Cockles frustrated as second successive Devon derby is washed out

PUBLISHED: 12:33 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:33 01 February 2018

Action from the Cockles win over Maidenhead at the Imperial Ground

Action from the Cockles win over Maidenhead at the Imperial Ground

Archant

Exmouth suffered back-to-back postponements for the first time this season when their home game with Newton Abbot was called off owing to the Friday night and Saturday morning rain that rendered the Imperial Ground playing surface unfit.

Five of the seven South West Premier games were played with the only other casualty being the Ivybridge versus Maidenhead game.

Cockles head coach Jon Hill said: “It is very frustrating for us to have had back-to-back games, and big games too given they were Devon derby meetings, called off.”

He continued: “That said, it is what it is and we have to deal with it.

“A number of the guys were in action on Wednesday night playing against a Royal Navy Presidents XV in Plymouth in order to get some match sharpness. As much as training is good, there is no better thing than actually playing to stay match sharp.”

As they say, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and, in terms of the recent postponements, it has meant some of the injured Cockles players have been able to move towards recovery without missing further games.

Hill says: “We have a number of guys coming back from injury, so the additional week will help us longer term.

“Tom Barnard, Charlie Gibbings, Lloyd Watkins and Ben Hawley were all set to miss last week’s game and could be passed fit for this weekend, so the rest should have allowed them additional rehab time.”

In terms of re-arranging games, one problem seems to be in the Devon Cup campaign.

Hill explained saying: “It is the Devon Cup fixture against Teignmouth that is hard to fit in at the moment.

“We have suggested some midweek dates to play this under lights and await a response from them.

“We have some tough games coming up and it is important to regain some momentum.

“Bournemouth will be a massive test for both our 1st and 2nd XVs this weekend, but a good bus trip is sure to be good for team morale.”

The Cockles have been able to continue weekly training during this wet spell with the squad turning out in full for the regular Tuesday night sessions on the 3G surface eat Exmouth Community College.

*In the South West Premier games that were played, the top two met at Dings. In what is going to be the table-topper’s last ever game at their old home before they move to play on a new artificial surface, they inflicted a fifth defeat of the season on Bournemouth.

Cleve were narrowly beaten 23-21 by visiting Bracknell and Cambroen bagged an eighth win of the season, beating third bottom Weston-super-Mare, 29-7. The other two games saw Newbury Blues win 18-13 at Hornets, who now sit bottom of the table, a position previously held by Lydney, who helped themselves to only a fourth win of the season, beating visiting Brixham 24-0.


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