Exmouth smash Barnstaple in Cup Semi Final
Non stop attack and strong defence keep Barnstaple at bay
Exmouth outplayed Barnstaple and will now defend the Devon Senior Cup in the final against Brixham later this month. The home side were crushed by 3 tries to one in what was a one sided match played in excellent conditions.
The home side started the game well and were soon on the scoreboard when the Cockles were caught offside and Josh Squire gave them an early 3 point lead. Exmouth came back with momentum and a fine break by Mark Wathes took them to within yards of the Barnstaple line. The Barnstaple centre infringed and was yellow carded and Andrew Powell slotted an easy penalty to level the score.
The Cockles continued to attack and Powell increased the lead further after 15 minutes with a well struck penalty from some 40 metres out. The Exmouth attack continued to build and after 20 minutes Paul Morgan went over wide out after some excellent interplay between forwards and backs. Powell converted to add the extras and give Exmouth a 13 – 3 lead at the break.
During the first half Exmouth lost Adam Wyllie with broken ribs following a run-in with former Barnstaple captain Phil Gordon. He was replaced by Ben King.
At half time, Exmouth made technical substitutions in the front row bringing on George Savage and Will Norton in place of Lloyd Morgan and Nigel Berry.
The Cockles went further ahead in the first 10 minutes with 2 fine penalties by Powell. The home side had no answer to the continual attacks both by Exmouth forwards and backs and Exmouth were unlucky not to score 2 further tries before the half hour.
Barnstaple’s only reward in the second half was an unconverted try after 30 minutes. This spurred on the Cockles who finished the match off with 2 fine tries by Matt Garner and George Savage wide out but both difficult conversions failed.
This was a fine all round performance by the whole squad and Man of the Match was awarded to Bob Armstrong. Exmouth now look forward now to a Cup Final date away to Brixham on Saturday 28th April