Withycombe Under-14s prove too hot for Topsham in excellent game at Bicton

PUBLISHED: 09:22 06 November 2019

Withycombe U14s in action against Topsham. Picture MARK LONG

Withycombe U14s in action against Topsham. Picture MARK LONG

Archant

In an eagerly awaited, yet hastily rearranged, fixture, Withycombe U14s looked to continue their excellent start to the season as they welcomed Topsham U14s to Bicton.

Despite all the rain during the week the pitches were in fine condition and allowed for excellent and entertaining free flowing rugby that saw Withy power their way impressively to a 55-2 success.

What made the final score so eye-catching is the fact that Topsham are a very good side and this result is an excellent measuring stick for the Withy season ahead.

From the first whistle it was the Withy forwards who were in imperious and several turnovers in the opening minutes laid a very solid foundation for the young Withy backs to do their thing!

The space made by the forwards was being exploited on every occasion leading to three very quick scores.

Topsham as always kept playing and also looking to get the ball wide, this was however, being snuffed out readily in the centre of the field by the vastly improved defensive play by the young Withies.

Indeed, each one of the players in green and black put in a huge shift as the course of the game veered towards Withy as two forwards crashed over from close range to extend their advantage. Again Topsham kept coming and with the last play of the first period they capitalised on a mix-up in the Withy back field to kick through and score under posts leaving the teams to troop off at the break with Withy leading 36-5.

The first 10 minutes of the second half saw no further scoring as both sides struggled to get back into a rhythm, this changed through when, once again, the Withy forwards found space around the breakdown for some quick pick up and goes which were superbly offloaded for the backs again to crash over in the centre.

More tries followed as quick-thinking and outstanding fitness really started to benefit the Withy boys, and, with every player getting good time on the pitch the team went on to demonstrate the sort of strength in depth there is this year in this particular squad.

Both sides kept playing to the very end, but it was to be the home side who had the last word with a sublime try with no fewer than nine sets of hands on the ball during the build up.

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