Withy Under-16s battle so well in narrow defeat to strong Topsham side

PUBLISHED: 07:24 19 December 2018

Withycombe Under-16s in action against Cullompton. Picture IAIN COOPER

Withycombe Under-16s in action against Cullompton. Picture IAIN COOPER

Archant

Withycombe Under-16s met Topsham in a Fishermen’s Cup tie that was moved to Bicton as the Tops’ Bonfire Field was unfit for action.

It was Topsham who made the early running and they pressed the Withycombe line for long spells, but the Withy defence was solid and held firm.

The stalwart rearguard action was finally breached, though, when, from a click catch-and-drive manoeuvre following a line-out, the Tops went over for a converted try, which proved to be the only score of a closely contested first half.

The start of the second half also saw the arrival of the rain and a swirling wind, but the pattern of play was similar to that of the first half with Topsham enjoying the lion’s share of the ball and also having territorial advantage.

However, just as they had done before the break, the Withy defensive work was organised, disciplined and brave with some terrific tackling on display.

The Withy resistance was finally broken for a second time when the Tops took a quickly-taken tap penalty and worked the ball out wide with a long pass that released the fleet-footed winger to sprint to the line and again the conversion was good to see Withy trailing 14-0.

That was to be the end of the scoring, though Withy thought they had got a late try back, but the match official ruled the move ‘held up’ and no try was awarded.

So, a 14-0 defeat for a battling Withy, who gave a very good all-round account of themselves against a strong and fast running Topsham side.

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