Teignmouth 39, Withycombe 10

Withycombe’s hopes of bettering last season’s fourth-placed finish in the league suffered another blow as they slumped to a third defeat in five games.

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That said, the final score line does not accurately reflect the game!

Sadly that line is now becoming less of a catchphrase and more of a cruel joke with regard to the Withy side!

Teignmouth supporters would not place their side as 29 points better than a Withycombe team beset by injuries and unavailability.

The contest began grimly for Withy as their naivety at the breakdown was clearly exposed and the home side sniped from a first-phase ruck to score under the post.

Next a Withy overlap was scuppered by an interception that was returned some 60-metres for a try at the opposite end. It was 14-0 after just seven minutes and Withycombe were on the ropes!

The visitors rallied to put the home side under spells of considerable pressure; the much-vaunted Teignmouth scrum was constantly retreating and strong running from Withycombe’s

ball carriers made some huge inroads. Unfortunately for Withy, the finishing touch couldn’t be applied and all too often the move would end with a drop-on or a home penalty.

On 40 minutes Withycombe finally got some reward for their industry, Jack Pugsley opening their account with a well-struck penalty from 40-yards, only for Teignmouth to reply with a try on the stroke of half-time to make it 19-3.

After the break the flow of the game was in similar vein to the first period. Teignmouth striking with an early try and penalty to stretch their lead to 27-3, and a lot of hard work going to waste as Withycombe let themselves down with tactical kicking and discipline at the fringes of rucks.

With 20 minutes to go Neil Williams stormed over from the number eight berth to give Withy some hope. Jack Pugsley slotted the conversion, but it would prove to be the last points Withycombe scored as time and again their creativity and hard work yielded nothing.

Yellow cards for Mike Richards and Jack Pugsley in the closing stages of the game essentially ended Withycombe’s dwindling hopes of salvaging anything from the game, and Teignmouth capitalised to run in two late tries to further inflate the apparent disparity between the teams.

Despite the unfairness of the score line, Withycombe were distinctly second best on the day, and will have to learn to win in challenging circumstances.

They host Newquay at Raleigh Park on Saturday with a further tough test the following week at Tiverton.

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