Withycombe battle mud and Paington - and win well
PUBLISHED: 07:32 05 February 2015 | UPDATED: 07:32 05 February 2015
Withycombe groundsman Pete Farley was the star man at the club last week as he battled the elements to make sure that Raleigh Park was ready for duty on Saturday despite the fact that the elements had thrown everything they could at him, and the Withy pitch.
The end result of the match against Paignton was a 17-5 Withy win with the surface at the end of the contest looking certain to cause Farley plenty of work to get it back ready for the next action!
Visiting Paignton would come to rue their early penalty miss as from the ensuing 22 dropout, Joe Parkin intercepted a pass to run 70 metres all on his own to the Brook End to open the scoring against the run of play. Both sides found momentum hard to come by in an epic physical battle, with both sets of enormous forwards throwing themselves at each other for little gain. Tim Wills finally came of age and was awarded the Man of the Match honour for his contributions in the heart of the attritional battles.
Half-time arrived with Withy holding that 7-0 advantage and the second half was greeted with the arrival of a hailstorm! Jon Axon returned from the sin bin and Withy clicked into gear to deliver a ten-minute spell that would seal the contest for them.
The pack began to dominate and stated their intent by rolling a maul 30 metres for Liam Cullen to dive over in clubhouse corner, a place which is fast becoming the Cheddar Man’s spiritual home. Then eight minutes later with one of the Paignton second rows in the sin bin, at the 3rd five metre scrum of asking Mike Richards scored his customary no-effort try on the back of the efforts of his front five.
In the last quarter Paignton upped their game and Withycombe’s attack lost its rhythm; not even the introduction of Dave Smashmore himself could get the home side into the opposition half, and Paignton got their reward with a try with the game’s last action. Though disappointing not to get the five points, Paignton are a side who will surely cause headaches for the other leading sides in the league; so a four point haul represents a sterling effort.
On Saturday Withy travel to Exeter Saracens next week before a week later taking on Gordano at Raleigh Park in the RFU Senior Vase.
Withycombe: Jack Pugsley, Andy Matchett, Joe Parkin, Tom Counsell, Terry Mears, Will Hockin, John Parkin, Chris Gibbons, Liam Cullen, Sam Manning, Jon Axon, Tim Wills, Andrei Toma, Eugene Badenhorst, Mike Richards. Reps: Dan Carey, Dave Passmore, Glenn Channing.