Withycombe U16s impress in Fishermen’s Cup win

PUBLISHED: 10:33 15 February 2018

Action from the Sidmouth Under-15s meeting with Withycombe at Bicton College

Action from the Sidmouth Under-15s meeting with Withycombe at Bicton College


Withycombe Under-16s were 38-7 victors when they entertained Devonport Services in an entertaining Fishermen’s Cup match.

This was an outstanding all-round performance from Withy, a display that saw moments of individual brilliance, but forward Ollie Cowley was singled out by the match referee for his individual contribution and winger Thomas Crowl, in what was only his third appearance for the side, had a terrific game.

Throughout the game, the tight Withy defence contained all but one attack and the forwards brilliantly penetrated the defensive line over and over again until finally they broke the early deadlock with an attack down the right from a scrum!

The ball was fed out by Jo Blyth to Jason Farrant, who started a run forward. Farrant put in a grubber kick to the try line, surprising the Devonport defence, and he chased the ball before grounding it to open the scoring.

The next foray into Devonport territory saw some superb attacking play down the left wing by Thomas Croal.

The opposition halted the initial raid, but the ball was eventually worked to the right wing where it was collected by Aaron Lee, who powered over the line and Josh Saunders converted.

More fine work from the forwards saw line breaks from both Harry Cartwright and Max Dix in a passing move that penetrated the Devonport 22 and, when the ball was eventually turned over, an attempted clearing kick was charged down by Farrant, who chased the rebound and scored his second try and another successful Saunders conversion eased Withy into a 19-0 lead. In the dying embers of the first half, Withy skipper Luke Davis made a brace of superb try-saving tackles which stopped certain Devonport scores.

Early in the second half, the visitors came back strongly, but the Withy defence was organised and disciplined. Ollie Cowlie crucially stopped a promising Devonport attack, starting a counter attack that saw a powerful run from Josh Arbury that so nearly resulted in another Withy try.

However, it was the opposition who scored next with a right wing raid, bagging what proved to be their only score of the contest.

Withy were soon back on the front foot and, from a turn-over, a brilliant passing move released Oscar Moyles, who Saunders converted.

Less than two minutes later, the Withy forwards pressed their attack using speed and power down the right side of the park, moving the ball well between themselves.

As the ball neared the Devonport 22, the Neath Rodger twins straightened the attack with Ollie Cowley in support until, finally, Max Dix shot forward and grounded the ball to score. Withy attacked again and Ben Dawson broke free, sprinting from halfway to score and Saunders once again slotted the conversion to complete the scoring.

This really was a comprehensively impressive team show from Withy with 100 per cent effort put into the cause from all areas of the team.

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