Exmouth see off Old Redcliffians
PUBLISHED: 11:22 27 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:22 27 November 2014
Exmouth played host to Bristol-based Old Redcliffians on Saturday and, though the game failed to reach any real highs, a five point win with a nap hand of tries, represents a solid Cockles performance, writes Chris Wright.
With Dave Bargent, Chris Bentley, Rich Cadywould, Shane Cooper and Jack Pyne all unavailable, the side was led again by Tom Emery.
Old Reds enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and, following several phases of play, pinned the Cockles in their own 22 where, from a solid scrimmage, they moved the ball through several phases before prop Lewis Wilson crashed over to score and full-back Jack Steer converted. Injury then hit the hosts with Ali Hill forced off and a re-shuffle saw flanker James Harris move out wide.
George Meadows opened the Cockles account with a well struck penalty on 17 minutes, and it was a deft cross-field kick from the fly-half four minutes later that led to the first home try.
Wing Richard Bright was on hand to field the well placed kick from his fly-half and he stepped inside the visiting full-back to score and Meadows slotted the long-range conversion to give Cockles a three point lead.
Matt Ryan touched down minutes later and another Meadows conversion increased the Cockles lead.
Old Reds battled back, holding their own in the scrum, yet struggling in the lineout and also with the intensity of the Cockles play. With a rare foray into the Cockles 22, outside centre Henry Goldson powered over to score and unconverted try.
Meadows struck again with the boot just before half-time to complete the scoring before the break and Exmouth trooped off with a 20-12 advantage. The Cockles made a promising start to the second half, and a series of penalties took play deep into opposition territory where, from a five-metre line-out they drove to the line.
When the ruck was pulled down the referee had little option other than to give the visitors a yellow card. The Cockles made the extra man tell and a powerful forward drive ended with skipper Tom Emery crossing the line.
The home side then went in search of a fourth and all-important bonus point try, but all too often they seemed to force the issue and kicks were charged down, passes dropped and mistakes made, all to the frustration of another healthy home turnout.
On the upside scrum-half Garry Hooper was a live wire whilst Ollie Pyne and Jack Fahy made some hard yards and James Harris linked up well with Mark Wathes.
With 15 minutes to go, skipper Emery got his second try as the forwards again outmuscled the opposition. With a win now guaranteed, the Cockles opened up, a slick move with Hooper putting young number eight Ben Hawley in space and he found Matt Ryan in support which saw a simple pass to fellow wing Rich Bright who cruised over to score beside the posts and Meadows slotted the extras to complete the scoring and seal a 37-12 victory.
This weekend the Cockles travel to Cheltenham to face Old Patesians in a rearranged game. It’s another big game and the Cockles travel knowing that a win is a must if they ate to keep their title charge going at full pace.