Tidball impresses as Exmouth Under-11s edged out in fine encounters with Withycombe
PUBLISHED: 19:22 06 March 2013 | UPDATED: 19:22 06 March 2013
Exmouth entertained Withycombe in a much anticipated Under-11 derby.
Friendly local rivalry ensured that this was to be a hard fought battle from the start, with many supporters out for each side.
The first half was a real scrap with both teams tackling hard. The early game fulfilled all expectations with the teams clearly well matched and finding it hard to gain the upper hand.
After much effort from both teams the first try came for Exmouth from a Withycombe lineout.
As Withycome came away with the ball, Luke Davis put in a crunching tackle and stole the ball to break away. A well timed pass to Owen Tidball set him on his way and he weaved round a number of players before scoring.
The try was not converted and that proved to be the only score of the first half.
Exmouth started the second half well, but Withycombe came back, forcing a scrum at the half way line. Injury led to a change and Ben Tew was introduced for the Cockles.
The game continued with each side fighting for the upper hand. Exmouth came close to a second try from a penalty. Harry Sprague sprinted for the line and crossed to touch down, but was judged to have stepped in to touch just a few meters from the line. This appeared to affect the Exmouth confidence and their spirits dropped giving Withycombe the opportunity to take control. After an Exmouth lineout close to the Exmouth 5-metre line, Withycombe stole the ball to touch down, the try was converted and Withy led 7-5.
At the restart Withycombe forced a scrum. A good run and drive for the line saw them touch down again for the second time in quick succession and this proved to be the final score of the game.
The two teams then fielded sides with players who had not featured in the opening match.
Withycome were soon able take advantage of ineffective Exmouth tackling to run in three converted tries.
The game settled and, after a difficult patch, Exmouth regrouped. Aaron Lee kicked to clear the danger for Exmouth and they were able to force a scrum deep in the Withycombe half. Exmouth broke free with Luke Davis driving towards the line.
A quick off-load to Toby McConaghy, enabled him to twist and turn and get the ball down for a well deserved try. The try was converted by Aaron Lee and took the final score to 21-7 to the visitors.
Owen Tidball picked up the Man of the Match for good passing and applying constant pressure causing the opposition many problems.