Sidmouth Chiefs look sharp for precision win
Tries have been in short supply for the Chiefs in recent games, only one in the last three league matches, writes Terry O'Brien.
Tries have been in short supply for the Chiefs in recent games, only one in the last three league matches. Well, they put that right in some style at High House with six of the best from a combination of precision teamwork and sharp opportunism. This win puts them four points clear of the chasing pack in second place. They took the lead inside the first minute. Andy Matchett followed up the kick off and stole the ball from the catcher. The ball was moved to Dan Retter who attempted a drop goal. It drifted well wide of the posts but Harry Chesterton followed up at pace and beat two defenders to the ball in a repeat of the decisive try he scored against the same opponents at the Blackmore. Retter, who had a rare off day with the boot, missed the first of five kicks at goal.Kingsbridge were stung into action and soon had the Chiefs on the defensive. Good defence kept their line intact and they eventually broke out with a fine handling move involving backs and forwards to take play into the home 22. Kingsbridge were penalised at a ruck and Sidmouth kicked for the corner to gain a lineout five metres out. They went for a catch and drive and mauled their way over for the ever-improving Beau Henrickson to score his first try for the Chiefs. In the middle of the half Kingsbridge again tested the Sidmouth defence but could not find a way through. Then they were killed off with three tries in quick succession. When they tried to run the ball out of their own 22 a dropped pass was scooped up by Callum Hill, who beat two opponents before touching down under the posts. Dan Retter added the conversion.Quick ball from a lineout just inside the Kingsbridge 22 gave the backs time and space. Tristan Beavis made the decisive break and timed his pass well to send Jamie Wardrop over on the left. Then, when Kingsbridge missed a kick for touch, Max Hansford initiated a counterattack which ended with Harry Chesterton going over in the corner for his second try. With the score 27-0 at halftime the game was over as a contest. However, when Steve Trim broke on the blindside of a ruck and sprinted 40 metres to score under the posts, they took their foot off the pedal. Dan Retter's conversion proved to be their last score.Kingsbridge, who had never lost heart and kept running the ball at every opportunity, were rewarded with two late scores. Their hooker broke away from a maul in the Sidmouth 22 to touch down unopposed. Then they were awarded a penalty try when the scrum half was obstructed from following up his own kick ahead. Both tries were converted.The Chiefs finished the game on the attack and were unlucky when a penalty attempt in injury time rebounded from an upright. On Saturday, the Chiefs play their game in hand when they travel to Wadebridge Camels who have not been beaten at home for almost two years. A win would put them equal on points with Paignton and in a strong position for a top two finish.At the Blackmore, the 'Quins entertain Honiton 2nds in a local derby. The Colts travel to Honiton for a Merit Table game. The 3rds are playing Totnes.