Sidmouth u-10 champions of Devon

Sidmouth successfully defended their title of being Devon Champions - a feat no other Sidmouth team has ever achieved.

Sidmouth successfully defended their title of being Devon Champions - a feat no other Sidmouth team has ever achieved.

Match 1: Sidmouth 25 Paignton 5

All trepidation that Sidmouth may be over confident and catch a cold, like the All Blacks in the World Cup, soon went out the window. A flowing backs move provided the overlap on the left wing for Charlie Norris to sprint in and open the scoring. Good forward play by Oliver Aplin, who linked with the backs, and an unselfish pass by Tom Counsell put the right wing in for the second. Just the opening the coaches were looking for with the ball being moved to both wings. Sam Cavin showed his pace for the third and finished with a flourishing dive. The biggest cheer came for a set play try, which all who were there on a very wet Thursday night know the coaches had practiced time and time again. A simple dummy and inside ball for Tom Counsell to burst over to score. Paignton then scored straight from a restart while Sidmouth were making a substitution and were in a little bit of disarray. This was to be the only try conceded all day - a great acknowledgement of the lads positioning and tackling. Lucan Horsnell rounded off the scoring with great alertness at a line-out where he pounced on a poor tap back to score.

Match 2: Sidmouth 15 Topsham 0

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This was likely to be the pool decider with both teams winning their opening games and Topsham deserve great credit for a well-drilled team who pushed Sidmouth all the way. However, their defence was unable to cope with the explosive power from Tom Counsell who burst through twice to score. Special mention in this game goes to Theo Headdon and Angus Eaton who both made powerful runs to relieve defensive situations. Aaron Bagwell rounded off the scoring with a trademark dummy and go, much to the joy of the Bagwell travelling army.

Match 3: Sidmouth 45 Bideford 0

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Sidmouth put out a lightweight pack for this encounter and a much quicker game ensued against smaller opposition. Billy Collin got a hat-trick of tries inside 4 minutes with quick ruck ball and fast flowing back play orchestrated by Finley Stone. William Thomas again benefited from good interplay between Oliver Aplin and Tom Counsell. Aaron Bagwell added to his tally of tries and Oliver Aplin got on the score sheet with a good spin to score. Billy Collin rounded off the game as it had started by claiming his fourth try of the match.

Semi-final: Sidmouth 10 Ivybridge 0

This was a hard game with both teams going at each other hammer and tongs. Sidmouth were unlucky not to be awarded an opening score when Charlie Norris broke from the back of a maul to score, only for the Ivybridge touch judge and the referee to be unsighted and award a throw in when the maul was finally driven out. Sidmouth did not let their heads drop and once again the spark needed to open the scoring was Tom Counsell. Sidmouth tightened up and too many wrong decisions were taken and the ball failed to go wide. Ivybridge came right back into the game and their right wing outpaced the narrow Sidmouth defence, but a special try saving tackle by Sam Cavin kept Ivybridge at bay. Sidmouth were now playing a pick and drive game and finally this paid off with the very hard working Jerome Blackburn crashing in to make the game safe.

Final: Sidmouth 5 Cullompton 0

The same final as last year - a great credit to both sets of coaches. Sidmouth set up camp in the Cullompton half for nearly all of this game and rarely looked threatened, but what can only be described as heroic Cullompton defence rebuffed wave after wave of attacks. The Sidmouth players were tired and the decision-making could have been better with white line fever taking hold. It took the smallest man on the pitch to break the deadlock with his trademark dummy and go, yes Aaron Bagwell, but great credit to the wing, Charlie Norris, for being in support - it's very hard to dummy to no one. Once again I offer my congratulations to all the Cullompton players whose defence was never breached again.

Special mention for two players in the squad: Henry Thomas whose was man of the tournament for the backs and whose tackling ensured the nil scores for the opposition and whose runs always cross the gain line; and to Jerome Blackburn who was man of steel in the forwards with great offensive and defensive performances.

Devon Festival

By Roger Aplin

Final: Sidmouth RFC u-10s 5,

Cullompton 0

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