Sidmouth Under-15s suffer honourable defeat at home to Topsham

Sidmouth Under-14 action

Sidmouth Under-14 action - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth 19, Topsham 22 Given the history of rivalry between the two Under-15 squads, any match against Topsham was bound to be tense, writes Daryl Pearce

Sidmouth started well, dominating the first half with positive play and assertive tackles. Innes-Kruger was particularly noteworthy and speedy Lau, with his trademark nimbleness, evaded the Topsham defence and considerately planted the ball between the posts to assist conversion by Allen. Competent Sidmouth play ensued and a steal by Allen and forward kick was efficiently picked up by Down for a second try and conversion. Now it was Topsham’s turn. One player skilfully avoided threeSidmouth tackles and Topsham scored from a line out. They were unlucky to miss the conversion when the ball hit the post. Attempts by Topsham to score again were held up by Sidmouth and the first half ended 14-5.

The beginning of the second half again had Sidmouth skills impressing the spectators. Wright powered through early on to score Sidmouth’s third try. The forwards were strong, particularly Cornish and Bright, who worked hard in the line out. Johnson-Graves was solid and tackles from Hill and Goodier were fearless. However, the accolade for tackle of the match must go to Unsworth who appeared to defy gravity to fly at one opponent! Topsham doggedly persisted and found space to score their second try.

In the final quarter, Sidmouth’s play became more erratic and Topsham scored a worthy third try to bring the score to a nail biting 19-15. Having been a close and fiercely fought match, a knock -on in open play by Topsham, was not seen by the Topsham referee and Topsham played on to be awarded a final try to end the match 22-19. All the Sidmouth players impressed the coaches with their maturity and played an honest and skilful game; an honourable defeat.

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