Exmouth into Devon Cup final after beating Brixham
PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:00 02 May 2018
Exmouth booked a place in the 2018 Devon Cup final after a 28-8 success over Brixham under the Imperial Ground floodlights on Tuesday night.
It means that a season that has been one of ‘concern’ at times – particularly with the on-going problems the team has suffered away from home in the regular league season – can now end gloriously with some silverware!
Following Tuesday night’s victory, Cockles’ head coach Jon Hill said: “Three days days on from a dominant display against Camborne and we knew that we would have to reproduce the same levels of intensity and work rate in order to crack a strong Brixham outfit, who like ourselves, take the Devon Cup very seriously. “The mental aspect was the biggest challenge no doubt, having been under so much pressure to perform at the weekend and having been on such a high at 5pm on Saturday.
“However, to a man, the players set the tone, and reproduced a magnificent performance that dominated Brixham for large parts of the game”
He continued: “A hugely dominant scrum, a decent kick game from 18-year-old fly half Harry Ottaway, and good return from line out in what were tricky conditions, set a real platform for us and our drive maul game caused big problems for the opposition.
“All four of our tries came from forwards, an area so normally associated as Brixham’s strength, so it wall all very pleasing from our point of view.”
Hill then spoke of the Cockles defensive work, saying: “Our defence was solid throughout and was tested in the tight channels by Brixham’s ‘power game’.
“Phase after phase we repelled their big ball carriers, and worked so hard at the breakdown and with our line speed that we limited their attack.
“This was the most pleasing aspect for me. In the previous performance against Brixham, we lacked a desire to defend - we were the absolute opposite tonight and worked so hard for each other.
“The impressive leadership skills of Jack Fahy and Sam Richardson could be seen and heard by all, but everyone should take credit for fronting up again, so soon after Saturday.”
The game was brought to an early conclusion with the final whistle being blown after 71 minutes with the referee deciding that the Cockles superiority in the game – and the fact they held a 20 point lead with so little time left – there was no reason to continue the contest.
Hill added: “No neutral at the game would argue with the fact that the score line reflected the game, and for us now it’s a case of a six-day turnaround with one big last effort to finish the season on a high.”
Sam Richardson (2), Jack Fahy and Dave Bargent scored the Exmouth tries while Harry Ottaway (3) and Dave Whelan, sent over conversions.
It was two-try Richardson who was presented with the Ideal Cleaners Man of the Match award with Simon Leat of sponsors Ideal Cleaners making the presentation.
With regard to the final, which takes place at Ivybridge on Bank Holiday Monday (2.30pm), Hill says: “We will be looking to bring the cup back to our clubhouse where it has spent five of the last seven years! Of course, it will be another big challenge against an impressive Ivybridge outfit, but we will go into the game in a positive and upbeat mood.”