Withy Under-12s edge out Barum in close encounter

PUBLISHED: 11:26 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 06 February 2018

Action from the Withycombe Under-12s versus Barnstaple game played at Bicton.

Action from the Withycombe Under-12s versus Barnstaple game played at Bicton.

Archant

Withycombe Under-12s served up a superb all-round performance to edge out Barnstaple in a close encounter played in great spirit at Bicton.

The North Devon side are a quality outfit and clearly Withy needed to be at their best – and they were!

Both sides looked highly motivated as they took to the field for first period. Withycombe shrugged off their usual slow start and were straight into every ruck and looked strong at every breakdown.

With each pass sticking, Withy were looking to find space, and it eventually came after 10 minutes with a strong burst through the centres and a deft off-load to dot down.

This proved to be the only score of the first period as the defences were on top.

The following two periods followed the same route with defence the key. This was not exclusive, however, as Barnstaple scored two unanswered tries.

Things on the pitch were starting to get a bit fractious, but Withy stayed calm and matched the physical side of the visitors – something they did with no short measure of bravado – and discipline!

As the game ended its final 15 minutes, the outcome remained in the balance.

With minutes to go, Withy edged in front, but Barum hit back straight away to again level things up.

There was still time for Withy to set up what became a sustained period of pressure and control as the ball was constantly kept alive in the contact area.

Withycombe played phase after phase waiting for the right chance to strike and, when it did, slick hands and good lines saw the ball worked out wide for the game-winning score.

Barnstaple threw everything they had at a swift response in what time remained and they did get the ball over the line. However, the ‘score’ was chalked for foul and dangerous play and the final whistle blew seconds later to signal a superb Withy victory.

For Withy, a real test had not only been taken on, but passed with flying colours and the youngsters can look confidently ahead to the remainder of their season.


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