Cockles switch on too late to matter

PUBLISHED: 18:28 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:04 10 June 2010

Reading 17pts,Exmouth 14ptsNational Three South West A?CLOSE game was on the cards between two teams with similar playing records and so it turned out.

Reading 17pts,Exmouth 14ptsNational Three South West A?CLOSE game was on the cards between two teams with similar playing records and so it turned out.

The early exchanges were fairly even but, using the windy conditions, Reading were able to keep Exmouth in their own half.

Strong defensive pressure by the Cockles kept the home side out but, after 20 minutes, Reading were awarded a five-metre scrum, went for a push-over try and scored through No.8 Ben Hughes. Full-back Alex Dorliac converted.

That score provoked Exmouth into a burst of activity for the next 10 minutes. Jack Andrew took play into the Reading 22, quick ball through Andy Powell, Jordan Kelly resulted in Tom Elliott being forced into touch.

Exmouth infringed at the line-out, Reading cleared and got into Cockles territory for Dorliac to kick a penalty for 10-0.

Jack Downie threatened a score in reply, but, overall, Exmouth were guilty of poor decision making and trailed 10-0 at the turnaround.

Reading attacked from the restart and poor discipline by Exmouth resulted in Ashley Stevens being put in the bin for 10 minutes.

Exmouth conceded a five-metre scrum, again Reading went for the push-over and were awarded a penalty try, converted by Dorliac to go 17 points clear.

Exmouth made two tactical substitutions bringing Dom O'Connor and Matt Ryan into play returning the team to 15 men, but not for long, as Adam Hooper went into the sin-bin.

The frustration of the situation, particularly with some unaccountable refereeing decisions, made Exmouth fight back.

From a line out on halfway, quick ball to Mark Wathes saw him break into the opposition 22. Following three further phases of quick ball, Wathes received the ball again to sidestep the defence for a try converted by Richard Cadywould.

Exmouth still a man down continued to soak up pressure until a break from Wathes into the home 22 saw the forwards take the ball on and Andrew peel of for a try in the corner.

A conversion from Cadywould brought the score to 17-14 with only four minutes left.

Neither side gave any quarter and there was no further score, leaving Exmouth to ponder on what might have been had they played the whole game as they had done in the last quarter.

COCKLES'?DIARY

SATURDAY: National Three Rugby: Exmouth v Oxford Harlequins (H, 3pm). Having won at home last year, Exmouth will be keen to re-establish their dominance at the Imperial Ground. Also at home are the Nomads (Exeter Saracens, 2.15pm). Vice-presidents' lunch at noon.

The Quins travel to Paignton, having been taken close by Cullompton last Saturday.

Sunday: Junior rugby features U14s, U13s, U10s, U9s against Tiverton (home). U16's travel to Exeter Chiefs and the U15s, U12s and U11s are at Tiverton.

Girls rugby for U18s and U15s. Training is on Thursdays (5.30-7pm) as well as every Sunday from 1.30pm.


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