Exmouth see off Newton Abbot - it's a white wash!

PUBLISHED: 19:07 28 September 2011

Action from the Imperial ground between Exmouth Cockles and Newton Abbot on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 0654-39-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Action from the Imperial ground between Exmouth Cockles and Newton Abbot on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 0654-39-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Exmouth served up a sensational ending to their home game with previosuly unbeaten Newton Abbot

Rugby is a game of 80 minutes and this was an incident packed game with action from the first to the last.

Newton Abbot have recruited a very experienced squad for this campaign and they came to Exmouth unbeaten in their first three League outings, when the two sides last met at Exmouth it was the visitors who snatched victory in the dying minutes of the game, this time it was sweet revenge for the Cockles to over turn a ten point deficit in the last 7 minutes of the game to take the spoils.

Exmouth clearly planned to run their large opponents around and the first 40 minutes saw end to end rugby, Exmouth turned down what looked like and easy 3 points opting for a kick to the corner alas an offside then denied a score, this was followed by a miss at goal as the ball pulled wide in the strong cross field wind. Andrew Powell, Jack Downie and Tom Kill looked dangerous out wide and the cockle’s set piece worked well supplying quantity if not always quality possession.

Newton too looked strong in the loose and the two teams looked evenly matched. with minutes left in the half a well placed pass put livewire Dave Bargent into a gap, he raced away but seemed to have blown his chance of a score by kicking ahead, chasing up behind the last Newton Defender as the ball went over the line his fortunes changed an early dive left the player grasping thin air Bargent pounced to touchdown the bobbling ball. George Meadows added the extras.

Newton responded immediately from the restart, the kick was not field Newton regained possession and had numbers out wide, Nic Holt touching down, Scott Meakin Converting.

Half time 7 all, the visitors probably happy to be on level terms.

The second half continued at a pace, Downie going close up the middle.

Newton too worked well and phases of play took the visitors up to the cockles 22, with 10minutes of the half gone a hole in the Cockles defence allowing Dan Maidment to score a relatively easy score , Meakin added the extras and 5 minutes later stretch the lead to 7 -17 with a penalty kick as the Cockles strayed offside.

Two scores down the Cockles over the next few minutes rang the changes, bringing Jon Fabian, Will Norton and Andrew Smith off the bench. With time running out Exmouth stepped up a gear defensively working well as a unit forcing Newton into mistake. Trouble loomed though as Newton were awarded a very kickable penalty, fortunately it pulled wide and the Cockles could clear their lines.

Exmouth took play up to the Newton 22, were an off the ball incident unseen by the official who had a good game, left Fabian with a nasty cut, this saw Meadows return to the action as a blood replacement.

Exmouth players reacted in the best possible way, taking the game to the visitors, Powell unfortunately could not add from a penalty.

The visitors cleared towards the Cockles 22. Dave Kimberley set of up field passing to Powell, the ball sweep right then left across the field a lovely dummy from prop George Savage gave Paul Morgan the chance to get within metres of the line, Garry Hooper whisked quick ball to Powell he found Kill, and the Northern Flyer crossed out wide to score

.Meadows struck a fantastic conversion and the Cockles trailed by just 3.

The visitors looked out on their feet, Exmouth’s’ Bargent storming up field from the restart, but spilling the ball Newton managed to find touch in the Cockles half, Stu Lowe then showed amazing pace to set off from the lineout before Smith and Mike Wilson linked up, again Bargent and Powell were involved the latter giving the ball to Kill just around the Cockles ten metre line, the 18 year old with numerous defenders to beat screamed up the far touchline leaving the defence for dead, tackled on the line he rolled to ground the ball and score a fantastic try. The conversion short Exmouth led 19 -17 as the large crowd cheered on, the restart taken safely the seconds counted down, Hooper sniped up field but was tackled into touch , the whistle blew and the game was won.

All three of the Exmouth senior sides played Newton Abbot on Saturday, with the Cockles winning them all and that is most certainly a case of a Devon white wash!

This Saturday the Cockles travel to Chippenham who recorded a fine win of their own last weekend. Kick off in Wiltshire in 3pm.

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