As close encounters go, this was tight right until the end and ultimately a tale of two penalty kicks, as Exmouth RFC edged an incredibly close game with Lydney.  

The Cockles have had some cruel luck in tight matches, this time George Meadows kept his cool, not difficult in the icy chill, to slot a winning penalty deep into the final seconds. He had previously missed the possible winner three minutes earlier with a difficult kick out wide, the post blocking the path of the ball. 

The visitors took the lead on nine minutes with a Jake Hanley penalty. Ten minutes later, Bryn Edwards went over for Exmouth first try, Meadows conversion, 7-3. Throughout the first period, the home side worked hard and had the majority of possession. Just before the half hour, Archie Cruze crossed for the Cockles, Meadows secured the extras, 14-3 at half time. 

To the observer, it seemed that Lydney had the better half time break, they came out on the front foot and put the home side under pressure. A mark of the second period was Exmouth’s defence, although breached a couple of times, the high work rate putting in tackles made the difference to shut out Lydney.  

The visitors crossed for tries from Luke Hudson and Sami Hamid, one conversion from Brad Barnes, 14-15 to the visitors coming in to the final 20 minutes. Lydney sensed a double win and had their opportunities. Under the strain, they were penalised twice close to the end, ultimately opening the door for the home win. Exmouth wanted four valuable league points and kept battling to close out the game, 17-15. 

The final run-out of 2022 is an away trip to Camborne. This Devon v Cornwall match always delivers a great game of rugby. This will be a challenge versus the top placed team in Regional 1 South West League, with the Cockles looking to overturn an earlier season close defeat. 

Exmouth Quins and Nomads games on Saturday fell victim to the weather with their ties postponed. Both teams were due to play Barnstaple, however travel to and from North Devon became a challenge, and the matches will be rescheduled for later in the season. 

On Saturday, December 17, Quins entertain Tavistock 1st Team at home. A tasty clash against the top team in the league. Kick-ff at 2pm. Whilst Nomads travel to Bideford 2nd Team.