Sidmouth Under-12s deliver spirited performance against strong Topsham outfit
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Under-12s were beaten by a powerful Topsham when they sides met.
Hosts Topsham had turned up early and were busy doing drills by the time the Sidmouth crew managed to make it to the ground.
With the pitch required for an Under-16 match the two teams played a 60-minute, three period match.
With one eye on next season when the Sidmouth players will be playing on a full size pitch with 15-a-side matches, it was agreed to play the full width of the pitch and most of its length, with contested scrums.
The first third started well for Sidmouth and there was no sign of the recent, unfortunate, slow start! There was bruising defence from both sides, and the scrums became a lottery with neither team being used to pushing.
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A well-worked move by Topsham found space on the outside, and they were in with a try. Apart from that, the third was a very even arm-wrestle in the middle of the pitch with neither side giving ground, so ended up as 1-0 to Topsham.
During the second period, spaces started to open up, with Topsham’s direct running through a gap giving them the first try.
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Straight from the re-start Sidmouth regained possession and a strong individual run followed by a sublime one-handed offload to a player running a perfect support line gave Sidmouth the chance they needed to open their scoring.
Unfortunately, this seemed to distract the Sidmouth side for the remainder of the third, with a restart taken before they even noticed and a period of slack defending, so Topsham quickly ran in another three tries!
The final third was much more productive for Sidmouth who became more competitive and served up some terrific team defending, coping well with the full width of the pitch.
Unfortunately, the contested scrums had taken it out of the legs of some of the forwards, and only a few Sidmouth players seemed to want the ball in attack!
At the other end of the pitch it seemed as if the Topsham players could find a gap almost at will and only some committed defending restricted the Tops to three further tries in the final quarter.
Sidmouth were particularly unlucky with one move where a clean break was only snuffed out a metre or so from the Topsham try line by a brilliant last-ditch tackle.
This was a contest played in good spirit, with great defence from both sides. Unfortunately, the Sidmouth attacking was left to only a few of the team, so the score sheet was only ever going to reflect the Topsham dominance in attack.