Sidmouth Quins win promotion as ‘final’ Devon Merit Tables are published

Sidmouth Quins who have been crowned Devon Merit Table two (NE) champions for the 2019/20 season. Pi

Sidmouth Quins who have been crowned Devon Merit Table two (NE) champions for the 2019/20 season. Picture: SRFC - Credit: Archant

The Devon RFU competitions committee have announced the outcome of the merit table competitions for the season, writes Terry O’Brien.

It has been decided use a percentage system whereby the percentage of points gained related to the total number of points possible in the games actually completed is allocated to each team.

As a result Sidmouth Quins have won the North and East Merit Table Two for the second year running.

As the play-off competition, the Dave Butt Cup, has been cancelled, the Quins have been awarded promotion to the Devon Merit Table One for next season.

The team, captained by Neil Barratt, started the season strongly. Playing entertaining rugby they soon established themselves at the top of the table, a heavy defeat to Exmouth III being the only blemish in the run up to Christmas.

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Going into the new year proved to be more challenging as injuries began to mount and the strength in depth of the squad was tested. It was great to see reserves stepping up and fitting in to the structure of play and style the team have built up over the last two seasons.

A narrow defeat against Topsham II on January 4, saw them drop into second place behind Exmouth III.

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The return match against the Cockles on February 1, proved to be decisive. The Quins won an exciting game 15-13 to regain top place, a position they held until the season was brought to a premature close in March.

The final merit table record was 13 wins, one draw and two defeats scoring 576 points and conceding 153.

They have maintained a 100 per cent home merit table record for two seasons. Neil Barratt led the way with 15 tries, mostly set up from lineout mauls by the pack. Ben Salter and Will Griffiths scored seven a piece.

The team have been well supported by managers Robert Baugh and John Hamill, the match day coaching of Stuart Cavin and physio Jamie Wride.

The squad are now looking forward to the challenge of Merit Table One after a four-year absence.

Sidmouth Quins were last in the Devon Merit Table One in the 2016/17 campaign which saw them play 23 games, winning two and losing the other 21. Their two victories both came at home as they defeated Bideford II 39-22 on January 14, 2017 and they also saw off visiting Brixham II 32-12 with that match played on October 15, 2106. That season, Sidmouth Quins finished bottom of the table matching their final position from the season before when, ironically, their only two wins were both at home to Bideford and Brixham! The last time Quins played in the Devon Merit Table One was back on April 8, 2017 when they lost 24-15 against Tiverton Quins.

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