Sidmouth Under-7s get Santa as the referee for derby matches with Withycombe

Father Christmas who officiated the Sidmouth versus Withycombe Under-7s

Father Christmas who officiated the Sidmouth versus Withycombe Under-7s - Credit: Archant

The whiff of a local derby was in the air as Sidmouth Under-7s welcomed Withycombe to Sidford for the latest junior action, writes Simon Dunstan.

To the backdrop of a rather unseasonably warm December morning Sidmouth turned out in numbers again with over 25 players, along with Withycombe fielding good numbers boosted by a few loan players from Sidmouth. This enabled no fewer than eight teams to be put together for a four-way round-robin mini-tournament.

Before the action got underway there was a minutes applause paying tribute to Lily Partridge of Topsham-based ladies’ Exonian rugby team who tragically passed away during the week.

There was also a visit from guest referee Father Christmas! Santa was exceptionally fair with his mastery of the laws of tag rugby and awarded a number of bonus presents for the children to be delivered on Christmas day for their try scoring efforts!

A great deal of local rivalry ensued across all of the matches played with both sides able to impress with displays of some great rugby skill , resulting in good competitive and fun play, fantastic attacking running, fast paced end to end dual’s with some great tries and slick defensive play that provided entertainment for a large gathering of supporters.


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Results from the games played saw many of the games drawn and some very close scores, overall a draw between all sides was the final and fairest outcome of a good day, a great game experience for all involved.

Sidmouth player of the day was awarded to Arden Chipping , whom has only been playing tag rugby for a couple of months, a deserving winner showing determination, good passing skills and the fact that he was a loan player with Withycombe as well!

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All in all, an excellent fun and enjoyable day both on the field for the players involved across all the teams, our thanks go to our guests Withycombe RFC whom were excellent opponents along with exceptional thanks to the team of home Under-7s parents whom provided the after match food along with the mince pies and mulled wine.

Special thanks also goes to Farther Christmas for being able to spare some time for the teams at such a busy time of year and to Ian Stone the Withy’s coach for personally arranging Santa’s visit from the North Pole!

There’s now a festive break before a training session on January 3. New players are always made very welcome to the Sidmouth Under-6s and 7s and details of how to get involved can be found at the club’s website www.sidmouthrfc.co.uk

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