The Blackmore season ends with some friendly local rivalry

Final day of the season for Sidmouth Quins

Final day of the season for Sidmouth Quins - Credit: Sidmouth RFC

With all league, merit table and cup fixtures completed, the season at the Blackmore Field was brought to a close with a friendly match between local players representing Sidmouth and Ottery.  

It provided an entertaining and high-scoring contest for the good bank holiday crowd in attendance. With Sidmouth building up a 21-point lead in the first quarter hour, thanks to tries from Archie Bagwell, Jake Allen and Noah Kruger, all converted by Adam Squance, it seemed that a one-sided contest was in progress.  

But Ottery hit back with tries by Sam Phillips and Asa Unsworth in the next five minutes, one converted by Unsworth. Two tries for Sidmouth scored by Ethan Mead, both converted by Squance, whose accurate boot would prove to be decisive, sandwiched one for Ottery from Dan Rugg. 

A try for Ottery in injury time by Brad Cooke made the half-time score 35-22. Five minutes into the second half, a try by George Sinclair, which he also converted, closed the gap to six points before an unconverted Connor Preston try increased Sidmouth’s lead. 

Ottery, with a large squad, were able to put on fresh legs at regular intervals, giving them an advantage through the middle of the half but they were unable to break down the Sidmouth defence until two minutes from the end, when Matt Parker went over in the corner. 

Sidmouth managed to hang on to their six-point lead until the final whistle, winning the game 40-34. 

The Sidmouth Quins travelled to Barnstaple 2nds to conclude their first season in Merit League 1 and it proved a very tough assignment against a side that had only lost three times throughout the campaign. 

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With Sidmouth travelling with 17 players (5 of which were final year colts), no backs replacement, an unfamiliar back-line and a new-look back-row, you could be forgiven for expecting a landslide.  

However, that was not the case and the full-time score of 38-5 flattered the hosts and did not reflect the Sidmouth performance for much of the match. Number 8 Henry Thomas scored the Quins’ try with a powerful drive from the base of the scrum.