Exmouth produce the goods in Dorset before being edged out by table topping Bournemouth.

PUBLISHED: 11:25 22 December 2011

Action from the Exmouth game at Bournemouth

Action from the Exmouth game at Bournemouth

Archant

The Cockles served up a truly sumptuous festive feast of rugby for their large and appreciative band of travelling followers, before they went down to defeat at table topping Bournemouth.

The Cockles served up a truly sumptuous festive feast of rugby for their large and appreciative band of travelling followers, before they went down to defeat at table topping Bournemouth.

They made a superb start and set the high flying hosts on the back foot from the first kick.

Tries from forwards, skipper Dave Kimberely and Bob Armstrong together with a conversion from Andrew Powell, were the very least the Cockles deserved for their opening endeavours as they raced into a 12-0 lead just ten minutes into the contest.

Unfortunately for the Cockles, in the context of the game, they were unable to hold the 12-0 advantage for very long as, from the re-start after the second try, they were penalised just short of their line, and the hosts struck straight back with an unconverted try to make it 12-5.

Undaunted, the Cockles were straight back on the front foot, and a Powell penalty took them into a 15-5 lead after 17 minutes.

Bournemouth stormed back, but the Cockles stood firm. Both sides picked up yellow cards with Paul Morgan and home player Tim Seward finding their names in the match referee’s note book.

A second successful penalty from Powell further extended the Cockles advantage to 18-5 with just six minutes of the first half remaining.

At the break the Cockles were clearly on the verge of achieving what would be the finest result of this, and indeed many recent, seasons!

An early second half penalty saw the hosts reduce the arrears and they followed that with a try in the corner that went unconverted, but closed the score to 18-13 in the Cockles advantage.

The Dorset side took the lead for the first time in the match with a well worked try and conversion to see the score board tick over to 20-18 in their favour.

With 20 minutes remaining a penalty extended the home advantage to one of five points at 23-18.

At this stage of the contest both sides were eyeing up the fourth try and with it the bonus point.

With Bournemouth battering the Exmouth defence the Cockles forwards opted for a driving maul from within their own 22-metre line. It was an incredible move that ended with them driving over the home line only for the ‘try’ to be chalked off when the ball was adjudged to be held up with the hosts’ Chislett apparently getting his body under the ball.

At the following 5-metre scrum the Cockles lost the ball and that set Bournemouth on a forward move that ended with a converted try being scored to consign the brave Cockles to a 30-18 defeat.

This was a superb collective effort from the Cockles who could conceivably have been enjoying success post match such was the part they played in a magnificent contest.

The splendid Bournemouth RFC website was awash with comments lauding the Cockles performance, and, if such form can be repeated when the league resumes after the Festive break, then there’s no reason why Cockles fans can’t expect their side to finish the campaign strongly.

Next up in terms of League outings is the January 7, visit of basement dwellers Newbury Blues.

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