Sidmouth Chiefs complete campaign with a narrow victory

Another entertaining year at Blackmore

Another entertaining year at Blackmore - Credit: Dominic Fraser

Sidmouth Chiefs finished the league season on a winning note in a close-fought, entertaining match against Keynsham thanks to three tries of contrasting type and some outstanding defensive work. 

Keynsham had the early edge in both territory and possession for the first quarter but found themselves up against a stubborn defence. The Chiefs broke out three times with promising handling moves following turnovers at the breakdown. However, the Keynsham fly half had them back on the defensive with good use of the new 50/22 kicking law. 

Keynsham eventually took the lead following a break by their outside centre before offloading to his fellow centre to finish off the move.  

The Chiefs went on the attack from the restart. After a good period of pressure, Rabbie Hansford crossed the line but could not ground the ball. Following the resulting goal line drop out, the Chiefs were soon back on the attack.  

When Keynsham were penalised in front of their post, quick-thinking scrum half Richie Drewett took a swift tap before sending Phil Dollman in under the posts. Dollman converted his own try. 

Keynsham regained the lead just before half-time, when the number 7 ran a good angle to cut through following a ruck near the line. The fly half added the conversion for a 12-7 lead. 

Play was mainly confined to the area between the 22 metre lines in the opening minutes of the second half until an opportunist try regained the lead for the Chiefs. Dollman charged down a kick on halfway and regathered the ball and run unopposed to touch down under the posts. 

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The Keynsham fly half kicked his side back in front with a penalty before Phil Dollman missed narrowly with a similar effort. 

The Chiefs applied pressure in the middle of the half but when the forwards crossed the line, once again they could not ground the ball. From the resulting drop out, the Chiefs launched a slick handling move from halfway. When the ball reached James Powell, he was well covered but two powerful hand-offs saw him power his way to the line for an unconverted try. 

Sidmouth 19 Keynsham 15. 

Sidmouth Chiefs sign off for the year

Sidmouth Chiefs sign off for the year - Credit: Dominic Fraser