Cockles crushed by Bournemouth

PUBLISHED: 17:06 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:13 10 June 2010

LEAGUE action returned last weekend with the visit of Bournemouth who last played at the Imperial Ground over forty years ago when an Easter tour brought them to the Westcountry, writes Michael England.

LEAGUE action returned last weekend with the visit of Bournemouth who last played at the Imperial Ground over forty years ago when an Easter tour brought them to the Westcountry, writes Michael England.

The first League fixture between the two sides took place in November and, although they lost by 23pts, a creditable performance suggested that, on the return, the Cockles could reverse things and gain two much needed points.

The Exmouth side was very different to the one they fielded in November and by the end of the first quarter they knew that they were facing a tough afternoon.

Not for the first time this season, the Cockles could not match the pace and speed of thought of the opposition and they did well to contain the visitors for periods of the game.

Exmouth could have gone ahead within minutes when a kickable penalty went astray, but it was Bournemouth who scored first when, with ten minutes on the clock, winger Mike Pope went over wide out.

The Bournemouth backs continued to look very polished and with the ball passing through many hands, right wing James Payne posted the second score. With twenty five minutes played Exmouth missed another penalty opportunity but, almost immediately, a deft kick ahead by Jack Downie produced a try for the Exmouth winger.

Richard Cadywould's conversion was spot on and Exmouth had clawed their way back to within three points. With fifteen minutes to go to the break the Bournemouth pack was gaining momentum and they were now supplying their backs with a constant flow of quick ball.

Before referee Clare Daniels blew for half time a penalty and another two tries were added by the visitors and the sides changed around with the score at 23pts-7.

Exmouth came out for the second half to face both the opposition and the elements and, within three minutes, Bournemouth centre Scott Chislett scored his second try, converted by Mike Pope.

With twelve minutes gone, James Payne scored his third try and the Cockles had to dig deep to prevent a real rout. After twenty five minutes a Jack Downie intercept on half way produced a second try for the Exmouth speed man but it was small respite as, five minutes later, James Payne was on the score sheet again with another try converted by Pope.

With little cheer left in the game for the home side, Garry Hooper scored following a quick tap penalty with Richard Cadywould converting, but Bournemouth had the final word with Scott Chislett scoring his hat trick again, converted by Mike Pope.

There will be rugby on Boxing Day morning at the Imperial Ground with the annual in -house game but League action takes a break now until January 10 when the Cockles visit Oxford Harlequins.


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