Gallant Withy come back empty handed after promising start at Crediton.

PUBLISHED: 10:25 08 September 2011

Archant

Withies just failed to open their new league campaign with a win when they were edged out 15-9 by host Crediton, writes John Goldfinch.

It was promising opening gambit but in the end Crediton just managed to hold on in an exciting encounter.

Withies started the stronger of the two sides and threatened briefly but the pattern of the game soon settled into a midfield encounter with both sides looking to break solid defences. On eighteen minutes the home side were penalised for going in at the side and Paddy Shaw knocked over a penalty from 20 metre.

A defining moment of the game happened some five minutes later, when Withycombe lost No 8 Jamie Rose with dislocated shoulder.

The changes made gave more momentum to the home side and unfortunately Withies paid the price. A chip ahead by Crediton’s ten Rob Milton was inch perfect for winger Matt Shapland to scamper over for a try converted by Milton.

After this setback Withies took the game to Crediton once more and were rewarded with a penalty that Shaw converted and as the minutes ticked away to the end of the half and after sustained pressure on the Crediton line Shaw repeated the act and Withies went into the break 9-7 up.

The second half was nip and tuck for most of the forty minutes and the feature was the defence of both teams. It was exciting stuff with opportunities for both sides.

On the sixty minute mark Withies defence was broken after some smart line out work and a loose ball was picked up by Crediton’s hooker Shane Bayley and he scampered 30 metres through some desperate Withies tackling for an unconverted score.

Crediton further increased their lead with ten minutes to go with a Gareth Kinch penalty. A last season Withycombe side would have run out of steam, at this juncture of the game but with the improved fitness levels Withies came back at Crediton to seek a result. For the last ten minutes Withies lay siege to the Crediton line and Crediton were forced to concede penalty after penalty. Keeping up the pressure and needing more than three points Withies persisted for the maximum. It is conceivable that the referee might have considered a penalty try but on extra time after he had awarded Withies another penalty he also considered Withies forwards had been over the top with the use of the boot and reversed his initial decision. Crediton were able to out the ball into touch for an unsatisfactory end to a good contest.

Withycombe host Plymouth Barbarians next week at Raleigh Park with a 2.30pm KO. The following week Withies travel to Falmouth and there will be a coach that will leave Raleigh Park at approximately 10.30am. Supporters are welcome on the bus. First come first served.

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