Exmouth book play-off berth with mighty win at Maidenhead
PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:00 18 April 2013
Maidenhead 7, Exmouth 57
Exmouth played their first ever competitive game on an artificial surface and certainly did not disappoint.
Despite dreadful weather conditions it took the Cockles less than five minutes to begin the scoring!
A trademark run from flanker Dave Bargent found Andrew Powell who crossed, but the Powell conversion dropped short.
Five minutes later Tom Kill went over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The conditions were testing for both sides, the surface slippery under foot causing the ball to spin on the ground and players unable at times to keep their footing.
Exmouth’s biggest problem was catching the ball! All too often passes ended up going to ground, on occasions with the try line begging.
On the half hour prop Lloyd Morgan scored the third Cockles try and, with the half drawing to a close Garry Hooper powered over, Powell converted and the Cockles still found time for hooker Mike Wilson to dance his way over, Powell slotted the extra’s and a 29 point lead was held at half-time.
Early in the second half Will Hodgetts, Hooper and Dave Kimberley combined prior to the latter scoring and again Powell tucked over the conversion.
Matt Garner, a replacement for Hooper, then crossed the home line and Powell tucked the conversion away.
Flanker Bargent picked a fine line and scythed through the defence to score under the posts.
With play almost immediately back in the home 22 and the Cockles forwards in total control, another score was inevitable.
Big second rower Bob Armstrong was next to crash over and once more Powell added the extras.
Maidenhead, to their credit, kept going and late on enjoyed their best spell as their hooker and open side carried the ball well, giving the Cockles defence something to deal with.
From a rare incursion into the Cockles half the hosts’ seven, Ryan Long touched down and Perry Jansen converted to give the home team a late consolation.
With league rivals Weston Super Mare losing at champions London Irish, this win guarantees the Cockles a play-off match for promotion on April 27.
This Saturday the Cockles face Malvern and a win will guarantee a home tie in the play-off.