Sidmouth Under-16s power to victory over Crediton
Sidmouth Under-16s made a winning start to 2015 with a 26-22 triumph over Crediton.
The Mid Devon side had the distinct advantage of the slop in the first half and had an early opportunity after bagging a turnover following a Sidmouth line-out, but good defence prevented an early try. Davies soon had the measure of the Crediton scrum half and tackled quickly, stopping the ball getting away cleanly from their scrums.
However, a penalty advantage to Crediton and a strong drive forwards allowed their number-13 to score. From the restart Sidmouth countered with good ground being made by Barnett and safe hands followed, giving captain Allen the first of the games Sidmouth tries which he converted himself.
Crediton responded forcing the game back downhill. Two line-outs near the try line tested the Sidmouth defence, but they prevailed and kicked the ball back up the pitch. Crediton regained possession after a further line-out and scored again, but still no conversion. Heads up, Sidmouth came back quickly and forced play back uphill. Cornish scored in the corner and Sidmouth took a 12-10 lead into half-time.
After the break Sidmouth had the downhill advantage and pushed forward from the kick-off putting pressure on the Crediton defence. Cornish broke through to score in the corner again and Allen impressed spectators by a confident conversion from the touch line. Sidmouth lost the (now very slippery) ball in a tackle, but held up the ensuing Crediton try attempt. The Mid Devon side were not to be denied though, and continued assertive play won them a further unconverted try. Skilful hooking was demonstrated in the scrum by Davies, but Crediton secured a turnover ball and a further try which they converted to bag a 22-19 lead.
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Undeterred at losing their advantage, Sidmouth powered back into the Crediton half and a penalty advantage and solid passes gave Hill the opportunity to score between the posts. A straightforward conversion by Allen and Sidmouth had once more taken the lead, this time at 26-22.
Crediton fought back and a good breakthrough run saw their player heading for the try line, but Dix, who had been tackling well all game, brought him down. The Mid Devon side were determined to score again and continued to make ground until a try seemed imminent, but scrum half Davies slid forward and the ball was held up. Sidmouth regrouped to protect their lead and a few more minutes of defensive play ensued before time was called with Sidmouth 26-22 victors.
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The result was uncertain until the final whistle as both teams were well matched and played with commitment. There were some strong Crediton players and so all the more credit to Sidmouth for this close and exciting victory.