Exmouth finish on a high with Devon Senior Cup win
The Cockles retain the cup, winners for 4 consecutive seasons
Exmouth the current holders, played host to the Devon Cup Final on Saturday, against old rivals Newton Abbot.
The Cockles looking to add a bit of gloss to a difficult season by winning the Cup for a fourth successive time looked on paper to be vulnerable to an upset against an inform Newton Abbot squad who finished the season in Fourth spot in the division the Cockles will be returning to following relegation.
The two sides both got to the final without playing a game as the competition fell foul of the awful weather and withdrawals from opponents, that said they occupied the top two spots outside of the professional realms in the County.
A good crowd and fine sunshine greeted the players both clubs embracing the final in great style. Newton started well, and made the early running. This was fairly short lived though as the Cockles got their game underway. Pushing deep into the Newton half a penalty allowed Exmouth fly half George Meadows to open Exmouths account with a well struck penalty.
The visitors came back minutes later as Chiefs academy player Laurence May sidestepped his way under the posts on to score, Josh Smith converting.
Meadows reduced the lead on twenty minutes with another penalty as the Cockles dominated all facets of play bar the lineout. Great play from the Home side took the cockles just five metres short of the line, Stu Lowe entered the fray for the ensuing scrum and as predicted the forwards powered over skipper Ross Morshead touching down at the base. The conversion pulled wide.
Both kickers had penalty attempts bounce back off the woodwork in the remaining minutes of the half as a clear pattern appeared, the Cockles dominant at scrum time and confining the visitors to their own half with both elusive attacking flair and aggressive defence, whilst the lineout belonged to Newton although they did little with the resultant possession. Half time at 11 -7 the Cockles had undoubtedly missed opportunities to be further ahead.
Newton started the second half with great endeavours, the lineout providing a platform for successive catch and drives that eventually saw Matt Newman scamper over to score. The Conversion drifted wide in a testing breeze.
From then on the game was all Exmouth, subs came and went with good effect using the competitions rolling replacements rule.
Exmouth's three quarter line used the plentiful go forward ball to good effect and with a cross field attack flying wing Richard Bright broke several tackles and jinked his way over to score under the posts. Meadows added the extras.
Ross Morshead added his second try of the day, in his last game as Captain as the forwards dominance continued from a driving maul, Meadows adding the difficult conversion for a 25 points to 12 lead.
Newton to their credit never gave up and keep the game going, but with Meadows slotting two more penalties the result was never in doubt.
Exmouth retaining the Cup for a fourth time, and laying down a clear marker for next season.
Director of Rugby Chris Wright commented "This year has been difficult, yet a great experience for both the Players and Club as a whole, today it was important for the guys to show their talent and they did not disappoint. To their credit the morale and work ethic has been excellent throughout the season, the supporters have been great and today the players got their just reward. We may be down but we are not out and remain champions of Devon."