Sidmouth finding life tough at the higher level as they suffer fourth straight defeat

PUBLISHED: 12:17 01 October 2019

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Crediton. Ref shsp 38 19TI 0097. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Crediton. Ref shsp 38 19TI 0097. Picture: Terry Ife

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Sidmouth suffered a fourth straight league defeat when beaten 22-18 by visiting Hornets, writes Terry O'Brien.

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Crediton. Ref shsp 38 19TI 0124. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Chiefs at home to Crediton. Ref shsp 38 19TI 0124. Picture: Terry Ife

As the score line indicates, this was a close, exciting and entertaining game.

We are certainly experiencing a rise in standard over the Western Counties league.

The Chiefs are proving themselves to be competitive but have yet to find a way over the finishing line in the lead.

The result hinged on the opening minutes of the second half after a closely contested first half.

The Chiefs fought back well but Hornets just had enough composure to hang on to their lead.

Both sides showed their attacking potential in the first quarter but could not finish off promising moves.

A period of Sidmouth pressure midway through the half was eventually rewarded with a Dan Retter penalty awarded for a high tackle.

Hornets responded well and took the lead with a well-constructed try following a lineout on the Sidmouth 22. Quick recycling from two rucks caught the Home defence on the back foot and slick handling sent the right winger over in the corner. The try was unconverted.

The rest of the half continued to be evenly contested and the score remained 5-3 to the visitors.

Sidmouth's restart kick went straight into touch giving Hornets a scrum on halfway from which the scrum half made a break to the right. He was well supported by his backs, who set up a try for the open-side flanker. The conversion was successful.

Hornets were soon back on the attack and, when the outside centre ran a good angle onto a short pass, he cut through to score near the post. The conversion opened up a 16-point lead.

The Chiefs hit back almost immediately with an excellent try. The forwards drove a lineout maul from the 22 to within five metres of the line. This sucked in defenders and, when the ball was released to the backs, it was moved swiftly along the line for Luke Wells-Burr to sprint over in the corner for an unconverted try.

The Chiefs continued to enjoy territorial advantage and a Dan Retter penalty nibbled away at the lead.

When Luke Wells-Burr intercepted on his own 22 and beat two defenders on his way to touch down under the posts for a converted try the deficit was reduced to one point.

The Hornets full back kicked a penalty with ten minutes to play meaning the Chiefs then needed a try to take the lead. However, Hornets efficiently closed down the game to take the four points. On Saturday (October 5) the Chiefs travel to Keynsham.

On the Blackmore Field the Quins entertain Exeter Engineers kicking off at 3pm. The Colts play Withycombe Colts at Sidford also kicking off at 3pm.

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