Withycombe produced some outstanding battling rugby to defeat league leaders Torquay 16-12 on a great day at Raleigh Park, writes Adam Curtis.

After an impeccably held silence for Remembrance Day, the visitors started well, controlling large amounts of the early play.

However, as they found their way into the game and spending more time in possession, Withy made their way into the Torquay 22’ and began to work through the phases, eventually being rewarded with a shot at goal in a great position. Lewis Tose’s kick put Withy 3-0 up inside 10 minutes.

The Tics continued to put pressure on the Withy defence and after losing Joe Blyth to the sin bin and conceding too many penalties, the visitors started to break down the defence, eventually scoring from a quickly taken penalty. The well taken conversion added to the points tally, giving Torquay a 3-7 lead going into half-time.

The Withies weathered Torquay pressure early in the second half and with a penalty advantage to their name, Lewis Tose took the option of the Crossfield kick; with the ball’s bounce evading the awaiting Torquay defender, Tom Cooke collected mid-stride and ran for the line to score under the posts for a converted score to put Withy back in front.

The home pressure deepened when the Tics lost their Hooker to the sin bin; the yellow card also presented a chance to extend the lead, albeit through a tricky penalty kick attempt. Cooke stepped up to the mark and slotted the kick between the posts.

After a good period of ‘knocking on the door’, Torquay finally got the try they’d been hunting for; however, they needed the conversion to retake the lead – an audible sigh of relief could be heard from the Withy supporters when the kick drifted wide of the posts!

There was still time in the game for one more score and with the nature of the game being what it was, that score could’ve come from either side! Thankfully, Lewis Tose had the final say of the match with a successful penalty kick in the final play of the game.

Next week, the Withies are back on the road as they make the short journey up the A376 to play Exeter Saracens at Exhibition Fields.