Withy bag first half dominance to seal third victory of the campaign on Cornish soil in gale force winds

PUBLISHED: 21:13 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 21:14 06 November 2013

Withycombe RFC hosted a friendly match against Effingham and Leatherhead on Saturday, 31 August. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exsp 0999-36-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Withycombe RFC hosted a friendly match against Effingham and Leatherhead on Saturday, 31 August. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exsp 0999-36-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

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Newquay 8, Withycombe 48

A sixth win of the league season, and a third on Cornish soil this term, was the perfect way to prepare for this Saturday’s home meeting with unbeaten table-topping Tiverton, writes Mike Richards.

The contest in Cornwall was certainly a game of two different halves for Withy! Playing into a strong first half wind it looked pre-match as if it might need to be a case of battening down the hatches for the first 40 minutes. However, such is the confidence in the Withy camp just now that they were straight onto the offensive from the first whistle. Receiving the ball from kick-off Withycombe worked up the pitch until Freddie Fraser made a decisive break before feeding Jack Pugsley who scored the opening try.

At times Withycombe ‘s indiscipline cost them big as penalty kicks were carried by the massive winds into green and black territory, but the strong forward display at set piece negated the effect somewhat. Freddie Fraser was sent to the sin-bin on 20 minutes as Newquay snatched three points, but Withycombe replied by scoring with 14 men.

A George Toomey break set Dave Richards in motion to feed Glenn ‘tugboat’ Channing, who pinned his ears back to crash over!

Withycombe’s next score would come from defending a lineout on their own five-metre line. With the conditions dictating that just about every throw go to the front, the gigantic Jon Axon was a constant thorn in the side of Newquay, and no more so than on this occasion, when the subsequent maul from his steal set the stage for Glenn Channing to bust a hole in the defence on the 22 before off-loading to Jack Pugsley who ran in untouched from 50-metres out. Pugsley converted his own try to make it 17-3.

The four-try bonus point was secured with the last act of the first half as Jon Axon made a delightful midfield half break and Freddie Fraser finished the job undertow posts. Pugsley converted to give Withycombe a 24-3 half-time lead, all but unassailable should the wind keep up!

Another Channing-Pugsley connection early in the second half essentially secured the win, Withycombe able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their first half labour, even if Glenn Channing’s boot did occasionally overcook!

Newquay showed they still had some fight in them by scoring a workmanlike try to pull it back to 31-8, but the score was instantly cancelled out as a steal from the ensuing kick-off led to Freddie Fraser scoring an eye-catching individual try.

A slick backs move put George Toomey in for a late try before Andrei Toma hacked on a loose ball and just managed to get the ball down before it squirmed out of play. A 40-point triumph in Cornwall should raise a few eye brows prior to the big game at Raleigh Park on Saturday!


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