Wilson scores birthday try as Cokcles land thrilling win at Newbury.

PUBLISHED: 14:14 20 September 2011 | UPDATED: 14:14 20 September 2011

Exmouth in action at Newbury

Exmouth in action at Newbury

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Exmouth finally got their season up and running with a bonus point win away to former National League big guns Newbury Blues.

Exmouth finally got their season up and running with a bonus point win away to former National League big guns Newbury Blues.

This was the first ever League encounter between the two Clubs, Newbury once backed heavily by telecom giants Vodaphone have found life difficult without the backing of their major Sponsor and relegated into National 3 this term and went into the game, as the Cockles did, having lost their first two outings this term.

Exmouth handed a league debut to 18year old Fly half George Meadows a former Honiton Junior who has led Exeter College to great things in the student rugby world, the young man played a credible role with ball in hand and goal kicking.

Back also was Jack Westlake, Captain Ross Morshead and Fellow 18 year old Will Norton was rotated to the bench following two good starts in the front row to date Shane Cooper taking over at Tight head.

The Cockles had a dream start quickly pressurising from the kick off, slick handling just 3 minutes in allowing Paul Morgan to score Meadows converting.

Morgan was in action soon after, again crisp handling and attacking flair to the fore, several phases of play took their toll on the home defence and the winger found a lovely line to cross again and score under the posts, meadows added the extras for a 14 nil lead.

Stung into action Newbury countered , a fine chip and chase rewarded Newbury’s no.10 Oscar Matthews with a try which he converted. Meadows responded with a well struck penalty before rumbling prop Ben Louisson pulled a try back for Newbury converted by Matthews.

End to end stuff with defence coaches pulling their hair out, saw Garry Hooper score out wide the conversion dropped short.

Prop George Savage was Exmouth’s next scorer, he cut a great line through the home defence who didn’t lay a hand on the speedy prop forward, he did however run straight into the post, fortunately he held onto the ball and touched down. Meadows added the extras , then traded penalty kicks with Oscar Matthews to round up the halftime score at Exmouth 32 Newbury 17.

Newbury’s halftime talk clearly went better than Exmouth’s’ the Cockles losing one to the bin and conceding two quick tries to lead by just 3.

A period of calm ensued, the Cockles big men holding onto the ball, from a catch and drive Jack Westlake touching down to put Exmouth 8 points clear.

This seemed to be a game where the Cockles faithful were never going to be able to relax, defensive errors again letting a poor but determined home side , backed by a large crowd back in. Louisson crashing over for his second try after several players seemed to cross and block the Exmouth defenders, Matthews who had a good game for Newbury added the extras to leave the Cockles ahead by just 1 point with 15minutes to go.

Exmouth made a number of changes and perhaps crucially the referee at last took action as Newbury continued to infringe as the Cockles looked to score, with a man in the bin deep in their own half Newbury were on the rack. Exmouth’s forwards composed and controlled eventually powering over with Birthday boy Mike Wilson coming up from the bottom of the pile for his debut try.

6 points clear the conversion, a tricky one was all important, Meadows obliged and left the home side 8 adrift with just minutes to go.

Exmouth controlled those dying moments Jack Downie sending the ball off the pitch to deny Newbury their second bonus point and handing Exmouth their first 5 point haul.

Man of the Match was Paul Morgan who stood out in both attack and defence.

Exmouth are at Home this weekend, and face fierce rivals Newton Abbott who have assembled this season perhaps the most experienced National League squad in the division . The Cockles will need to show a marked improvement in defence as the all whites have won all 3 of their opening fixtures. kick off 230

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