Ben the late hero

PUBLISHED: 15:29 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 10 June 2010

BACK in October when Redingensians were early League leaders, Exmouth were disappointed to be on the wrong end of a 24pts-19 scoreline, writes Michael England.

BACK in October when Redingensians were early League leaders, Exmouth were disappointed to be on the wrong end of a 24pts-19 scoreline, writes Michael England.With improving performances over the past weeks, and with the Berkshire side now in mid-table, the Cockles travelled to Sonning on Saturday with a belief that they could come away with a result.Ben Hough missed an early penalty on five minutes but, shortly afterwards, the Cockles pinched a lineout from Ensians which set up an Adam Garner run to the line. Exmouth were awarded a scrum and with the ball passing through a number of hands Jack Downie scored wide out. Hough converted and the Cockles had a deserved 7-0 lead. The home side came back at the visitors' and, just before the break, scored an unconverted try to see the sides go in with Cockles leading 7-5.Ensians carried improved confidence into the second half and with three minutes played they turned over an Exmouth scrum on the 10 metre line. Exmouth went offside and Ensians' No 9 took advantage of a napping defence to take a quick penalty and score under the posts. The conversion was added and the lead changed hands with the hosts now 12-7 ahead. The Cockles' response was immediate and Hough kicked through the Ensians' defence, followed up the kick and scored close in before converting his own try, restoring their lead at 14pts-12. It was now end to end stuff with both sides playing some attractive rugby. For Exmouth, James Finnegan was showing up well and his partner Dom O'Connor announced his return to the side with a classic steal of an Ensians' lineout.A penalty for the hosts saw them back into the lead at 15-14 as the Cockles no doubt saw the previous week's heartache beckoning.With injury time ticking away, the Cockles were awarded a penalty and up stepped Hough to deliver a sweetly struck kick from the half way line to seal a dramatic, and richly deserved, 17-15 victory.This weekend the Cockles have a double dose of rugby with League duty on Saturday away at Oxford Harlequins and on Sunday they entertain Newton Abbot at the Imperial Ground in the quarter final of the Devon Senior Cup.

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