Thursday, April 10, 2014
Withycombe 69, Pirates Amateurs 8
Withycombe romped to another bumper victory in the wet in their penultimate game of the season last Saturday.
Jack Faulkner bagged four tries to take his tally to a dozen in four games, but the match was well and truly decided up front as the Withycombe front five demolished the opposition.
Withycombe were straight on the offensive and it only took four minutes to break the deadlock. A deft chip from Glenn Channing penned the visitors on their own five metre line, and from the ensuing penalty Withycombe opted for the scrum which brought the now-obligatory Mike Richards short-range try. Another scrum in clubhouse corner two minutes later wheeled and Richards’ pick and offload to Glenn Channing put him in for five of his 19 points on the day.
Pirates hit back with a penalty kick but Withycombe were in for another try on the quarter hour, some great handling leading to Aaron Conway playing provider for Leo Hood to touch down. The game went flat from a spectators’ point of view for twenty minutes, but the Green and Black dominance at the set piece meant that Withycombe rarely had cause for concern; Chris Gibbons’ master class in destructive scrummaging demonstrating what will be sorely missed once he leaves the club for Australia in the summer.
In the five minutes before half time the home side clinched the bonus point and effectively put the game to bed. Jack Faulkner scored twice, first finishing off a three-quarter move before a blindside move from a scrum in the Withycombe half let the Bicton College youngster show his lethal pace as he finished from 70 yards out. The teams turned round at 33-3 with Withycombe’s best yet to come.
Joe Parkin opened the scoring in the second half after good work from Rob Hayes and Andrei Toma, before Faulkner struck again after some silky handling from Leo Hood. The visitors grabbed a try of their own on 60 minutes as a defensive miscount allowed one the Pirates big boys under the posts, but their day was summed up when the conversion was missed. Four minutes later the try was cancelled out as Mike Richards strolled in from a tap penalty for his second try, before offloading from a quick tap in the Withycombe half four minutes later to Faulkner, whose finishing has to be seen to be believed, outrunning everyone from the centre of the field for yet another long-range score.
Richards completed his hat-trick after running on to a Parkin offload and somehow finishing off from 40 metres out, before Withycombe scored with the last play of the game, another effort from their on half which was finished off by Parkin.
On Saturday Withycombe host Crediton to decide third place in the league, with Withy also chasing a ninth win in ten games since Christmas.