Withycombe get a dose of post Christmas Blues!

PUBLISHED: 14:24 11 January 2011 | UPDATED: 14:51 11 January 2011

Withycombe RFC 1st XV squad

Withycombe RFC 1st XV squad

Archant

WITHYCOMBE served up a below-par performance and paid the price, losing to visiting Teignmouth 31-11, writes John Goldfinch.

Looking for a third successive home victory Withy were unfortunate to find the visitors in excellent form.

Sadly though Withy, over the Festive period, seemed to have forgotten the formula that had served up 120 points for and just ten against in the two previous home outings.

Too much good ball was kicked away and too many players wanted to take on play when other options were available.

Another factor was that prolific goal kicker Paddy Shaw had left his kicking boots at home as two or three penalty attempts were sent wide of the uprights!

Playing with the slope in their favour Withies were very dominant particularly up front and territorially Teignmouth found them encamped in their own quarter. It was during this period that Withycombe really lost the game although that advantage was theirs. Too much emphasis was given to move off the pack when the time was right to release the ball wide. All Withies were able to muster from the period of dominance was two easy penalties from Shaw.

It was all very frustrating and this was starting to affect the play as silly mistakes and poor ball retention became the order of the play and territorially Teignmouth started to benefit from Withies errors and misjudgements.

With minutes remaining to half time Teigns got on the score board when pressure on the Withycombe line saw centre Chris Tidman go over for an unconverted score.

With the second half starting with Withies with the bare advantage of only one point, it didn’t look promising for the Raleigh Park side.

Teignmouth began show a lot more confidence in attack with Tidman and Matt Moses at full back orchestrating affairs as poor positional kicking from Withycombe allowed the away side to counter attack and force Withies onto the defensive. The defensive line held for Withycombe and the best port of the Withies game, tackling, was tested time and time again and there were some big hits.

From a spilled pass, Richard Hall scooped up the ball and ran fully 60 metres to score against the run of play for the home side. Shaw was unsuccessful with the conversion.

From the almost the restart Teigns reduced the arrears with a Moses penalty. With the score at 11-8 and the way Withies were playing and Teigns growing confidence, it was no surprise when Teigns got themselves in front when Tidman chipped ahead and Callum Couch followed up to score and unconverted score.

Ten minutes to go and Withies had thrown it away again as the final whistle came all too quickly. A team that they had beaten on the road and targeted for a home win had turned them over. There was a losing bonus point but let us hope it will be enough at the end of the season. Next week tougher opposition beckons with Falmouth the destination. The loss of Paddy Shore and Dan Mather will not help the cause but players need to look at last week game against Teignmouth that the odds can be overturned with a constructive and thoughtful performance.

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