Action between Exmouth Quins and Barnstaple at the Imperial on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 8109-08-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Exmouth Quins 27, Barnstaple 10
The Quins served up a superb all-round show to deservedly avenge the Devon Merit Table 1 defeat they suffered when the sides met in North Devon earlier in the campaign.
The build-up to the game was littered with selection problems as illness and late availability problems struck to such a degree that team manager Graham Price and coach Max Hansford had to play the full game out of position at hooker and flanker respectively!
Quins made the worst possible start when the Barum winger, taking advantage of an exposed blind side, got clear to score inside three minutes. The conversion went wide and from the restart Exmouth were clearly more aggressive and determined. Within two minutes they were back on level terms as full back Naca Kinikinilau finished off a great team move that originated from stealing a Barnstaple ball against the head. The conversion fell short and the scores remained 5-5.
The next score came in the 19th minute when centre Richard Small found a gap and crashed over the line to put the home side in front. Five minutes later the ball eventually found it’s way to the fastest man on the pitch, Lewis Edwards, who promptly ran around his opposite number, outstripped the Barum defence, and leapt over the line. Small added the extras and the Quins held a 17-5 advantage.
With eight minutes of the half remaining a dominant Exmouth scrum half wheeled to the right to allow number-eight Will Hodgetts to draw his man and slip the ball to veteran scrum half Neil Hooper who dived over in the corner. However, Barnstaple were not going to lie down and they finished the half with a try as their scrum half went over to reduce the arrears to 22-10 at the break.
The second half continued where the first had finished with the Exmouth forwards on top and, when a Barnstaple scrum on their own five-metre line was driven back over the try line, Hodgetts was on hand to touch down.
That proved to be the final score of a compelling encounter with Quins fully deserving victory against a strong opposition.
Graham Price said: “Praise must be given to all the players who gave their utmost during this match but, in particular, Jason Smith at tight head prop who stepped up from the 3rd XV at very short notice and commanded the scrum from start to finish.”