Thursday, April 24, 2014
Withycombe Under-8s ended their season in action against the friendliest of rivals, Exmouth, writes Mark Long.
After the good weather of the last few weeks, it was only right that a game on a Bank holiday weekend would be blighted by rain!
However, with both sides about to go on tour, all players were determined to put on an end of season show for their parents and supporters.
And all should be proud of what they saw in tough conditions.
The first game got underway with some explosive running from Exmouth that showed that cold hands cannot get tags and only good use of the touch lines prevented Exmouth from opening the scoring.
This seemed to kick start the young Withies into action and direct running from Ben Jeffery and Charlie Tucker led to home tries.
However, these were quickly answered by Exmouth as the half came to an end at 2-2. the second half saw the Withies take a more expansive approach to the game with longer passes being offered, particularly by Kieran Long and Lewis Tose, with the main beneficiary being Thomas Lawrence who showed awareness to stay wide whilst all others crowded in the middle of the park.
As the game wore on the speed of Otto Montgomery-Ames and Jack Mcdonald-Brown came to the fore with the former crossing for three tries.
Exmouth kept attacking and scored a very well executed team try with some fine passing. Tyler Gover again came good with a try to warm the home crowd, as he raced clear from the halfway line.
With mistakes being made due to the cold and rain it was Withycombe who managed who scored again to seal an 8-4 win.
The break in play saw both teams head inside for a ten-minute ‘get warm and dry out’ session which was strongly aided by some Easter treats!
With the rain stopped game two got underway and Withy began in a higher gear to finish their season in some style!
Jamie Thompson led the Exmouth defence all across the pitch and was first onto anything loose. Tight defending saw errors from Exmouth, and the ball handed over twice after seven tags had been gained. This Exmouth side are full of skill and character however, and never took anything other than a forwards step to get themselves on the scoreboard several times before the end of the half.
After the break it was more of the same from the Withies, this time a loose pass on their own try line saw the ball bobble to Abigail Cotter who used her unanswerable pace to go the length of the pitch to score.
Then came the move of the match as good progression from Jamie Thompson saw the ball shipped to Kieran Long who made good yards before, with the Exmouth defence about to swoop, passing the ball in a perfectly executed scissor-move for Lewis Tose to score.
The final word went to Charlie Tucker who touched down with the last play off the game to seal an 11-5 victory.
This was a superb way to end the season with our friendliest of rivals.
We’ll meet again next season as under-9s and hopefully continue to enjoy similar matches.