Last gasp Mike Richards try bags Withycombe home bonus point success
PUBLISHED: 09:28 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 24 September 2019
Withycombe sit top of the fledgling Devon One table after a second successive victory at the start of a new campaign.
Withy had to work hard for their 24-8 success and they sealed the bonus point thanks to an 80th minute Mike Richards try.
Withy made a bright start in front of an excellent Raleigh Park turnout and almost scored from the game's very first play!
The visitors kicked off and, when the ball landed in the arms of Rob 'Griffo' Griffin, he powered his way up-field before passing to Mike Richards who his run stopped short of the line and the ball was lost in the contact.
The subsequent scrum began a period of time during which both teams saw plenty of the ball and, a succession of handling errors from both sides, led to plenty of scrummaging practise!
Fifteen minutes in, Will Hockin and Mike Richards were involved in another powerful charge that ended with the ball going dead, but the momentum was in favour of the home side and, soon after, a great team effort brought the ball back down the pitch once again prior to Paddy Haddad scoring the first try with 21 minutes on the clock.
Withy stayed on the front foot, but strong Old Technicians defence meant there was no further scoring through to the break with Withy holding a 5-0 lead.
Early in the second half a neat move by the visitors during which they threw a fine 'dummy pass' and the Old Tech's winger raced 50 metres to the line for an unconverted try that restored parity to the contest.
The game then ran through a relatively quiet period although, with the Withy penalty count rising, they had to do plenty of defensive work!
As the third quarter drew to a close, Withy were awarded a penalty deep inside the visiting 22 and the kick was taken quickly by scrum half George Toomey who then used his pace to outrun the opposition back line before diving over in the clubhouse corner, much to the delight of the home crowd!
Once back in front Withy began to play with greater confidence and cohesion and, with eight minutes remaining Neil Williams led a charge that ended with Eugene Badenhorst powering his way over and a confident conversion from Haddad saw Withy into a 17-5 lead.
With five minutes left the visitors sent a penalty between the posts to close the gap, but Withy had the final say with a neat move that ended with a maul resulting in Mike Richards taken the ball over the line. Haddad again slotted the conversion and the final whistle blew shortly after.
On Saturday (September 28), Withy travel to South Devon to meet Dartmouth (3pm).