Exmouth 2nds edged out at Barnstaple

Action from the Exmouth 2nd XV defeat at Barnstaple 2nds. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Action from the Exmouth 2nd XV defeat at Barnstaple 2nds. Picture CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Exmouth 2nd XV were beaten 33-26 on their visit to Barnstaple for a Devon Merit Table meeting.

After some close calls this season, the Cockles second string travelled to North Devon under no illusions that Barum would present a tough challenge on their own ground.

However, on the day, Exmouth did seem generous visitors, giving their hosts ample opportunity to score!

Wingman Dan Dickson went over for Exmouth with fly-half Tom Steer adding the conversion for an early 7-0 lead to the Cockles.

Barum hit back, scoring twice before half-time, to lead 12-7 at the break. The home side scored again early in the second half to move into a 19-7 lead, but the young Cockles kept plugging away and it was no more than they deserved when James Clarke broke through the home defence to score the try, converted by Steer.

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Barnstaple were soon adding to their score with another converted try to lead 26-14, but a determined Cockles came flying back with next two scores of the contest.

First Sam Fulthorpe crossed the whitewash before prop Liam Cullen, used power and leg drive to reach for the line. Tom Steer converted the Cullen try and the score was level at 26-all.

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Entering the final few minutes it did look like Exmouth would hold out or snatch this game. However, Barum launched one last attack and managed to score a converted try to take the match honours.

So, a disappointing end to the afternoon, one that left the Cockles knowing that, sometimes, defence wins matches.

The teams will meet again at the Imperial Ground in March.

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