Withy edged out after a battling performance in soggy conditions

PUBLISHED: 13:41 18 December 2018

Action from the Withycombe defeat at Pirates Amateurs. Withy players Scott Burgan (left) and try scorer Joe Staley (right) in the thick of the action during the Withycombe defeat at Pirates Amateurs. Picture ANDREA PARKIN

Action from the Withycombe defeat at Pirates Amateurs. Withy players Scott Burgan (left) and try scorer Joe Staley (right) in the thick of the action during the Withycombe defeat at Pirates Amateurs. Picture ANDREA PARKIN

Archant

Withycombe will sit bottom of the Tribute Cornwall and Devon table at Christmas, but their latest outing offers real hope that, once the new year kicks in, a great escape from a bottom spot finish can be achieved.

Withy entertained Plymouth Argaum on an afternoon when Exmouth, Sidmouth and Honiton were all denied action by waterlogged pitches.

Withy struck first in their meeting with the visitors, scoring as early as the sixth minute when Sam Adams crossed the try line, but, in difficult conditions, the Glen Channing conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

Withy then battled well and got to half-time still sporting their 5-0 lead. Indeed, that advantage was carried through the first 17 minutes of the second half before the home resistance was finally broken by an unconverted try.

The game then saw two yellow cards in as many minutes as first Argaum lost a man to the sin-bin – with a yellow card handed to Chris Perkins in the 72 minute – and, two minutes later, Jack Fear was also shown yellow to leave Withy a man down.

The decisive score came with the game into its 78th minute and it went the way of the visitors, who also slotted the conversion to bag a narrow 12-5 success to leave Withy as the basement-dwellers heading into the festive break.

This has, to date, been something of a traumatic season for Withy, but it began so promisingly as they won their opening day home game against Lanner 50-15 and they also won their second home game of the new term, beating Hayle 34-24, but that victory, on September 15, was the last time the Raleigh Park faithful saw their side win.

September saw away defeats at Plymouth Argaum and Plymstock Albion Oaks and a 92-0 home mauling in the East Devon derby with Honiton.

The three October matches were all lost – games away at South Molton and Tavistock and a 78-3 defeat at home to Bude.

A new low was reached in November when, the week after a 76-0 reversal at Topsham, injuries and unavailability led to Withy being unable to field a side for the home meeting with Penryn, who were awarded a walk-over! Into December and a 52-3 defeat at Torquay was followed by an abandoned contest – this due to injury – in the meeting with Pirates Amateurs.

However, this latest ‘close encounter’ at home to an Argaum side that had beaten Withy handsomely earlier in the season suggests that, come the January fixtures, Withy will hopefully be able to breathe new energy into their campaign.

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