Withycombe Under-15s edged out at Topsham
PUBLISHED: 07:54 13 September 2017
The new Withycombe Under-15s began their campaign with a trip to Topsham where they went down 12-0.
However, the score line does not truly reflect the course of the game.
This was an extremely close encounter that began with Topsham on the front foot and the Withy defence showing great tenacity and organisation to absorb the early pressure.
When in possession, Withy made good progress up the park, rucking and handling well and a well-contested first half came to a close with Topsham leading 5-0.
The second period continued in much the same vein with very little to separate the teams as a real rugby arm wrestle manifested itself in the middle of the pitch. #
Both sides defended and attacked in equal measure before a late breakaway try, duly converted, tipped the balance in favour of the hosts.
As a first outing, this was a very encouraging display by Withy in all areas especially up against a side that have won convincingly over them in the last couple of seasons. The boys were really playing for each other in this match, not giving any quarter to a larger opposition, particularly in the scrum.
Withycombe were unlucky to have not landed some points themselves with a number of useful breaks pulled back for infringement/injury stoppage or on one occasion lack of dead ball space following a probing cross field kick.
The Man of the Match awards for Withy went to Lewis Hillier for his all-round performance of wing play and plenty of solid tackling, to flanker Matt Oliver for aggressive tackling and hard work and also to Finn Musgrove for his usual dynamic performance in all areas.
The Withy squad were also delighted to welcome to new member Jack Ottaway who gave a promising start in the back row.