Rugby round-up from the region

Withycombe rugby in the mud

Withycombe rugby in the mud - Credit: Adam Curtis

Exmouth’s 1st XV must still be in shock after suffering the most dramatic and galling defeat of the Tribute South West Premier Division season - 30-31 away to Old Centralians in Gloucester. 

The Cockles, in control for almost the entire match, led 17-7 at half-time, 24-10 in the second half and were still 30-17 ahead with only five minutes to go! 

But from then conceding a penalty try, and losing two players to the 'sin bin', Exmouth kicked the ball dead from the restart, giving Cents a scrum on halfway. 

Moments later the hosts scored another try under the posts, kicked the conversion and the game was over. 

Remarkably, since that's five defeats in six games, Exmouth - they did at least come away with a Bonus Point - are still fifth in the table after a day of surprises in conditions which forced several postponements. 

Leaders Exeter University lost 19-21 at Old Redcliffians (Bristol) and Hornets (Weston), who are now third, went down 8-13 away to mid-table Launceston. 

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Old Redcliffians (2nd) are the next visitors to Exmouth's Imperial Rec' this Saturday. 

The resumption of league fixtures after the Christmas/New Year break did herald a welcome victory for Sidmouth in South West One. 

A 24-10 win over Newent at Blackmore was their first in eight games and enabled them finally to start looking up the table instead of over their shoulders at the bottom. 

Sidmouth (10th) travel to North Petherton (9th) on Saturday, with a chance of overtaking their Somerset rivals if they can follow up with another win. 

It was predictably muddy at Raleigh Park where Withycombe lost 7-10 to in-form Cullompton. 

A late penalty try for the Withies set up a grandstand finish, and they did throw everything at the visitors near the end, but Cullompton held out. 

A Bonus Point moved Withycombe up to 7th in Cornwall/Devon Division ahead of a trip to Saltash this Saturday. 

Topsham are still top, after a 55-0 win over North Tawton at the Bonfire Field, but only two points separate them from Pirates Amateurs and the two sides meet in Penzance this weekend in a potential title decider.