Brilliant Bennett scores five tries in Withy Under-14 cup success
PUBLISHED: 21:07 17 January 2018
Withycombe Under-14s were impressive as they recorded a handsome success at Teignmouth to book a Devon Cup semi-final berth.
Both sides went into the contest off the back of strong campaigns to date.
Both teams contributed to a fine match. From the first whistle, Withy gathered the ball and a chip and chase by centre Baker-Hand saw him go close to opening the scoring.
Teignmouth responded with a powerful surge that the Withy back line resisted well.
The young green and blacks started to dominate in the loose and they passed the ball well along the line.
Teignmouth defended well, with some pacy backs of their own and the opening exchanges were a tight affair. The deadline was finally broken when Harry Bennett was given the ball with half a yard of space out on the left wing and he rounded his man and scored in the corner, after which he got up to tuck away the conversion.
Late in the half, quick hands to Bennett saw him repeat his earlier feat in identical fashion and Withy trooped off at the break with a 12-0 lead.
Teignmouth came out fighting at the start of the second half and the young Withy defence was really tested.
The home stand-off made a clean break and only a try-saving tackle by centre Jude Baker-Hands prevented a score.
The Teigns kept the pressure on and Baker-Hands was again the hero with another fine tackle just short of the line.
The pressure told, and Teignmouth were awarded a penalty five metres out, from which they crashed over for a try, which they converted. With Withy now holding just a 12-7 lead, the next score would clearly be crucial!
Both teams looked to get on to the front foot. Scrum half Charlie Passmore broke out with a fine break before being bundled into touch.
The Teigns hit back, but sound defence forced a turnover from which Withycombe managed to work their way out of their half.
Winger Murphy Boltrukiewicz showed his pace with some strong runs down the right wing and they were soon in Teignmouth’s 22.
Unfortunately, the ball was turned over, but, from the resulting scrum, Withy stole the ball.
Quick-thinking from scrum half Passmore took him away on the blind side and he slipped the ball to Bennett to crash over in the corner for his hat-trick try.
The score gave Withy greater confidence and more solid and forward play and quick hands saw Bennett scoring arguably his best try of the day.
With four defenders to beat, he stepped around the first, then powered through the others to the line. He was held up short, but reached over to score in the corner.
Fittingly, Withy also had the final say, scoring a terrific team try to wrap things up in style.
From a lineout on the left hand side, the ball was passed along the line; Baker-Hands collected and chipped ahead, Boltrukiewicz was first to the ball and he set up a ruck. The ball was moved left and number eight Jimmy Griffin drove down the middle before offloading to flanker Olly Willis, who passed to prop Jack Ballett.
He cleverly drew his man and put the lethal Bennett into the corner for his fifth try of the day to round off a fine performance by him.
The whole team shone on the day. Withy won the battle in the loose and defended heroically throughout.