Sidmouth Chiefs continue to slide down league table

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Devonport Services. Ref shsp 04-16 AW 7541. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Devonport Services. Ref shsp 04-16 AW 7541. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth went down 31-11 on their visit to Devonport Services, writes Terry O’Brien.

The Chiefs’ slide down the league table continues following this defeat in Plymouth.

The contrast between early season form, when they defeated Services twice in consecutive weeks, is highlighted by this result.

The game was played on a 3G artificial turf pitch as the Rectory Field was waterlogged. Both sides enjoyed the firm surface despite damp overhead conditions.

Services kicked off with the breeze in their favour. They took an early lead with a penalty kicked by the fly half and a second quickly followed as the Chiefs discipline let them down once again. A high penalty count would contribute to the result.

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Dan Retter kicked a penalty at the other end to open his side’s scoring. The Chiefs then took the lead following a good handling move, which took them into Services territory. strong run by Stuart Bickerstaff continued the momentum before Paul Richardson kicked ahead into the box. Rory O’Brien followed up and enjoyed a favourable bounce to gather and sprint over. The try was unconverted.

Services began to enjoy territorial advantage as their fly half used the wind well to kick for position. He kicked a third penalty to regain the lead for his side before it was his sides turn to benfit from a good bounce as he threaded a grubber kick through into the Sidmouth 22. The right winger followed up to gather and touch down an unconverted try.

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Another try followed when a penalty was kicked to the corner and the forwards mauled their way over. Again the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

The Chiefs responded well and dominated the final ten minutes of the half but, despite a couple of darting runs from Harry Chesterton and one fine threequarter move, they could not add to their score. Halftime arrived with the score 8-19.

With the breeze now in their favour, the Chiefs made a promising start to the second half. A break by Sam Cavin, well supported by Ollie May, produced a penalty, which was converted by Dan Retter. It was then Retter’s turn to break through with a dummy, which took play into the opposing 22, but a penalty was conceeded and the position lost.

With the game evenly poised, the Chiefs played they last 20 minutes with 14 men as, first Harry Chesterton and then Rory O’Brien were sent to the sin bin. Injuries to Zac Bess and Stuart Bickerstaff added to the problems.

This swung momentum decisively in favour of Services and they extended their lead with two tries from five metres scrums. The first was touched down by the number eight and then the scrum half darted over in injury time.

On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Truro kicking off at 2.30pm. The Chiefs won well on their visit to Cornwall in September but Truro are another team enjoying an upsurge in form.

The Quins travel to travel to South Molton. The third team are at Withycombe and the Colts are away at Paignton.

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