Sidmouth Under-16s turn tables on Barum with super show
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Under-16s were 28-19 winners when they entertained Barnstaple, writes Chris Woodruff.
What made the outcome of the game all the more impressive was that Sidmouth went into the contest with just two substitutes and individuals playing out of position and the fact that, when the two sides met the month before in the cup, the North Devon side had won 41-16!
As had been the case in the cup tie, the Barum forwards created space early on and dealt a body blow try within two minutes of the start.
Much nervous mumbling from the home stands and shuffling of feet ensued. Faith was needed! Sidmouth have a tendency to start slowly, but the shock of the early score served to spur on the home side who quickly shut down and frustrated any open play from the opposition and took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Knowing they also needed to play an expansive game, Sidmouth moved the ball quickly and began to make use of the whole pitch with quick hands and intelligent kicking, complemented by excellent ruck and maul and much quicker defensive lines. Their efforts were rewarded in a close first half with Lewis Pearson securing a try to end the half 5-7.
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Sidmouth had laid the foundations for a mouth-watering second half and did not disappoint. A wonderfully well-worked try completed by Ethan Mead gave Sidmouth the lead only for Barum to reply and edge into a 14-12 advantage.
Much of the second half was played in the Barum half of the pitch and Sidmouth’s intensity of play and pressure eventually told, with a series of intelligently worked penalties converted ably by George Harris and try to follow from Ben Turley.
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The Sidmouth team showed that they had matured enough to learn from their previous encounter and apply their training, knowledge and skills. They finished strongly with a sweet team try from captain Lewis Pearson to win 28-19 - no mumbling to be heard!
Barum looked genuinely shattered. It was not the result the visitors expected based on the previous game. It was Sidmouth’s belief, fitness, concentration, application, discipline and all round team performance shone through. It was inspiring to watch and a demonstration that this team has the ability to challenge any opposition in the league on their day.