Sidmouth Under-16s end time together with fine effort
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Under-16s brought the curtain down on their season, and indeed their time in youth rugby, with a 22-10 home defeat at the hands of Kingsbridge.
Sidmouth kicked off and the Kingsbridge player collecting the ball was firmly taken into touch by Hughes using the momentum of the downward slope. Sidmouth pressure continued and winning a scrum against the head were rewarded with a try by Young in the first minutes of the game. This strong start surprised Kingsbridge. Sidmouth were dominant in the scrum and maintained play in the Kingsbridge half just missing scoring again. Kingsbridge were forced to regroup. The home team backs darted around trying to evade Sidmouth defenders and made good ground but a knock on gave Sidmouth a scrum and the ball was returned decisively into the Kingsbridge half. Pitch length play followed with some impressive sprinting by the Sidmouth linesman! Sidmouth were clinical in the lineout, collecting the ball neatly and Davies charged down a Kingsbridge kick. Eventually Kingsbridge escaped the Sidmouth defenders to level the score.
At the restart a great tackle from Hartley brought down a Kingsbridge prop, but they maintained possession and a try in the corner saw them take a narrow 10-5 lead in the break.
Kingsbridge scored another unconverted try early in the second half before Sidmouth forced play back into opposition territory and were awarded a penalty. A neat kick from Allen set up a line out close to the try line. The ball was secured and a full team driving maul proved unstoppable, powering over the line for a try by Hartley.
Kingsbridge worked hard to increase their lead, but three try attempts were held up by determined Sidmouth defenders. A Kingsbridge player got close to the try line, but was dragged into touch by Dix just short of the corner flag.
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A lineout and maul and the ball was returned into the Kingsbridge half. The home team regained possession, claimed back lost ground and eventually scored again with a conversion at last. Knock-ons and scrums abounded in the next passages of play and Bolton dodged defenders to take the ball back up the pitch.
In the closing stages a promising run by Bolton along the touch line gave him space to kick the ball forward and with his speed he seemed set to beat the defenders to the ball. However, an attacking Kingsbridge player caught him off balance just after the kick and the final passage of play ended with a knock-on.
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Sidmouth Jason Allen was impressed by Sidmouth play. He said: “In the last 10 minutes they demonstrated great rugby and deserved a further try. Play was strong from the start, tackling effective, line outs efficient and they were decisively dominant in the scrum. Sidmouth had vowed to give Kingsbridge a challenging game for their final junior match and captain Bright and his team certainly did just that.”