Three game run for sSdmouth Chiefs to revive fortunes
The Chiefs relegation worries continue following this defeat to fellow strugglers Yatton.
Yatton 1st XV 27pts,
Sidmouth 1st XV 13pts
The Chiefs' relegation worries continue following this defeat to fellow strugglers Yatton. Choosing to play down the slope with the breeze behind them in the first half, they built up a 10 point advantage, but then conceded three tries in a 10 minute spell which changed the game.
A high error count throughout the game showed why both teams are languishing in the lower reaches of the league. In the end, the Yatton half backs proved to be the difference between the two sides. The fly half was inventive and varied his game, keeping the defence guessing, while his inside partner added accurate goal kicking to his live-wire performance. Between them they contributed 22 of their team's points.
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The Chiefs took the lead in the seventh minute when Glenn Channing kicked a penalty from in front of the posts after breaks by Harry Chesterton and Nathan Hannay had stretched the defence.
Two minutes later Channing added another three points from long range.
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While their kicking game was better directed than in the previous week at Paignton, the Chiefs did not chase in sufficient numbers or intensity to pressure the defence. Too often they were able to gain ground and link up with their forwards.
The Sidmouth backline never posed a threat and their best opportunities came, as they often do, from the combination of Nathan Hannay and Steve Trim from the base of the scrum.
Twice they opened up the defence, but could not apply the finishing touch.
The Sidmouth try, when it eventually came late in the half, was a piece of individual skill and opportunism from Tom Whelan.The young full back scooped up a missed touch kick off his toes, at speed, and outpaced the cover from 40 metres out diving over in the right corner. Channing added a superb conversion. Unfortunately the side let their concentration slip and conceded a penalty in injury time to make the half time score 13-3.
Given the advantage of slope and breeze the home side would enjoy in the second half, as well as the support of the home crowd, the Chiefs needed a strong start to the half to boost their own confidence and dent Yatton's.
Instead, they meekly conceded the lead within eight minutes. They lost possession at a ruck and gave away a penalty under their posts after a powerful run by the Yatton number eight. Two minutes later, they failed to find touch allowing a counterattack which was finished off by the fly half touching down under the posts. The conversion levelled the scores.
With their tails up Yatton worked a planned move from a lineout to put the left winger in at the corner from their next attack.
The number nine converted from the touchline and, a few minutes later, was galloping over under the posts after supporting a splendid break by the fly half. The conversion opened up a 14 point lead.
Chiefs did not buckle and staged a spirited rally to have the better of the final quarter. However, their efforts went un-rewarded, largely through their own errors.
Three times overlaps were ignored, twice the ball was kicked away aimlessly and once it was taken into contact and lost.
Twice Will Finch might have scored. He got his hands to a loose pass near the Yatton 22 but could not quite hang on to complete the interception. In injury time he followed up a Glenn Channing chip ahead to gather the ball, but lost possession as he was tackled over the line.