Sidmouth Under-12s enjoy close encounter with Exeter Saracens
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Under-12s enjoyed a meeting with Exeter Saracens that ended in the narrowest of defeats, writes John Lister.
The day dawned bright and sunny, which led many of the players and their parents out in the mistaken belief that it would be warm. This led to a scrappy first quarter, with cold hands especially from Sidmouth leading to a series of dropped passes and scrappy play, though the ref did a fine job of playing advantage to try to get the game flowing. Exeter quickly surged to a 2-0 lead with some good, width of the field handling and speedy wing play, before another dropped ball, this time from Exeter, leading to a lovely length of the field breakaway try from Sidmouth. The boys were starting to warm up now, and a series of phases got us close to the try line and a determined surge from Taine Benson led to him doing a fine imitation of Billy Vunipola charging over the line with Exeter players hanging off him for another score. Exeter then got away with a fine wingers try, so the quarter finished 3-2 to Exeter.
In the second quarter, both sides came to life with good interplay, but unfortunately Exeter had one giant of a player who was too much for the Sidmouth boys to stop. On three occasions he got the ball in space and built up a head of steam so he became an almost unstoppable force of nature.
This quarter ended 3-0 to Exeter as a result. The third quarter was the spectators favourite. Exeter rested their largest player, which immediately evened up the contest. The first try came from a series of phases from Sidmouth down the right wing, with great support and quick recycling leading to a great team try. Exeter then returned the favour with a similar try after phase after phase of possession. Sidmouth then pinned Exeter close to their try line, then fielded the attempted clearance and ran straight through traffic to score.
There was no letup in the assault from Sidmouth, keeping Exeter pinned on their try line, but although we got over once more we were unable to ground the ball. The score for this quarter was thus 1-2 in Sidmouth’s favour.
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In the last quarter both sides were showing signs of tiredness. Exeter scored a good wingers try with Sidmouth falling off a few tackles. Sidmouth then kept Exeter pinned in their right hand corner and repeatedly managed to get over the line without scoring a try until one finally came out wide.
The big lad from Exeter managed to bulldoze over for another try, making the end result 2-1 to Exeter.
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All in all, a fine game played in good spirit. Although the finishing score line favoured Exeter, it was a game of fine margins and could have been very close indeed.