A tough second half ultimately proved the downfall for Withycombe in a 41-30 loss at home to Devonport Services II.

The first chance of points went Withycombe’s way as Lewis Tose took the opportunity from in front of the posts to put his team 3-0 up.

Shortly after, Withy were back inside the Devonport half and, with a penalty awarded on the 10m line, Max Rickards took no time in taking the quick tap to leave the defence standing. A stunning solo run from Rickards, followed by Tose’s conversion put Withy 10-0 up after 10 minutes.

Devonport resorted to desperate tackling to stop the withy driving maul and with the flanker dragging the maul down over the line, the referee headed towards the posts to award Withy the penalty try and send the offending player to the sin bin.

Now 17-0 up, Withy lost Joe Blyth to the bin and the visitors got on the board with an unconverted try.

After missing one chance, the clearing kick from the dropout didn’t make enough ground as Devonport came straight back and this time made no mistake of the grounding with a try next to the posts.

The visitors then took the lead after some midfield play suddenly went out to the wing once again, this time avoiding the Withy defence, allowing for a second quick try under the posts.

Withy came back fighting though, and once again battled up the pitch. With the ball firmly rooted deep within the Devonport 22’; Withy played through the phases, pressuring the defenders and, following multiple scrum penalties on their opponent’s try line, the referee finally went under the posts again for the second penalty try of the game.

Withy had taken back the lead; however, this wouldn’t last long as Devonport made the most of the slope, wind and their more experienced players to score three tries in ten minutes to gain an uncatchable lead with just seven minutes remaining.

Withy weren’t going to come away empty handed however, as one final push from the boys lead to a great break from Joe Blyth who broke through the defence to score Withies’ fourth try.