Sidmouth Chiefs toppled by Truro despite sparkling spell

Sidmouth chiefs at home to Truro. Ref shsp 05-16TI 0081. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth chiefs at home to Truro. Ref shsp 05-16TI 0081. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Chiefs went down 40-22 at home to Truro in their latest league match, writes Terry O’Brien.

A sparkling six minute spell in the middle of the first half raised hopes that the Chiefs long losing run would end, but the bigger Truro pack gradually wore down the Chiefs resistance and 17 unanswered points in the closing 12 minutes eventually gave the Cornishmen a decisive victory.

With the Blackmore Field waterlogged, the match was played on the newly relayed pitch at Sidford. Truro took the lead with a penalty in the first minute after the Chiefs failed to secure the ball from the kick-off. From the restart, the game was played at a fast pace as both teams showed ambition on the firm surface. A jinking run by Harry Chesterton paved the way to the opening try. He took play into the Truro 22, where the ball was quickly recycled from a ruck and moved smoothly along the backline for Giles Dixon to dive over in the left corner. The try was unconverted.

Three minutes later, more quick rcycling through the phases stretched the visitors defence until James Powell exploited a gap to cut through for a second unconverted try. A third try soon followed, when the ball was turned over at a breakdown on halfway. Paul Richardson broke down the blindside and James Powell provided the link to send Rory O’Brien sprinting clear. Sam Cavin added the conversion.

Truro hit back with three tries of their own to take a one point lead at halftime. A loose kick and some poor tackling allowed the full back to embark on a diagonal 50 metre run. He was eventually tackled just short of the line but his offload found the left winger in support to finish the move off.

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When the Chiefs left room on the blindside of a ruck, the right winger sprinted in from 40 metres out. Then, on the stroke of halftime, the Truro pack drove a lineout maul to the line, where the number three peeled off to dive over. None of the tries was converted leaving the score 17-18 in favour of the visitors at the interval.

Five minutes into the second half, Truro extended their lead with another try from a lineout catch-and-drive play. Again it was unconverted.

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The Chiefs got themselves back in the game after Truro had been temporarily reduced to 14 men, when a forward was yellow carded. A period of pressure in the visitors 22 was rewarded when James Salter dived over on the blindside of a ruck. Sam Cavin’s conversion attempt from wide out rebounded from the crossbar leaving his side one point behind, but with a bonus point secured.

Unfortunately, that was as close as they got as Truro took charge in the closing minutes. A series of forward drives took play to the Sidmouth line, where the number three forced his way over for his second try. The fly half added the conversion.

A pushover try soon followed from a five metre scrum. The number eight touched down.

With two minutes to go, more pressure in the Sidmouth 22 stretched the defence to create an overlap on the right for a simple run in to complete the scoring.

On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Tiverton in a game rearranged from the cancellation of the scheduled fixture on January 2.

The kick off is at 2.30pm. After the match the Scotland versus England Calcutta Cup match match will be shown on the big screen in the clubhouse. Non-members are welcome.

The second XV travel to Newton Abbot and the Colts are at Crediton. The thirds play Topsham seconds at Sidford, kicking off at 2.30pm.

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