Sidmouth Chiefs win final league game and set up home Devon Intermediate Cup final
PUBLISHED: 12:10 07 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:00 08 April 2019
Sidmouth Chiefs kept their place at the top of the Tribute Western Counties (W) table and ensured that the Devon Intermediate Cup final against Crediton will be played on the Blackmore Field after a workman-like 28-10 win against Paignton, which also consigned their opponents to relegation, writes Terry O'Brien.
In a game, which never got out of third gear, the Chiefs took too many wrong options while Paignton lacked the fire power to pierce the well-organised Sidmouth defence. With Dan Retter unable to converted any of the five tries, the Chiefs did not open up a comfortable lead until the second half.
The Chiefs opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Dan Retter kicked a penalty into the corner for a lineout five metres out. The forwards set up a maul and rumbled over for Ollie Derryman to get the touch down.
Dan Retter’s boot was again involved in the second try. His diagonal kick seemed to be rolling into touch before Luke Wells-Burr got a foot to it and kicked it towards the line. Sam Meadham won the chase for the score.
Paignton opened their account with a penalty kicked by the scrum half.
The Chiefs responded almost immediately when Paignton dropped the ball just inside the Sidmouth half. Luke Wells-Burr scooped it up and set off upfield. Johnny Hamill provided the link to send Sam Meadham racing in from 30 metres for his second try.
This seemed to signal a lapse in concentration as Paignton took control for the remainder of the half. Though they battered away at the Sidmouth line they could not finish things off. Twice the Chiefs turned over possession in contact and eventually a penalty enabled them to clear upfield to keep play at a safe range for the remainder of the half.
The Chiefs opened the second half with a bit more fire and were rewarded with a penalty kicked by Dan Retter to give them a more comfortable three-score cushion.
Ten minutes later, they scored the vital bonus point fourth try. The forwards started matters off with a driving maul from a lineout before peeling off to advance the ball through a couple of rucks then releasing it to the backs. Swift handling found George Locke on the overlap to race over in the corner.
With 10 minutes to go, Peli Vea intercepted a loose pass on halfway and raced into the Paignton 22. When he was tackled, the ball was quickly recycled and moved to an overlap on the right for Luke Wells-Burr to score try number five.
Paignton, who had contributed much to the game, were eventually rewarded with a try in injury time. Their lively scrum half took a quick tap penalty close to the Sidmouth line and the open side flanker forced his way over. The scrum half added the conversion followed by the final whistle.
The Chiefs will travel to Saltash on Saturday (April 13) needing a win to ensure the league championship and promotion.
The Devon Intermediate Cup final will take place at the Blackmore Field on Easter Saturday (April 20).