Withycombe withstood sweaty conditions and a second-half revival to hold on for a 19-10 win over OPM.

Withy soon found themselves under early pressure from the visitors as they took the ball back down the field. With the first penalty of the game within kickable range of the OPM Flyhalf, he opted for the posts and put his side 0-3 up after four minutes.

Hurried defence led to a 5m scrum being gifted to Withy. The OPM defence did well to halt the scrum heading towards the line, but in this they were unprepared for Joe Blyth taking the ball from the back, spinning through the defenders and scoring in the corner.

After a long period of mixed, end-to-end play, Withy doubled their try count just after the half-hour mark courtesy of Will Cooper, who broke down the left wing and opened the space for a score in Clubhouse Corner. Tom Cooke’s conversion attempt, assisted by the uprights, topped up the points to put Withy 12-3 up.

The second half saw Withy reach into their defensive repertoire as they dealt with an OPM side that were spending a lot of time on the attack. Losing Tom Cooke to the sin bin made the job a little more difficult too, but they stood strong to deny any points to their opponents.

With five minutes of normal time remaining on the clock, OPM had an opportunity to narrow the gap in scores with a kick at goal, but with the ball going wide, Withy heeded the warning and picked up the pace for one final push.

A break by Joe Blyth created some space on the field. With the try line beckoning, the Number 8 was stopped just short of the line; thankfully to his right, stood Max Rickards who received the ball to cross the line, score and seal the game for Withycombe.

Despite there being little over a minute remaining on the clock, there was still time for more action. Following a large amount of “final play”, OPM got the try they’d been hunting for when James Robinson intercepted the ball to run the short distance and score.