First league defeat for Sidmouth Chiefs

PUBLISHED: 17:01 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:33 17 June 2010

A converted try in the last minute of injury time caused the Chiefs to suffer their first league defeat of 2008.

A converted try in the last minute of injury time caused the Chiefs to suffer their first league defeat of 2008.

This was a game they could have won comfortably as they had several scoring chances, whereas Ivybridge took the only two which came their way.

However, failure to secure and control possession in the set pieces and indiscipline at crucial times proved to be their undoing.

The Chiefs could not have made a better start. Ivybridge knocked on at the kick-off. From the resulting scrum, Dan Trim fed brother Steve on the blindside. He broke wide and Andy Matchett came off his wing to take an inside pass which wrong footed the defence and he strolled in under the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion.

They were soon back on the attack and had the defence at full stretch a couple of times but unsure handling spared the home side.

A couple of penalties allowed Ivybridge to work their way into the Sidmouth 22. A handling move seemed to be petering out when a couple of missed tackles allowed them to regain momentum. Two rucks later, an overlap was created for a try in the right corner. The conversion was unsuccessful.

However, the Chiefs' pack held the upper hand and play took place in the Ivybridge half for most of the second quarter. Jack Pyne came close to scoring on two occasions. He followed up a Steve Trim chip over the top and got a hand to the ball over the line but could only push it forward rather than exert downward pressure. Minutes later he peeled off a maul and crossed the line but was held up. Also Dan Retter saw two penalty attempts drift just wide of the upright as the score remained 7-5 at the break.

The Chiefs extended their lead 5 minutes into the second half when Max Hansford fielded a poor clearance kick on halfway. He linked with Andy Matchett who left 3 defenders in his wake on a powerful 40 metre run. He was eventually brought down a few metres short of the line but Dan Retter was on hand to finish off the move under the posts. He also added the conversion.

Ivybridge closed the gap with a penalty before the Chiefs had a chance to leave them needing three scores. An excellent handling move covering 50 metres was ended when Beau Henrickson was felled by a dangerous tackle a few metres short of the line. Some referees might have awarded a penalty try but on this occasion a telling off was deemed to be sufficient.

What followed was indicative of the final quarter. The Chiefs went for the line-out from the resulting penalty but failed to secure the ball and Ivybridge cleared to the 22. The next line-out was also lost and play was suddenly in the Sidmouth half.

Ivybridge had posed little danger during the half until their number 8 put in a powerful run. However, he was well shepherded by the combined efforts of Matchett and Hansford and the danger was averted.

Despite losing three scrums against the head, the Chiefs kept territorial advantage. With five minutes to go they were camped in the home 22, where the referee blew his whistle in their favour. Wanting advantage, a comment was made to the official and he reversed his decision to a penalty in favour of Ivybridge, which was kicked into the Sidmouth half. A few minutes later another comment was made when Ivybridge were awarded a penalty on halfway. Play was advanced 10 metres and then another 10 when the Chiefs failed to retire the required distance.

They were now defending desperately in their own 22 and conceded another penalty. All the momentum was with Ivybridge and, with the Sidmouth defence in a tangle, the outside centre exploited a gap to score in the left corner. The conversion gave Ivybridge the lead and ushered the final whistle.

The Chiefs missed a chance to go top of the league as Paignton also faltered at Minehead. So the contest goes to the wire in the final round of games on Saturday. The Chiefs entertain Devonport Services, hoping that Ivybridge can do them a favour at Queen's Park.

The Chiefs kick off against Services at Blackmore at 3.00pm. The 'Quins play a curtain raiser at noon against a touring side from Rosslyn Park.

The 3rd Team entertain Wiveliscombe 3rds at Sidford, kicking off at 3pm.

The Colts are on tour in Cornwall where they will play Perranporth Colts.

By Terry O'Brien

Ivybride 1st XV 15pts

Sidmouth 1st XV 14pts


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