mere 13 and being unable to find a fit prop or scrum half were obliged to borrow from the large Newton contingent.

To make things even more challenging the rain gods literally waded in meaning the toss up at the start was based on a choice of the deep end or the shallow end!

Despite all these adversities Sidmouth started the match well with excellent defence repelling waves of Newton Abbot attack.

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The return of Fran Lea added significantly to the effectiveness of the forwards and the Sidmouth pack proved dominant in the set piece with several excellent drives forcing the opposition back.

The hard work of Tom Reed, Roger Golding and Rob Cruze all contributed to the dominance which was more than matched by Ryan Davies, Martyn Osborne and Dan Rugg in the back row.

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The quality and experience of Newton Abbot gave them scoring opportunities which they took and in the first half Sidmouth’s reluctance to tackle allowed them a significant margin. Sidmouth however did not shirk the task and excellent defensive work from the backs and in particular Man of the Match Harry Shaylor let Newton know they had to work for any try they scored. The determination of Sidmouth was more evident after half time where some adventurous moves from fly half Adam Squance were thwarted by the difficult conditions. The defence continued with both Ben Pratt and Ben Salter rediscovering their tackling skills and Jamie Balloch and captain Scott Davies working hard as the last defensive hurdle. Even though the score at the end was not flattering, the Sidmouth players can take two big positives from their rain sodden experience – they worked hard from start to finish and showed spirit when a weaker group of players would have buckled. Next week the road trip continues with Okehampton away which probably will mean more rain, but hopefully with more players in tow!

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