Exmouth Under-13s power to Sidmouth success

PUBLISHED: 11:03 11 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:03 11 December 2014

The Exmouth Cockles played the Old Redclffians at the Imperial on Saturday. Ref exsp 1602-48-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

The Exmouth Cockles played the Old Redclffians at the Imperial on Saturday. Ref exsp 1602-48-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

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Exmouth Under-13s were 33-17 victors when they entertained Sidmouth.

This fixture has, in general, been an even contest in recent season, but by full-time it was the young Cockles who were able to display just how much they have developed as a team this season.

Exmouth made a high-tempo start scoring two tries inside the opening 15 minutes.

The first was a solo effort by Harry Sprague from a penalty near the centre of the pitch and the second was a fine team try launched by the forwards before the play was pushed deeper and deeper into Sidmouth territory prior to scrum half Stewart Masters feeding good ball to the backs who then took the ball across the field from where Thomas Preece broke through the defence to score under the posts.

Sidmouth responded well and began to build pressure. The young Cockles struggled to get out of their own territory for much of the remainder of the first half. Sidmouth scored two tries, one of which was converted and Exmouth trooped off at the break leading 14-12.

Sidmouth applied early second half pressure, but the Cockles stood firm and struck first in the half when, following a line-out on the Sidmouth five-metre line, fly-half Ben Dawson crossed for an unconverted try.

Soon after Sprague, who had been switched from second row to the number eight berth, picked up at the base and broke through three tackles only to be held up by a superb last-man tackle by the Sidmouth full-back. However, he was quick with the off-load to the supporting Dawson who crossed for another try.

Sidmouth responded with an unconverted try, but that proved to be their final score of the contest.

The Exmouth forwards dominated in the close quarter encounters throughout and won not only all their own scrums but half of the opposition one’s too with much of the credit down to the efforts of hooker Blu Sandy.

The Cockles were also superior in the mauls and fittingly the final score came from one. When Sidmouth lost the ball in a maul deep in the Exmouth half Sprague quickly gathered and avoided the tackle attempts, this time the Sidmouth full-back did not seem to have the same appetite for another crunching tackle and Sprague scored under the posts to complete the scoring.

The Exmouth Man of the Match award was shared by Harry Sprague and Owen Tidball.

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