Powell bags try hat-trick as Chiefs see off Crediton

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Bude. Ref shsp 39-16TI 8587. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Bude. Ref shsp 39-16TI 8587. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Chiefs notched up their third bonus point win in a row thanks to a 47-22 victory in their Devon derby against Crediton, writes Terry O’Brien.

With the forwards continuing to provide a good supply of possession, the Sidmouth backs proved to be too much of a handful for the Kirton defence.

The visitors kicked off in perfect conditions and the opening play moved inconclusively from end to end as both sides made errors, gifting the ball to the opposition. Crediton took an early lead with penalty kicked by the full back, which was soon cancelled out by a similar effort from Tom Whelan.

The first spell of fluent continuity produced the Chiefs opening try on the quarter hour. Tom Whelan dummied his way over from a ruck inside the opposing 22 after the ball had been quickly recycled through several phases. He also added the conversion.

The Sidmouth backs began to look dangerous and one excellent move almost resulted in a try for Chris Higgs but the wingman was stopped just short of the line. However, two tries in quick succession by James Powell opened up a comfortable lead. When Crediton dropped the ball just inside their own half, Sam Richardson scooped it up and sent Powell sprinting clear. Minutes later, Ollie Derryman stole the ball at a Crediton lineout and moved it to the backs. Tom Seward made a half break and found Powell in support to outpace the defence once again. Tom Whelan converted the second of these tries before adding a second penalty.

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Crediton finished the half strongly and came close to scoring but the Sidmouth defence kept their line intact to leave the half time score at 25-3.

Crediton continued to pose problems after the restart and, when a Sidmouth kick was charged down, they followed up quickly to exert pressure on the home goal line. The Chiefs stopped them from crossing the line but the referee ruled that they did so illegally and awarded a penalty try. The full back added the extra two points.

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The Chiefs hit back almost immediately with an outstanding try. Ollie Pyne won a Crediton lineout throw inside his own half. The ball was moved quickly to the backs, where James Powell made a clean break through the centre before sending out a long pass to Luke Wells-Burr, who outpaced the cover to score in the right corner.

The try of the match came in the 65th minute following a kick deep into the Sidmouth 22. Matt Goss covered back to pick up the loose ball. He beat two chasing players and set up a handling move, which covered the length and width of the field before Rory O’Brien touched down in the left corner.

Two minutes later, Goss fielded another kick on halfway and Sam Richardson provided the link to send James Powell on a 50 metre sprint to complete his try hat- trick.

Crediton reduced the arrears, when they kicked a penalty to the corner and mauled their way over from the resulting lineout, with the number eight getting the touch down and the full back adding the conversion.

Rory O’Brien scored a second try, when he picked up a loose ball inside the Crediton 22 and exchanged passes with Aidan Taylor. Dan Retter kicked the conversion.

Just before the final whistle, the visitors scored a third try when a diagonal kick by the fly half found the number six in space on the left wing to catch and step inside the covering defenders. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

On Saturday, the Chiefs are without a game. They were set to host Cullompton in the 1st round of Devon Senior Cup. However, last weekend Cully’s match at Torquay was abandoned after 25 minutes owing to an injury to the referee! The league takes precedence over the cup and so the Chiefs sit this coming Saturday out while Cully go back to Torquay and the cup match will have to be slotted into a new date.

There will be action on the Blackmore turf on Saturday as the Quins host Brixham 2nds.

Sidmouth Colts travel to face Topsham Colts.

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