Withy Under-15s into Devon Cup final after success at Exeter Saracens

PUBLISHED: 18:19 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:19 28 February 2018

Action from the Withycombe Under-15s cup tie at Exeter Saracens. Picture IAIN COOPER

Action from the Withycombe Under-15s cup tie at Exeter Saracens. Picture IAIN COOPER

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Withycombe Under-15s booked themselves a Devon Cup final place when they won a well-contested semi-final at Exeter Saracens 29-22.

The home side kicked off and in the early exchanges used their big forwards to make territorial gains, but good Withy tackling enabled them to steal the ball.

Matt Rye kicked ahead and followed the ball to the line to open the scoring and Will Cooper slotted the conversion from long range.

The opening score was followed by a period of mid-pitch action with plenty of enterprising attacking and bullish defending by both sides.

Good pressure from Withy at a Saracens scrum saw the ball moved out to winger Matt Shaw-Smith, who showed the home defence a clean set of heels.

The final score of the half was also a Withy one with some fine approach play and good running of the angles leading to Ben Wilkinson crossing the whitewash to complete the first- half scoring.

Saracens made a flying start to the second half and scored courtesy of a kick and chase to score under the posts for a converted try.

That was followed by a second try, also unconverted. Withy hit back and, after some quick hands, Shaw-Smith ran in his second try.

Saracens continued to adopt a kick-and-chase approach and they scored again via their imposing number eight.

However, straight from the restart the ball landed with Matt Hicks, who set off on a terrific run before off-loading to Finn Musgrove to score under the posts. The conversion was slotted and that proved to be the final score in an entertaining contest.

It means that this season’s Devon final, being played at Barnstaple on a late April date to be announced, will be an all East Devon affair with Sidmouth lying in wait for Withy!

In terms of the playing honours, the Man of the Match honour went to the richly deserving pair of Will Cooper and Matt Rye, while the Man of Steel award went to Matt Edworthy.


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