Sidmouth Colts share Devon Cup with Okehampton
- Credit: Archant
Okehampton Colts 3, Sidmouth Colts 3 The Devon Colts Cup final failed to produce an outright winner, with two very equal and committed teams cancelling each other out at Okehampton last Sunday, writes Terry O’Brien.
With the scores tied at 3-3, and extra time not an option for youth players, the cup will be shared for the next twelve months.
A share of the title is the best Sidmouth Colts have achieved since its introduction in the 1960s!
Okehampton won the toss and elected to play up the slope with the slight breeze in their faces. Nerves were evident in the early stages, with both sides making errors and neither able to impose itself. A break through the middle by the Okehampton left winger provided the first positive move and put his side on the attack, but the Sidmouth defence held firm and the danger was soon cleared.
Sidmouth took the lead after 20 minutes when Jay Wright kicked a 40-metre penalty. Okehampton responded almost immediately with a break through the centre. James Dyer’s tackle slowed the momentum, but pressure built in the Sidmouth-22 until a turnover in a ruck near the line enabled them to clear the ball up-field.
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The remainder of the half was all Sidmouth. A charged down kick did not quite bounce kindly for them and a penalty allowed Okehampton to relieve the pressure momentarily. When James Dyer fielded a loose kick he carved an opening but an early tackle on a supporting player halted the move. The resulting penalty attempt was one of three misses in quick succession and half time arrived with the score still 3-0.
This was a slender lead to defend with Okehampton now having the natural advantages in their favour. It looked even more so when the fly half kicked an equalising penalty two minutes into the half.
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Sidmouth’s understandable caution drew them into a kicking battle. Up the slope, against the breeze and a team well used to the terrain of their home pitch, this was always going to be a battle they could not win. Okehampton dominated territory, but they could not dominate a resolute and well-organised Sidmouth defence in they-shall-not-pass mood. Okehampton may now be reflecting on electing to run a penalty 30-metres out rather than kicking for goal.
With time running out the fly half attempted a couple of drop goals. The second, in injury time, went perilously close, but the deadlock remained unresolved at the final whistle.