Sidmouth Under-15s into Devon Plate final after thrilling win at OPMs
PUBLISHED: 13:09 03 February 2020
Sidmouth Under-15s won their way into the final of the Devon RFU Plate competition after a richly deserved - if nerve-jangling - 21-20 success at the Plymstock home of Old Plymothian & Mannamedians (OPMs).
After all the recent rain the playing surface was certainly of the 'challenging' type and it was the home side who mastered the conditions first and they took an early lead with a try from a line break.
The home side continued to dominate throughout the early stages, and had it not been for some outstanding Sidmouth defensive play, the hosts would surely have added to their 20 point haul.
Having worked hard to keep OPMs at arms length, Sidmouth began to grow into the game and they scored with a well-worked pick-and-drive try scored by Louis Cornick and subsequently converted by Fred Eul-Barker and the teams trooped off at the break with the hosts leading 20-7.
Sidmouth made a confident start to the second half and scored again with another interception try from Eul-Barker.
It all meant that, as the clock ticked down, Sidmouth trailed 14-20. As conditions deteriorated, Sidmouth dug deep, working hard at the breakdowns with some fantastic rucking, and counter-rucking.
Twice, Sidmouth got agonisingly close to the home try line only to be repelled, but their persistence was eventually rewarded as Cornick crossed for his second try and another successful conversion saw Sidmouth edge into a single point lead at 21-20.
Shortly after nudging into the lead, the final whistle was blown to signal Sidmouth's passage into the Devon final which will be played in April when they will take on Ivybridge.