Exmouth suffer another bout of late disappointment
11:45 20 March 2014
Bournemouth 24, Exmouth 17.
Exmouth followers, and there were plenty of them, that travelled to Bournemouth to watch the Cockles in their latest National Two (S) outing, might have travelled hoping that they might finally see their favourites win.
Bournemouth began the day sitting immediately above the Cockles at the foot of the table and, when the pair clashed at the Imperial Ground in September the home side triumphed 33-18.
Since that match the Cockles have lost 18 of their 20 matches and the game in Dorset was to prove very similar to many of the teams matches this difficult season.
Once again this was a contest that the Cockles could, and perhaps should, have won, but, and not for the first time, the tie was lost to them in the last knocking of the contest.
With just ten minutes remaining the Cockles, who had been behind early on, had battled tremendously to sit at 17-17.
The decisive moment underlined the fine line between success and failure at this level as the home side intercepted the ball inside the Exmouth 22 and clinically moved it over the white wash to consign the Cockles to another defeat.
The first half was controlled by the strong wind with just a single score between the teams at the break, a penalty for the home team.
Early in the second period a converted try gave the hosts a 10-0 lead. Exmouth though have not been found wanting this term in the character department and once again they dug deep and it was no more than they deserved when, following a neat passage of pick-and-go play Chris Bentley scored and Rob Avery Wright slotted the conversion.
The hosts scored next with another converted try to lead 17-7, but again Exmouth showed true grit and a penalty try followed by another Avery Wright conversion was followed by an Avery Wright penalty to level the scores up.
At that stage most of those inside the ground would have been expecting it to be the Cockles savouring victory at the final whistle until fate intervened again and the interception was made, another try scored, and the Cockles left to contemplate post match once more about what might have been.