Started well but match swung away from Chiefs

Paignton Saxons 1st Xv 31 , Sidmouth 1st Xv 15

Before the start of this game, the concern centred on the number of enforced changes in the Sidmouth back line. In the end the game was decided in the forwards, where Paignton dominated the set pieces, writes Terry O’Brien.

For much of the first half the game was evenly contested. The Paignton forwards controlled the ball well through the phases, but, once the ball was in the open, they could make little headway against a well-organised Sidmouth defence.

The Chiefs, by contrast, were threatening whenever they found space. Ollie and Jack Pyne, Zak Bess, Tom Whelan and Sam Meadham all had promising runs.

Paignton took the lead with a penalty after three minutes. Tom Whelan equalised midway through the half and kicked his side into a three point lead a couple of minutes later.

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The home full back levelled the scores on the half hour. Then, in the closing minutes of the half, the balance of the game swung decisively.

The Chiefs failed to deal with a routine kick. A penalty was conceded and kicked to the corner. The resulting lineout catch-and-drive was held up over the line, but the second of two following scrums resulted in a penalty try. The conversion made the halftime score 6-13.

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The Paignton pack, buoyed by this success, tore into the Sidmouth eight from the restart kick. They immediately regained possession and drove towards the line.

When the ball was released to the backs, the right winger was held up over the line. The resulting scrum produced a pushover try for the number eight and a yellow card for James Perry as he was adjudged to have tried to stop it illegally.

Tom Whelan and the Paignton full back traded penalties, before two long-range efforts by Whelan brought his side within six points to raise hopes of a revival.

The Paignton pack had other ideas as they took an iron grip on the game. The last quarter was played almost exclusively in the Sidmouth half.

The Chiefs defended with great determination until Ollie Pyne became the second player to visit the sin bin, when he was penalised for collapsing a maul. The seven man pack eventually conceded another pushover try, which was converted.

A last minute penalty completed a convincing win and a disappointing afternoon for the Chiefs.

? On Saturday the Chiefs entertain Oldfield Old Boys. The kick off at the Blackmore is at 3pm.

The Colts’ match against Exeter Chiefs Colts will be a curtain raiser at Blackmore, kicking off at 11.45pm.

The Quins travel to Torquay and the 3rd team are at Topsham.

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