Sidmouth Chiefs edged out in error-strewn meeting with Crediton
PUBLISHED: 13:08 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 17 September 2019
As the score line of 28-30 indicates, the first home game of the Western Counties West campaign for Sidmouth proved to be a closely contested and indeed, entertaining game, though there were too many errors on both sides to label it a classic, writes Terry O'Brien.
From the Sidmouth point of view, failure to control the set pieces was the decisive factor.
Crediton opened the scoring after two minutes with a penalty kicked by the fly half. The Chiefs responded with a fine handling move covering half the length of the pitch but Crediton added a second penalty in the tenth minute.
When a Crediton player dropped the ball just inside his own half, Dan Retter scooped it up and set off into the 22. Johnny Hamill was in support, but he was brought down a few metres short of the line. The forwards were quickly in support to set up a series of rucks until Peli Vea forced his way over under the posts. Dan Retter kicked the conversion to put his side ahead.
A Harry Chesterton break from halfway took play into the opposing 22, where the Chiefs were awarded a penalty. Dan Retter kicked the three points.
The Chiefs were now in the ascendancy and another slick handling move put them in an attacking position from which Retter kicked a drop goal to extend the lead.
A few minutes later the Chiefs failed to control the ball in a lineout on their 22 and it was snapped up by a Crediton forward, who started a move finished off by the left winger for an unconverted try.
In the closing minutes of the half, a strong break by Peli Vea and a well-timed pass sent Luke Wells-Burr sprinting into the left corner. The try was unconverted leaving the halftime score at 18-11.
The Chiefs started the second half on the attack but, when Crediton turned over possession at a breakdown, the visitors broke deep into Sidmouth territory with a good handling move. They kept the ball through several phases until they created an overlap for the right winger to score in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
With the Sidmouth scrum in disarray, Crediton took control of the game for the remainder of the third quarter and were rewarded when the right winger scored a second try with a fine individual run. The fly half kicked the conversion.
Chris Higgs did well to win the contest for the ball at the resulting kick off to set up a move going through many phases until Higgs himself finished it off sprinting over in the left corner. Dan Retter converted from wide out to restore the lead before extending it with penalty after a strong run by Rabbie Hansford had taken play to the Crediton line.
Crediton came back strongly to press on the Sidmouth line but, when the ball was eventually cleared upfield with full time approaching, it seemed the Chiefs might hang on to the slender lead. However, the Crediton scrum half broke on the blindside of a scrum on the 10-metre line and beat two men on his way to the line to level the scores. The conversion proved to be the winning score.
On Saturday (September 21), the Chiefs travel to play Devonport Services, who are the early league leaders.
On the Blackmore Field, the Quins entertain Exeter Athletic 2nds (3pm). The Colts travel to Teignmouth.