Withycombe Under-11s are under-par in brace of games at Cullompton

PUBLISHED: 20:33 19 November 2014 | UPDATED: 20:33 19 November 2014

Withycombe Under-11s good work in recent weeks was brought to an abrupt end at Cullompton last Sunday as the home team secured a win and a draw in the two matches played.

Game one saw Withies take the lead when a clever cross-field kick from Paddy McGuinness fell kindly to Charlie Passmore and the youngster’s speed saw him show a clean set of heels to the Mid Devon side’s players.

The next 10 minutes served up some fabulous rugby from both sides with neither team giving way as defences came out on top. However, Cullompton have shown what a massive improvement they have made this season, constantly using their bigger forwards to batter through some rather weak willed tackling to open up a 15-5 half time lead.

Changes made at half-time by Withies seemed to be working as Man of the Match Ollie Neal was at the forefront of every breakdown, constantly barging bigger opposition off their own ball. This set the platform for Withies to draw level with two more tries by Harry Bennett and Alfie Gillard. The influential Ollie Hempstead had to leave the pitch with an injury and was to play no further part. This seemed to unsettle the young Withies and Cully scored three more tries to seal a 30-15 victory.

Game two again started with Withies taking the lead through Passmore and the advantage was soon doubled by a trademark Bennett surge. Cullompton came back to level the scores before Ollie Willis capped off another good game with a try, only for the home team to draw level in the dying minutes to secured a draw.

This was a patchy performance today. Sam Skinner played his best game to date and Jack Wood was always a constant threat. However, too many times Withies were guilty of kicking the ball away in overlapping situations and lack of communication at the rucks and mauls proved to be their downfall. Withies must not be overawed by bigger opposition and players must start to believe in each other, and not rely on the same few doing all the hard work.

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