Exmouth end run of league Devon derby defeats with Newton Abbot win
PUBLISHED: 13:20 12 November 2015 | UPDATED: 13:20 12 November 2015
Exmouth finally put to rest the bogey this season that had seen them fail in away national Three (SW) League matches at three Devon venues when they won 22-17 at Newton Abbot.
The key to the Cockles success was that they seemed to cut out the individual mistakes that had blighted tem in early matches away from their Imperial ground home.
For once, lady luck smiled on the Cockles who twice seized on missed tackles to cross for tries and there also seemed to be an element of good fortune go their way when flanker Dave Bargent conceded a penalty for sticking a hand into the home team’s side of a five-metre scrum going for a push-over try.
Referee Simon Lane spotted the infringement and raced under the posts to award the try, but opted not to send the offending Cockles player to the sin bin – a decision made more controversial minutes later when Bargent crossed himself for a try from a line-out at the other end of the pitch!
The first half of the action ended with the Cockles 8-3 to the good with their points courtesy of a 43rd minute Matt Ryan try and a Dan Powell penalty.
Former Cockle Avery-Wright kicked an early second half penalty try, but Exmouth regained the lead with that Bargent try before going on to add a third from Ryan while teenager Powell also tucked away a brace of conversions.
Exmouth forwards coach Stuart Lowe said: “We saw some superb character from Exmouth players to get over the line against our arch rivals. It was a win I felt we thoroughly deserved. To come away from home and grind out a victory in the manner that we did was extremely pleasing.
“The game was a typical Devon derby game with a high error count, but I don’t think many can complain at the result, considering we dominated territory and possession in the game. We knew it would be very tough and Newton are a very good side with some experienced performers. I felt that our backs made a number of line breaks and our forwards worked their socks off today and got their rewards.
“Henry Goldson and Ollie Rice were particularly dangerous and James Harris got through an awful lot of work. I felt that 18-year-old hooker Charlie Gibbings was impressive once again and managed get the full 80 minutes under his belt which was pleasing. To be fair to Newton they defended very well, especially deep inside their own 22, where they repelled a lot of our attacks, and they never gave in, fighting to the bitter end.”
On Saturday the Cockles entertain a Chippenham side they have beaten in each of their last four meetings. Kick-off is at 2.15pm.