Thursday, April 3, 2014
Exmouth Under-12s played host to what has become an annual event organised by Farnham from Surrey during their visit to East Devon.
Teams for the competition were divided into two groups of six with the young Cockles lining up against Taunton, Exeter Chiefs, Cullompton, Farnham and Silhillans.
Exmouth have struggled to find their form at times this season, but rose to the occasion with some tremendous high--tempo efforts.
First up against Taunton they ran four tries inside just seven minutes! Taunton dug deep, but could not get back into the contest and, with no further scores at either end; the Cockles started their day with a clean sheet success!
Next up were Exeter Chiefs, who seven days before and comfortably beaten the Cockles. Revenge was sweet as Exmouth opened the scoring from a charge down by forward Vinnie Neath-Rogers who ran clear to score. A quickly taken penalty by forward Harry Sprague doubled the home advantage with the big number 8 powering his way over the line to seal a 2-0 success.
Game three was against a Cullompton side that had also previously caused the Cockles a problem or three! A high-tempo first half left the sides all square at then break. The game continued at a punishing pace with the score level until the closing minutes when the ball was fed out fly half Ben Dawson who used determination and power to sprint to the lone for the deciding score.
Next were Farnham who had also had the better of the Cockles in previous meetings.
In another hotly contested match it was once more the grit and determination of the hosts that proved to be the deciding factor with the match-winning try scored in the first half after the best team move of the day involving eight lightening-fast passes prior to a try in the corner.
The final game against Silhillians was to be the only defeat. At the end of a gruelling day both teams were tired. Silhillians had the better of the rucks and were able to break through for the deciding score, but Exmouth were definitely not outplayed.
The day proved that without doubt, Exmouth U12’s can compete against the best teams in the area and win. Each substitution added a positive element to the play and every player proved a credit to the side.
Men of the Competition awards, presented by Farnham went to Ben Dawson, Harry Sprague, Adam Presniel, Harry and Vinnie Neath-Rogers, Owen Tidball and captain Luke Davis.