Exmouth bag derby honours despite not being at their best
PUBLISHED: 10:39 26 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:39 26 February 2015
Exmouth avenged their only loss to a Devon club in the league on Saturday with an ugly win at home to Newton Abbot, writes Chris Wright.
The usual full blooded, enthralling encounters of recent seasons gave way to a lacklustre performance admittedly in blustery conditions at the Imperial ground.
Exmouth opened the game all guns blazing! There were just two minutes on the clock when Dave Bargent finished off a move that saw the Cockles sweep the ball right then left across the pitch, Bargent stopped just metres out was then quickly on hand to receive the ball and crash over. The George Meadows conversion from out wide made the distance, but bounced off the far up right.
Almost 30 minutes of rugby produced little to inspire a healthy crowd, all too often kicks were wayward, passes dropped or the ball lost in contact by both sides.
Newton levelled things up with an unconverted try out wide as the Cockles defence was sucked in. Minutes later a Meadows penalty nudged the Cockles back in front.
Missed opportunities went begging for both sides the half-time whistle greeted warmly by both sides.
Exmouth again started with positive rugby, pinning the visitors back into their 22, Richard Cadywould taking over at fly-half working the territory with the boot.
After a period of pressure Ollie Rice, who ran a number of fine lines, saw one ended by Matt Ryan sniping over to score. Cadywould converted and, moments later, slotted a penalty to put the home side 18-5 ahead.
Newton responded well, pushed the Cockles back and only desperate defence denied them a try. However, the y continued to press and, from a driving maul, scored a converted try.
The Exmouth response was immediate with Cadywould slotting another penalty following good build up play by the forwards and, in particular, Nigel Berry and James Harris featuring well.
With a nine-point buffer the game drifted to a conclusion, Cadywould had another long shot at goal after wing Rich Bright was tackled in the air, but the kick dropped short.
The final whistle drew a line under the performance that will need to be much improved to secure the points away at Old Centralians this Saturday.