Sidmouth Chiefs beaten by clinical Okehampton

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Wadebridge Camels. Ref shsp 4609-48-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Wadebridge Camels. Ref shsp 4609-48-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Chiefs were beaten for only the fourth time in the Western Counties leaguethis season when they went down 24-8 at home to an Okehampton side that showed just why they have only lost the one game so far this season, writes Terry O’Brien.

The Chiefs had their opportunities, but failed to turn pressure into points. Meanwhile, when the opportunities came their way, the visitors finishing was clinical.

Sidmouth kicked off into a stiff diagonal breeze. The opening stages were nervy with both sides making basic errors. Eventually Sidmouth settled first and enjoyed a good period of pressure through the middle of the half. However, the closest they came to scoring came when they drove a lineout maul to within a metre of the line. They lost possession at another lineout five metres out and lost control of the ball at a five metre scrum in front of the posts.

Having successfully kept their line intact, Okehampton went on the offensive in the closing minutes of the half. The Chiefs did well to hold out against strong pressure in their 22 only to conceed a try when they seemed to have lifted the siege.

From a scrum on halfway, Okehampton worked a move on the blindside to send the scrum half on a run back into the Sidmouth 22. He was well supported by the backrow. The move was stopped just sghort of the line but, when the ball was recycled from a ruck, the outside centre found a gap in the stretched defence to touch down near the posts. His fellow centre kicked the conversion.

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The score remained 0-7 at halftime.

Two minutes into the second half, Okehampton extended their lead, when the full back made a break on the counterattack to start a move finished off by the hooker. The try was converted.

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The Chiefs responded well and were soon camped on the Okehampton line, but once again they could not find a way over. When an Okehampton player was yellow-carded, Dan Retter kicked the resulting penalty.

Okehampton responded immediately when the hooker fielded a clearance kick and ran through several tackles to set up a try for the number eight. A few minutes later, they secured a bonus point when the scrum half broke down the blindside of a scrum ten metres out. Neither score was converted.

The Chiefs dominated the final quarter and were eventually rewarded with a consolation try, when Haydn Down crashed over following a quick tap penalty.

Luke Wells-Burr also crossed the line in the closing minutes but was recalled for a foot in touch.

On Saturday the Chiefs travel to Crediton, where the home side are finding form after a disappointing start to the season.

At the Blackmore Field, the Quins entertain Crediton 2nds kicking off at 2.30pm.

Sidmouth third XV play Crediton thirds at Sidford with a 2.30pm kick off.

The Colts travel to Plymstock Albion Oaks.

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