Exmouth versus Newton Abbot – the recent history of the fixture

PUBLISHED: 21:48 06 February 2019

Nick Halse in the thick of the action during the Cockles win over Ivybridge. Picture JASON FAHY

Nick Halse in the thick of the action during the Cockles win over Ivybridge. Picture JASON FAHY

Archant

On Saturday (February 9, 2.30pm), the Cockles host a Newton Abbot side that they have generally got the better of in recent meetings, particularly at the Imperial Ground.

The last time that Newton Abbot won on a visit to Exmouth was back in the 2012/13 season when the Cockles lost the September 8, 2012 Imperial Ground meeting 19-15.

Since then, the Cockles have won each of the three meetings. They were 21-12 winners of the February 21, 2015 meeting, 46-11 winners of the February 27, 2016 meeting and, when the pair last met in Exmouth, last March, the Cockles won 24-21.

Newton Abbot also won on their visit back on September 25, 2010 in the first month of the 2010/11 campaign when, just as they did two years later, they won 19-15.

In the last 13 meetings between the Cockles and Newton Abbot, a score of over 30 points by either side has been managed just three times!

In the February 2016 meeting, the Cockles scored 46 points and, more recently, in the October 7 meeting of 2017, both teams scored more than 30 points with Newton Abbot taking the match honours 48-42.

The teams have already met in the league this season and that was back on October 28 when the Cockles won 25-21 at Newton Abbot.

Speaking before the weekend off - there were no matches in the South West Premier division on the first Saturday of February – Cockles head coach Steve Perry said: “Games like this one with Newton Abbot always carry that little bit of extra spice given their derby nature. I am not too sure it makes much difference who is at home in derby encounters.

“It’s all about which team performs better on the day.”

He continued: “For our part we will be championing the players to remember what they are good at and to stay focussed on those aspects of the match that we can control.

“Our attacking play has been very good this season whilst, at times, our defensive effort has left us short - not all the time - but all too often for my liking.

“It’s all about striking the balance and remembering that we attack - and defend - as one.

“I am sure that this meeting with Newton Abbot will be just as close as it seems most of them have been in recent years.”

With regard to the visitors’ current lowly status in the division - they sit second bottom of the table having won just three of their 18 matches so far – the Cockles head coach says: “League positions count for nothing in meetings between Exmouth and Newton Abbot. We also know that they [Newton Abbot] enjoy a good relationship with clubs that may have one or two players who they could bring in for this fixture. We will need to be at our best, of that I have no doubt.”

He concluded: “Having had a week off and being well rested, I suspect both sets of players will be champing at the bit to get back out on the pitch.”

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