Exmouth 45, Brixham 37

The Cockles repeated their Devon cup final success of April when they knocked Brixham out of this year’s competition.

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However, they needed a late penalty to ease any angst amongst another large Imperial Ground turnout to finally secure victory and a place in the next round.

It had all looked so much more comfortable at half-time with the Cockles leading 35-12.

The opening exchanges were very even. Andrew Powell first crossed the Brixham line and converted the try before the visitors replied with their own converted try. After nine minutes Jon Fabian provided the pass that got Tom Kill clear and again Powell slotted the extras.

That was the platform for the home side to take charge of the first half and they ran in three more tries with Jack Westlake, Jamie Harris and Westlake crossing with Powell converting all three

Shortly after the re-start Tom Elliott bagged the Cockles fifth try and, with a 42-12 lead and 36 minutes remaining, the home faithful were contemplating the last four opposition!

Brixham had other ideas and came storming back. They landed a trio of tries and also slotted a penalty and, with five minutes still to play the Cockles lead had been trimmed to 42-36.

Then a penalty was awarded and the trusty Powell boot sent the ball sailing between the posts and victory, and a semi-final home meeting with Newton Abbot was sealed.

This Saturday the Cockles travel to Weston-super-Mare for the National Three (SW) Match of the Day. The Somerset side sit second, one place and one point above the Cockles and both teams go into the game in identical form, each having won nine and lost one of their last ten outings!

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