Sidmouth Chiefs festive match ends in favour of ‘home’ side

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Wellington. Ref shsp 13-17TI 9513. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Chiefs at home to Wellington. Ref shsp 13-17TI 9513. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A good crowd was in attendance for what proved to be an entertaining holiday game between Sidmouth Quins and a team selected from the Ottery St Mary area with the ‘home’ team winning, scoring 42 points to the Otters’ 28, writes Terry O’Brien.

The first half was nip-and-tuck as the lead changed hands at regular intervals. The Quins strength in depth came to the fore as they pulled away in the second half.

The Quins opened the scoring in the fifth minute with an unconverted try, when they drove a lineout maul over for Tom Irish to get the touch down.

Ottery replied two minutes later following a charged down kick in the Sidmouth 22. Dan Rugg was quickest to react to pick up the loose ball and dart over. Connor Down added the conversion.

The Quins regained the lead when Julian Bonaldo followed up a kick ahead, which bounced favourably for his side, and dived over in the left corner. The try was unconverted.

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Dan Rugg went over for his second try after Luke Dix had made the running with a fine break from halfway. Connor Down converted.

Martin Keywood was next on the scoresheet, when he peeled away from a driving maul to power his way over for Dan Retter to convert.

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Aaron Thompson regained the lead for Ottery, when he pounced on to a loose tap back from a Sidmouth lineout five metres from the line. Connor Down converted.

In first half injury time, Ethan Mead, in his first senior game, jinked his way over following a quick penalty move to give the Quins a slender one point lead at the break.

The Quins built up an insurmountable lead with four unanswered tries in the next half hour. The forwards opened the second half as they did the first with a try from a lineout catch-and-drive play. Ethan Mead sprinted over for his second try on the end of an excellent handling move. Ben Salter won the chase following up a Dan Retter kick ahead and Wesley Keywood darted over on the blindside of a ruck after good approach work by the forwards.

Ottery showed good spirit to finish the game with a splendid try. Scrum half Sam Conway caught the Quins napping with a quick tap penalty inside his own 22 and sprinted 50 metres before passing to Luke Dix, who sprinted in under the posts. Connor Down converted to complete the scoring.

On Saturday (April 22), the Chiefs complete their league campaign when they entertain Burnham On Sea at the Blackmore Field kicking off at 2.30pm. The match is followed at 4.30pm by memorial match in honour of former Sidmouth captain Nick Baker. The teams will be made up from Nick’s former team mates and opponents. Any money raised will benefit Sidmouth junior rugby.

The Quins travel to Ivybridge to complete their Merit Table programme.

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