Topsham Under-14s net Devon Cup success
PUBLISHED: 13:09 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:09 25 April 2019
Topsham Under-14s are the new holders of the Devon Cup after they defeated Crediton 15-5 in what was a compelling final.
Crediton, with some large forwards and clearly focussed backs, made a powerful start and a nervous Topsham made a few uncharacteristic errors, but they got through the opening period and the game soon settled into one in which the respective backs cancelled reach other leaving the defining battle of the match up front.
Here, the smaller, quicker, and perhaps just a little more determined Topsham pack, slowly squeezed Crediton as the match progressed.
The first half came to a close with both teams having score one unconverted try, coming from a sustained period of pressure from Topsham in Crediton's red zone. The first from a Topsham line-out courtesy of a Crediton offside, resulting in a text-book driving maul over the line with Bertie Fordham emerging from a pile of players with a big smile on his face.
The second coming from good pressure from Crediton forcing an error from Topsham's backs – the resulting turn-over ball catching Topsham's defence off-guard pretty much for the only time in the match. With Crediton having probably the two fastest players on the pitch it was inevitable that such an open field would result in a length of the pitch run in for one of their speedsters.
The second half started with a sustained period of stalemate between the two sides with Crediton having the best chance after a clever kick through caused mayhem in Topsham's backline ending with a forward pass in the Tops dead ball area!
This could well have been the point in the match where the next score would determine the outcome and this perhaps triggered Topsham's defensive mindset and there was simply no way through for Crediton despite a dominant five-metre scrum. For much of the rest of the second half Topsham then dominated in all areas. It thus became simply a matter of time before Topsham would capitalise on the huge territorial and possession advantage the team enjoyed.
Despite some handling errors including one over the try line! However, and crucially, Topsham ran in two more well-deserved tries first through William Saltmarsh and then from Henry Sims to seal a 15-3 success.