Withycombe 2nd XV field a young side as honours end even against Topsham

PUBLISHED: 12:04 28 January 2020

Action from the Withycombe 2nd XV 22-22 draw with Topsham St James. Picture: IAIN COOPER

Action from the Withycombe 2nd XV 22-22 draw with Topsham St James. Picture: IAIN COOPER

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Withycombe fielded a youthful 2nd XV that drew 22-22 with Topsham St James 2nds at Raleigh Park.

Action from the Withycombe 2nd XV 22-22 draw with Topsham St James. Picture: IAIN COOPERAction from the Withycombe 2nd XV 22-22 draw with Topsham St James. Picture: IAIN COOPER

Eleven of the Withy XV that took to the pitch are current colts and seven of those 11 were making their senior rugby debuts!

The first forward foray of the game came from Withy, but a series of offside penalties against them allowed Topsham some early territory and possession and a catch-and-drive from just close to the home five metre line led to the visitors scoring the opening try.

In the 15th minute, Withy were awarded a penalty and opted to scrum down.

This proved to be a good decision for, when the ball came out of the scrum, Jake Cornish took it over the whitewash to level things up at 5-5. Five minutes later one of the colts, Finn Musgrove, showed just how quick he is, leaving opposition players trailing in his wake as he crossed in the corner for his first senior try. Topsham, who had a significant weight advantage, hit back to score a second try from a driving maul.

Action from the Withycombe 2nd XV 22-22 draw with Topsham St James. Picture: IAIN COOPERAction from the Withycombe 2nd XV 22-22 draw with Topsham St James. Picture: IAIN COOPER

End-to-end action followed before Withy edged ahead once more with Musgrove crossing the try line again and a successful Will Cooper conversion saw Withy troop off at the break with a 17-10 lead. The skill level in the Withy colts ranks came to the fore early in the second half with Max Dix selling a splendid dummy pass to an opposing player prior to scoring. The Cooper conversion attempt struck the upright, but Withy now led by a dozen points at 22-10.

Topsham, who came into the game with six successive wins under their belts, clearly did not want the run to end and they upped the tempo of their game and they did score a couple of late tries to level things up with a couple of minutes to play.

In the closing stages Withy were awarded a penalty, but what was a 'difficult' kick sailed wide and Withy had to settle for a share of the spoils.

This was a hugely impressive performance from Withycombe 2nd XV.

Next up at Raleigh Park it's the all-conquering 1st XV that are back in action when, on Saturday (February 1), they host fourth placed Exeter Saracens (2.30pm).

Prior to the game the club are hosting a Past Players event with 'veterans' from both sides set to enjoy the best of Withy hospitality, which all gets underway with a hog roast at 1.15pm.

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