Cokcles’ title hopes hit in Gloucester

PUBLISHED: 08:55 05 March 2015 | UPDATED: 08:55 05 March 2015

Exmouth took on Bracknell at the Imperial ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 6623-06-15SH. Photo Simon Horn

Exmouth took on Bracknell at the Imperial ground on Saturday. Ref exsp 6623-06-15SH. Photo Simon Horn

Archant

Exmouth made the trip to Gloucester on Saturday to face a much improved Old Centralians, writes Chris Wright

In what became a low-scoring encounter the Cockles have only themselves to blame for not registering an away day win and being on the end of a 16-10 defeat.

Exmouth had an encouraging start winning a penalty soon after kick off. Unf rtunately, Rich Cadywould, who started at number ten, saw his kick drift the wrong side of the uprights. The Cockles were straight back on the attack and it wasn’t long before Cadywould struck with a well taken penalty.

Cockles took charge and the home side could not cope with the power, particularly in the scrum. Nigel Berry and Isaac Dalton with hooker Tom Emery called al the shots, winning several penalties. The home side defended solidly and numerous, promising chances in the home 22 amounted to nothing.

Some fine kicking pushed the visitors back with the trio of Ollie Pyne, Ollie Rice and Henry Goldson making good ground. Old Cents came back and levelled things up by half-time with a successful penalty. Exmouth let a gilt-edged try scoring chance go begging with the last play of the half when a cross-field kick slipped through hands with the try line looming! The second half saw a buoyant start from the home side and they crossed the Cockles whitewash, and tucked away the conversion to lead 10-3.

The Cockles lost flanker James Harris to the sin bin as he pulled down a maul on halfway. His banishment somewhat baffling when the hosts had

done precisely the same thing in their own 22 in the first half! The introduction of a new tight head prop also brought dividends for Old Cents and the scrum, such a strength for the Cockles before the break, became a liability and, with their tails up, the home side slotted a quick-fire brace of penalties to move into a commanding 16-3 lead. Exmouth looked to speed the game up and, when they did, the home side looked vulnerable.

However, the Gloucester outfit are most certainly street wise and they began to slow the game down at every opportunity.

The Cockles worked a good position and were set to score out wide, but instead of using the numbers, a miss pass went forward and a glorious scoring chance went begging!

The Cockles lost Dalton to the bin for a scrummage offence five-metres from the home line as the contest slipped away from the Devon side.

The home lost a prop for repeated off-side offences and the Cockles made the most of an opportunity for the first time in the game when a driving maul resulted in Tom Emery getting the ball down under a pile of bodies! George Meadows, on for Cadywould, slotted a fine touchline conversion to pull the score to within a converted try. The restart saw the Cockles with little time and they moved the ball one way, then the other, but the hosts defended as if their lives depended on it. Alas for the Cockles a stray pass was picked up, and the ball kicked off the field to end a disappointing Cockles performance. This Saturday (March 7), the Cockles will need to bounce back at home against Old Patesians (2.30pm).

A win is a must as the Exmouth outfit need to strengthen their grip on a play-off spot.


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