Matchett leads Withy to victory

PUBLISHED: 10:38 26 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:38 26 February 2015

Withycombe 2nds V Topsham 2nds. Ref exsp 7185-07-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Withycombe 2nds V Topsham 2nds. Ref exsp 7185-07-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

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Withycombe continued their pursuit of the top two in Tribute Cornwall and Devon with a maximum point success over fourth placed Pirates Amateurs.

Given that Withy took to the field still missing the huge presence of injured duo Phil Sluman and Dave Sims together with a concussion-depleted front row, the 26-10 speaks volumes for the spirit and ability in the side!

They were hit early with the loss of Mike Richards to the sin bin just 10 minutes in! However, they edged ahead courtesy of the boot of Tom Steer and then, using their dominance in the scrum to great effect, John Parkin went over for a try that Steer converted and then home lead was 10-0.

Andy Matchett was next to enter the sin-bin before Connor Gilby bagged a red card, but Withy reached half-time with a 15-0 lead after a second try, scored by Steer just before the break.

In the second half the visitors fought their way back into the game and scored a couple of tries to reduce the home lead to one of five points with 15 minutes to play.

Withy dug deep and the home rolling maul started paying dividends. With both of the Pirates second rows sent to the sin bin for disrupting the maul illegally and Chris Gibbons scored the games decisive fifth try from another maul.

With the game lost, Pirates looked to bank a bonus point with one big last effort, but kicked the restart straight to the fleet-footed Matchett who gathered the ball and powered his way 60-metres to the line to receive the acclaim of the Withy support in the clubhouse corner.

It was a fitting way for Matchett to seal a Man of the Match shift for the side.

This Saturday Withy are in Cornwall for a tricky looking encounter with Falmouth and a week after that they host table-topping Saltash at Raleigh Park.

Withycombe: Will Hockin, Andy Matchett, Tom Counsell, Dave Passmore, Terry Mears, Tom Steer, John Parkin, Chris Gibbons, Eugene Badenhorst, Liam Cullen, Jon Axon, Tim Wills, Ben Clark, Connor Gilby, Mike Richards. Reps: Max Cooke, Matt Bragg, Jack Pugsley.

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