Withies strike late to earn draw
- Credit: Iain Cooper
Following last week’s strong season opener against Bude, a youthful Withycombe side went into the game with a level of confidence against Plymstock Albion Oaks.
Early pressure in the Oaks’ 22’ saw the ball passed across the field to Matt Rye who, with a yellow and green wall approaching, grubbered the ball into the try area. Rye won the foot race against the defenders to pounce on the loose ball and score the opening try after just five minutes.
Unfortunately, this early score triggered a bit of strength in Plymstock who themselves managed to create a gap in the Withy defence, allowing Flanker Jack Green to dart over the line at short distance to level the scores.
The Withies pressure was rewarded, and they managed to get themselves back in front after 26 minutes as the boys were awarded a penalty a few metres outside the 22’, and Will Cooper’s pinpoint accuracy saw the ball sail through the posts for an 8-5 lead. Once again though, the scores were reset just three minutes later when Oaks scored a penalty of their own.
As the hour mark approached, tiredness in the side showed as Oaks managed to break through the middle to allow clear passage for Mike Hunt to score under the posts for a converted score.
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Despite being behind for the first time in the match, Withycombe continued to battle. The stamina in Plymstock’s pack was showing in the battle of the forwards, but in the backs, it was still our boys who were on top.
This was most evident as the diminishing clock was beginning to threaten a loss, a quick tap penalty was taken by Ben Bolwell who managed to carry the ball a good third of the pitch, shrugging off the tackles to compete his solo run with a try on his competitive debut for the senior side.
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Celebrations from the supporters rang around the field and increased in volume when Cooper’s conversion attempt bisected the posts to once again bring the scores level to what soon after became the final score at 15-15.