PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:09 10 June 2010
Copyright Archant Ltd
THE only Devon sides to play in South West One this season, met at the Imperial ground and it saw Exmouth claim a tremendous 29-10 win over Barnstaple, writes Mike England.
THE only Devon sides to play in South West One this season, met at the Imperial ground and it saw Exmouth claim a tremendous 29-10 win over Barnstaple, writes Mike England.With a host of Barum supporters arriving by train and with Exeter Chiefs playing away, the best crowd of the season witnessed what was an exciting and, in some respects, unusual game of rugby. Barnstaple kicked off and, although Exmouth stole an early Barum lineout, there was little good fare for the Cockles for the rest of the first quarter. Within two minutes, Neil Giddy put the visitors ahead with a penalty and this heralded an onslaught by Barum and for the next twenty minutes the home defence was simply outstanding.Gradually the flow of the game began to change and it swung in the hosts' favour when Garry Hooper stood up to a rampaging Barum No8 Jack Elliot in mid- field.Hooper successfully claimed the ball and off-loaded to Chris Strong. Strong charged forward and fed Jack Downie who, with a mix of running and kicking skills, scored a superb try which Ben Hough converted.An injury to Ben Boswell brought the talented Richard Sharp on to the field and within minutes his fellow flanker Andrew Smith was combining with Adam Wyllie to put more pressure on the visitors. Ben Hough kicked a penalty but back came Barum and, for the remainder of the half they held sway. Defending a series of scrums on their own line typified the Cockles' gutsy performance and when a knock on by Barnstaple relieved the pressure it did seem that it was not to be the visitors' day. Two minutes after the re-start Mark Wathes crashed over under the posts, Hough again converting and the Cockles' lead was now 17-3.On the hour mark some enterprise from Garry Hooper got full back Adam Garner in and once more Hough added the extras. It soon became 29-3 after Matt Ryan went over and, even though the visitors hit back with a late converted try following an uncontested scrum, the afternoon belonged to the home side.The win takes the Cockles level with Barum on 8 points from 11 outings, both sitting two clear of 2nd from bottom Cleve.EXMOUTH Quins travelled to face top of the table Barnstaple last Saturday and returned with just a couple of Richard Cadywould penalties to show for their efforts in a 29-6 defeat.The game began at a frenetic pace with both sides looking to play pacey attacking rugby. But with both sides also sporting strong and well organised defences, chances to cross each other's lines were few and far between in the early exchanges.The hosts struck first when, from a scrum on the Quins' five metre line, the Barum number 8 broke blind, evaded several tackles and crashed over. The try was converted and a 7-0 lead was posted on the score board. Two minutes before the break and the Quins registered their first points of the contest, Cadywould sending a penalty over to take the side in at the break just four points behind the hosts.The Quins began the second half the brighter but the home defence stood firm and, as the half wore on, the home side began to use the Quins' probing to their advantage, turning stout defence into fleet footed attack.On the hour the lead was extended to 12-3 with an unconverted try out wide.Almost immediately after the re-start, possibly owing to a lack of concentration from the Quins, mixed with a slice of good fortune for Barum, the home side gathered the loose ball and raced clear to touch down under the posts and effectively kill the game in their favour.Cadywould managed to send over another penalty for the Quins but by that time the hosts were home and dry, going on to win 29-6.The Quins can still be satisfied with a Devon Merit Divison One return of 18 points from nine outings with one more to go to complete the half way point of their league season.EXMOUTH Nomads were a little unlucky not to take something from their meeting with Devonport Services in a contest that saw them narrowly lose 23-17. The game was still very much in its early stages when Barry Walton went over to give Nomads an early advantage. The lead was increased when Andrew Binmore's trusty boot sent a penalty between the posts but, just before half time, Services were back in the game courtesy of a successful penalty kick and they were quickly level overall when some poor Nomads defending opened the way for a converted try and the sides trooped off at 10-10 for their half time break. The second half saw the Nomads having to contend with a slight slope and the Services were first to score as they crossed but the try was unconverted. Nomads made every effort to get back into the game but poor handling didn't help their cause. Services further increased their advantage with a penalty. Nomads though were in no mood to concede the game and got to within a point of the opposition when scrum half Roger Nye went over and Binmore struck with the conversion. Just before the close Services sealed the game with another try to win the game 23-17. This coming Saturday Nomads travel to Bideford for another Merit 2 clash and, on the evidence of the game with Services, they will need to produce a much improved performance to come home with the spoils.
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