Withycombe Under-14s make Devon Cu progress with win over Tamar Saracens

PUBLISHED: 10:19 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:19 20 November 2019

Withycombe U14s in action against Topsham. Picture MARK LONG

Withycombe U14s in action against Topsham. Picture MARK LONG


Withycombe Under-14s made Devon Cup progress with a first round proper 24-20 win in what proved to be a thrilling contest with Tamar Saracens at Bicton Park.

Straight from kick-off it became apparent that Withycombe would have to bring their best tackling game with them to withhold the large and powerful Tamar pack.

This was duly done in the early stages and after a loose period of play from the Sarries the ball was turned over and released quickly wide for the Withy youngsters to use their blistering pace to touch down in the corner for the first score.

It was soon 10-0 with more good ball thrown wide before a clean set of heels was shown to the opposition.

The remainder of the half saw much of the play take place in the middle third of the pitch, though Withy did deal manfully with Tamar's big ball carriers, though they eventually broke through and the teams trooped off with Withy leading 10-5.

During the break Withy rang the changes to introduce fresh legs and minds, but they were caught cold at the start of the second half with Saracens restoring parity with an early try.

Bouyed by getting level, Saracens then pressed again and they took a 15-10 lead which they held as the final 15 minutes began. Tamar set up camp within five metres of the Withy line but the defence held firm time and time again.

Eventually a turnover on their own line saw the Withy youngsters with space to exit, and rather than kick they decided to run it out.

Two passes saw Withycombe up to half way and another deft pass left the last remaining defender isolated for Withycombe to scamper in from 40 metres and touch down under the posts and, with a successful conversion, Withy led 17-15.

The game was then effectively won directly from the restart as the kick was returned with interest, and again superb offloading and brilliant running saw the Withy boys celebrating as they again crossed under the sticks to take a 24-15 lead.

Tamar threw everything they had at Withy and scored again to move within four points of the home side.

Withy kicked deep, and dug deeper, with one minute left and were duly rewarded as they gave Tamar no easy exit from their own twenty-two.

They were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty as time ran out, which was duly tapped and kicked to touch to bring the game to an end with the final whistle being greeted with a great roar from players and supporters.

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