Exmouth all set for a massive run of three game that will determine just how special this season is

PUBLISHED: 15:43 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:44 20 March 2013

Exmouth at Amersham in National Three (SW) action

Exmouth at Amersham in National Three (SW) action

Archant

Amersham 12, Exmouth 20

Exmouth played their outstanding National Three (SW) game to move into second place in the table with just four matches remaining.

The trip to Buckinghamshire, one of the Cockles longest journeys of the campaign.

Several changes due to injury and unavailability meant a much changed squad took to the field.

That said, the hosts had only two players from the side the Cockles faced earlier in the season, with no fewer than a dozen of their 18-man squad being from overseas!

Heavy rain meant a pitch change before kick off, but it was the Cockles who started at a pace. Against the wind, the Cockles contained a lively side to their own 22 for the opening phases.

Despite this territorial advantage, on their first incursion into the Exmouth half a penalty kick resulted in a three point lead for the home side.

In the early exchanges the Exmouth forwards looked to have the measure of the home side’s and it was no surprise when, after the second time of asking, the Cockles powered over the line from a driving maul, Mike Wilson dotting down for a try and Andrew Powell added the extras.

The game continued in the same vein for the remainder of the half, the Cockles playing all the rugby, yet for no reward.

Garry Hooper had a try disallowed and the hosts held out to repeated forays. To Amersham’s credit, when the opportunities arose for points they took them kicking two more penalties before the break, to lead 9-7 at halftime.

Exmouth have got into the healthy habit this season of grinding out results when needed, and this was to be no exception.

Amersham continually pushed deep into their own half tried to play the ball from deep. Cockles prop Shane Cooper put in a bone-crunching hit, turning over possession, and the Cockles were in a great position!

With a ruck 15-metres out, the home side spread their defence wide only to see number-eight Dave Kimberley go route-one through the middle, sidestep the fullback, and score under the posts. Powell’s simple conversion put the Cockles 14-9 ahead.

It was the boot of Powell once more that added to the tally with a penalty kick.

Amersham stuck to their guns and defended well, belying their league status in front of vocal home support.

Awarded a penalty with just minutes to go the home side kicked their fourth penalty to put them in losing bonus point territory.

Alas for them, a quick restart put the Cockles deep in the Amersham half where they conceded a penalty in front of the posts and Powell needed no second invitation to increase the Cockles lead to eight points.

Moments later the final whistle was blown to signal another very satisfactory job done by the Cockles team.

This Saturday Exmouth entertain third placed Weston-super-Mare. This is a massive game for both sides in terms of securing a play-off place at the end of the campaign.

The Cockles are also hosting a Former Players Reunion Day starting at 12 noon and more details on that event can be found on the club website at exmouthrugby.co.uk

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