Sidmouth see off Honiton to win the David Turner Memorial Cup in style
- Credit: Archant
Despite the many alternative bank holiday attractions, a large crowd turned out at the Blackmore Field for a cracking local derby between Sidmouth and Honiton that saw both clubs playing their final games in preparation for the competitive season, which starts on Saturday (September 2), writes Terry O’Brien.
In the main event, the respective first teams contested for the David Turner Memorial Cup.
In the early stages, Sidmouth had the advantage in terms of territory, but it was 12 minutes before they created a scoring opportunity.
Ethan Mead, making his first team debut, made a solo run up the left wing from his own half into the Honiton 22 ,but lacked close support as the cover defence closed in. However, a try soon followed, when a loose clearance kick was run back for Will Bright to finish off a slick handing move. Dan Retter added the conversion.
When the Honiton backs dropped the ball on their 10-metre line, scrum half Josh Ledger hacked it on and was winning the chase as the ball stopped a couple of metres from the try line.
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He was tackled before he reached it and the referee awarded a penalty try judging that he would probably have scored. With the conversion kick no longer required, seven points were awarded.
The visitors responded with urgency and began to create pressure at the other end. They were rewarded with a well-worked try, when Ben Small peeled off a driving maul to dive over. The try was unconverted.
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Dan Retter kicked a long-range penalty before the Chiefs added a third try in first half injury time. A good handling move sent Tom Elliot sprinting up the right touchline. The forwards were in support to drive the ball on to the line, where Tom Seward applied the finishing touch on the blindside of a ruck. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the half time score at 22-5.
Dan Retter increased the lead with a second penalty two minutes after the restart but Honiton hit back almost immediately, after a break from the back of a lineout had taken play into the Sidmouth 22. A long period of pressure ended when the scrum half broke on the blindside of a five-metre scrum to dive over for an unconverted try.
Honiton were soon back on the attack but, when they dropped the ball, new flanker Jack Darragh hacked it on and followed up to pick up and send Rory O’Brien racing in under the posts giving Dan Retter an easy conversion kick.
Minutes later, a good handling move out of their own half was finished off with a 40 metre sprint by Luke Wells-Burr to outpace the cover.
In the middle of the half, Honiton had their best spell of the game as their forward began to punch holes in the defence with good close support. Ollie Rice finished off good inter-passing with a strong burst to the line. Ollie Cave added the conversion before jinking his way over from a ruck near the line, after good approach work by the forwards, for another converted try.
Any hopes of a comeback were halted when Ethan Mead broke down the right wing before producing a neat grubber kick for Charlie Cotton to follow up, gather and score near the posts for another straightforward conversion.
Luke Wells-Burr rounded off the scoring in injury time as he finished off a good handling move to seal a 48-24 win and ensure Sidmouth retained the cup in style. On Saturday, the Chiefs start their Western Counties West league campaign with a tricky visit to St Austell.