Withycombe make it a great eight with success at New Cross

PUBLISHED: 14:25 25 November 2019

Withycombe at home to Tamar Saracens. Ref exsp 44 19TI 2805. Picture: Terry Ife

Withycombe at home to Tamar Saracens. Ref exsp 44 19TI 2805. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Withycombe scored 35 unanswered points in a dominant second half performance at Kingsteignton where they defeated New Cross 52-12.

The win, an eighth in as any league games this season, sees Withy back to the top of the Tribute Devon One table which they now head by a margin of eight points.

On yet another soggy November Saturday - much of day's rugby and football across Devon was washed out, Withy were delighted to find, on their arrival in South Devon, a playing surface that looked in near perfect condition.

What's more, no rain fell for the duration of the game - a welcome change given the weather of late!

The home side started well and had Withy pinned back in the opening exchanges. The early pressure was broken when an intercepted pass by Paddy Haddad saw the ball swiftly make it's way towards the New Cross try line.

Indeed, the move would have led to the opening try but for a terrific tackle in the home 22 to take the ball into touch.

However, from the resulting lineout, Withy mauled their way towards the line and it was Matt Brambles who took the ball over in the corner and Will Hockin slotted the conversion to see Withy into a 7-0 lead four minutes into the contest.

Boosted by the score, Withy presses again and only a couple of quick penalties saw the home side first relieve the pressure and then make ground themselves, but the closest they came to scoring was when a penalty kick came back off the upright!

Soon after the play switched to the other end of the ground with Luke Davis starting the move off that saw the ball find first George Toomey and then Neil Williams who made his way down the right-hand side of the pitch to score and put Withy 12-0 up.

Back came the home side with a try under the posts from fly half Ryan Wotton who then sent the conversion between the posts.

Buoyed by their score, New Cross enjoyed a period of promise that ended with another try from Wotton, this time in the corner, but a missed kick left the score at 12-all with six minutes of the half remaining.

Having been caught up in terms of the score, Withy dug deep and scored once again in the corner with Sam Warren crossing the whitewash and, with the conversion striking the frame of the goal, half-time came soon after with Withy trooping off sporting a 17-12 advantage.

Withy made a strong start to the second half and, having won a series of penalties inside the home 22, they eventually powered their way with the scrum over the line where Mike Richards touched the ball down.

A 55th minute yellow card for New Cross number eight Tom Osborn after he tackled a player not holding the ball, seemed to change the game and Withy punished the home side, scoring two quick tries in the 10-minutes that New Cross were a man down

Paddy Haddad was the try scorer on each occasion after which Withy sported a 26 point lead and the game, as a contest, was effectively over.

Neil Williams was denied a 70th minute try by a superb tackle that saw the ball knocked out of his hands as he dived over the line. Undeterred, Williams was soon back in almost the same position and this time he crossed the whitewash to take his personal try tally into double figures for the season.

There was still for Withy club captain Liam Cullen to take a quick tap-penalty some 10-metres from the line and he followed it with a determined run down the middle of the pitch, stretching over the try line to score under the posts, taking three defenders with him in the process! The conversion was clean to round off the scoring and close out a 52-12 win for Withy.

Withycombe head for North Devon this Saturday (November 30) when they will try for a third time to play at Ilfracombe where two previous attempts this season have been washed put before the side could kick a ball in anger.

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