Sidmouth Chiefs bag superb away win at Devonport Services

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Exeter Engineers at the Sidford ground. Ref shsp 06 18TI 7055. Picture: Ter

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Exeter Engineers at the Sidford ground. Ref shsp 06 18TI 7055. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Chiefs were 18-13 winners when they travelled to Plymouth to take on Devonport Services in a Western Counties (West) encounter, writes Clive Dwerryhouse.

Sidmouth’s heroic defence kept them in the game and then two opportunist tries in the second half were enough to earn a win and one of the best results of the season.

Fielding the ball from the kick-off Sidmouth carried and recycled well, earning a penalty converted by Dan Retter. Devonport responded with an attack of their own which ended when their fly-half produced a perfect kick for his open side winger to catch and touch down and move into a 5-3 lead.

Devonport’s weightier forwards enabled them to dominate possession, but they found it difficult to make progress against Sidmouth’s offensive tackling. Halfway through the first half a mistake in the centre by Sidmouth allowed the Devonport scrum-half to intercept on the half-way line.

He had just enough pace to beat the Sidmouth cover defence and score in the corner to increase the home advantage to 10-3. There was still time left in the half for Retter to slot a second penalty and Sidmouth trooped off at the break trailing by just four points at 10-6.

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Sidmouth were under considerable pressure at the start of the second half, but when Devonport lost possession, Retter fired a high kick into the middle of the field which was brilliantly caught by Cameron Grainger at full stretch.

He passed to Zak Bess, who delivered a carefully weighted kick for winger Ethan Mead to follow up and touch down. Retter converted and Sidmouth led for the second time in the contest at 13-10.

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Two minutes later Sidmouth’s abrasive defence forced a handling error by Devonport.

Bess scooped up the loose ball and outpaced the defence for a try in the corner to increase the lead to 18-10.

Devonport converted a penalty to bring them within five points and then threw everything into attack.

Their best effort was snuffed out by a scything tackle from Tom Seward.

The ability of Sidmouth to bring on three quality replacements in Asa Unsworth, Jack Pyne and Sam Cavin was crucial in securing this outstanding win against a team competing for promotion.

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