U16s clinch league final berth
U16 Exeter University North v East Devon League
Sidmouth 21, Okehampton 19
The drama at the Blackmore went right to the wire as the U16s won with the last play of the game to clinch a place in the North and East Devon League final on Thursday, April 12, 6pm at Crediton RFC.
Since U8s these sides from Okehampton and Sidmouth have had high quality, high-scoring games, and with nine county players on show there was quality and pace across both teams.
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In the hot dry conditions Sidmouth took the initiative and after a good period of pressure Charlie Cotton found enough space to line-up his defender, and one-on-one jinked in to open the scoring.
Okehampton struck back with a classy try of their own and their clever defence and marking in the midfield caused Sidmouth all kinds of problems. Cotton struck a penalty to edge the home side in front and then Okehampton showed their class with a text book score down the right side of a scrum when their winger was given space and time to beat the Sidmouth defence.
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Another cool Cotton penalty and a well-finished try by Jack Webber put Sidmouth back in the lead. With 20 minutes to play Okehampton opted to run a couple of penalties and their confidence was rewarded with another excellent try on the left to put them in front 16-19.
Sidmouth kept their heads and, as Okehampton skilfully ran-down the clock, the game came down to one last scrum.The Sidmouth set-piece was looking good, so there was still a chance and, with the Okehampton back row tied down, Toomey took a pass on the short side and forced his way over after good off-the ball runs by Thomas and Cotton.
Thanks to Okehampton for an excellent game which both sides deserved to win.
? The U16s tour Dublin this weekend and are back in action at The Blackmore against Barker Butts on Easter Sunday at 11am.