Withy show in Saltash defeat just how close they have been this season!
PUBLISHED: 17:16 12 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:16 12 March 2015
Withycombe had their season-long unbeaten record ended by title-chasing Saltash who, with a 31-14 success, became the first team to beat Withy twice this season.
What’s more, the Cornish side’s victory also keeps them top of the Tribute Cornwall and Devon table.
With Withy’s own promotion hopes ended the week before at Falmouth they would have been forgiven for going into this contest with half an eye on the big match this coming weekend.
However, at the end of the game, it was very evident just how close Withy have been this year to be the one sitting on top of the table!
For large parts of the first half Withycmbe dominated territory and possession, but all they had to show by the interval was a dozen point deficit!
The first twenty minutes saw the home side camped in the Saltash half, creating plenty of opportunities, but a combination of last-ditch defending and the lack of a cutting edge in the finishing department allowed the visitors to escape a number of times, before a breakaway try put the Cornish side ahead on 17 minutes. With Saltash down to 14 men, Dan Carey claimed his second try of the season to level the scores, but the Saltash backs restored the lead a couple of minutes later and a length of the field try just before the break meant that Saltash had very good value for their first half efforts.
The visitor’s bonus point was claimed shortly after half-time and they added a fifth try after Withycombe openside Ben Clark was sent to the sin bin. Withy once again had the better of the exchanges for the remainder of the game, but struggled to get over the line.
Sam Manning bagged a try, but Withy’s industry and effort was admirable without bearing fruit; a fitting way to describe the league campaign this year.
Withycombe: Jack Pugsley, Andy Matchett, Tom Counsell, Dave Passmore, Glen Layton, Glenn Channing, John Parkin, Dan Carey, Dave Richards, Sam Manning, Matt Bragg, Mark Wilkinson, Andrei Toma, Ben Clark, Mike Richards. Reps: Max Cooke, Terry Mears, Joe Parkin.
Saturday (March 14) sees Withy travel to Swindon College Old Boys to contest the final of the South West Division in the RFU Senior Vase.
The winners of the match will then play a national semi-final which would be one game from a Twickenham final!
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