Sidmouth out of County Cup at Teignmouth

Sidmouth chiefs at home to Devonport services. Ref shsp 2565-07-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth chiefs at home to Devonport services. Ref shsp 2565-07-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Chiefs travelled to Bitton Park with five changes from the previous game for a Devon Intermediate Cup quarter-final tie that saw them beaten 31-7 by Teignmouth, writes Terry O’Brien.

They put up a creditable performance to make the league leaders work hard, with the result in doubt until midway through the second half. However, they will be ruing the mistakes, which gifted three tries in quick succession to turn the game in favour of the home side.

Teignmouth kicked off in good conditions and soon took the lead, when they won a scrum against the head near the Sidmouth line. The forwards took the ball on and the blindside flanker drove over. The try was converted.

Despite this ominous start, the Chiefs battled back well, assisted by a number of uncharacteristic Teignmouth errors. They had their opponents rattled by an attack started from a lineout peel, which went through several phases. They drove deep into the home 22 before they conceded a penalty at a ruck to end the move.

The Chiefs continued to enjoy territorial advantage as Teignmouth battled to regain composure. Harry Chesterton and George Locke combined well in a move following a turnover on halfway, but again they failed to capitalise.

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On a rare Teignmouth attack, Nick Mills did well to steal the ball at an attempted lineout catch-and drive play. And, when Teignmouth were penalised, the Chiefs went back on the attack in spectacular fashion. A Dan Retter cross kick in his own 22 found Giles Dixon in space to start a handling move, which took play deep into Teignmouth territory.

The Chiefs finished the half on the attack, but could not break their duck. The half time score remained at 7-0 to the home side.

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Three minutes into the second half, the score they had threatened eventually came. Following a lineout on halfway, a strong run by Harry Chesterton took the ball over the gain line to start a multi-phase move. Aiden Taylor made further inroads into the 22. Three rucks later George Locke broke down the blindside and passed inside for Giles Dixon to score. Dan Retter added the conversion to level the score.

As in the recent encounter at the Blackmore Field, responded to adversity by tightening up their game, forcing the Chiefs into errors, which, unlike their opponents, the capitalised on fully.

A missed touch kick found the right winger, who started a counterattack and a diagonal kick bounced favourably for the left winger to gather and race over for a converted try.

Minutes later a sliced kick found touch five metres from the Sidmouth line. A routine catch-and-drive brought try number three, which was also converted.

Any hopes of a Sidmouth comeback died when they threw to the back of a lineout near their own line, always a risky option. The ball was lost and a forward raced over on the blindside of the ruck which followed.

Teignmouth added a fifth try with a well worked backs move from an attacking scrum with the full back joining the line to touch down.

The Chiefs showed their usual good spirit to finish the game strongly. Jevon Astley-Jones, recently introduced from the bench, produced a 40-metre break and was only brought down a few metres short of the line. And a Giles Dixon break initiated a good move but not the score their endeavour deserved.

On Saturday the Chiefs are back to league action with a visit the Exeter University, who are still in the process of an appeal against a massive 50-point deduction to salvage their hopes of promotion.

At the Blackmore Field the Quins entertain Cullompton 2nds kicking off at 2.30pm.

The Colts travel to play Exeter Chiefs Colts.

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