Withy Under-15s edged out in close Devon Plate final at Sidmouth
PUBLISHED: 10:18 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 May 2018
Withy Under-15s were edged out in a thrilling Devon Plate final that was played at the home of final opponents Sidmouth.
The ‘home’ side kicked off with the slope in their favour, but Withy applied good early pressure only to come up against a solid Sidmouth defence and, from that basis, their big forwards were able to carry the ball away from danger.
Withy then let Sidmouth relieve some more attacking pressure by giving away silly penalties at the break down.
Play then settled down into a period of even-steven action at both ends with each side producing a series of ‘big tackles’.
Withy began to dominate territory, but were unable to get that last vital pass to hand and the first half came to an end without any score being recorded.
In the second half, Sidmouth had the advantage of slope and wind and this led to Withy coming under increasing pressure. However, some splendid last-ditch tackling continued to frustrate the home side until, as the game entered the closing stages, Sidmouth were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. They elected to kick but sliced it and Withy breathed a sigh of relief!
With just five minutes left Withy battled their way up field and were awarded a penalty of their own which Will Cooper slotted between the uprights!
Sidmouth were stung, but they hit back with a powerful surge that ended with a quick tap penalty and a charging run by the Sidmouth centre that saw them score the game’s one and only try. It was scored in the corner and the conversion was missed, but it proved enough to give Sidmouth the match win by a margin of just two points at 5-3!
The Withycombe boys were gracious in their defeat and played solid rugby as a ‘tight knit’ team.
The Withy Man of the Match award went to Will Cornish and Finn Musgrove, who earned the honour for their relentless tackling and defence.