Crediton Colts 25 v 20 Exmouth Colts
A close game but the win ultimately evades the Colts
Exmouth’s first run out in this season’s league was ultimately a disappointing trip to Crediton whose better game management earned them a close victory. The Cockles were not short of effort and energy but too often poor choices allowed Crediton to make great use of the slope to lead at half-time and hold on to the lead.
Exmouth had an early chance to clear the ball away from their own 22 but a brave attempt to run the ball out of defence failed and, following a turnover, some weak tackling allowed the home team in under the posts to a 7 point lead. Exmouth came back with some strong running from Schaufler, including a chip, chase and collect, which clawed 5 points back. Sadly Rhino did not last too long on the pitch after this as a bad knock to his neck led to his leaving the pitch (by ambulance). This sensible precautionary measure was followed later by the good news that the injury was not serious.
The long delay was ended with a period of attacking play and Seager scored a typical hooker’s try when he drove over at the back of a maul from a line-out. The Cockles were in front, but only by 3 points.
As if to copy their visitors Crediton drove a maul from a lineout close to Exmouth’s try-line and took the lead back with the conversion extras and the score was 14-10. As the half drew to a close a very poor Crediton “up and under” was collected unopposed by the home captain. This changed the poor kick into good possession and Exmouth were punished as swift passing led to a run in from the inside centre along the right touchline. Half-time score: 19-10.
Determined to make better decisions Exmouth started the second half with lots of possession and Cooke snatched an early penalty. The Crediton restart was not dealt with well and Exmouth conceded a penalty in line with the posts and a simple kick moved Crediton on to 22 points.
The Cockles worked very hard to get the ball into Crediton territory and during a short penalty advantage a cross kick was collected in goal by Langson-Justice and a try was, the supporters thought, scored. The referee unfortunately thought different and blew up before the grounding and brought play back to the penalty, which was missed.
Exmouth got on the front foot again and a series of forward drives led to a forward’s try and a conversion. Only 2 points separated the teams as the game entered its last few minutes. Crediton cleverly moved the ball up field and the decisive penalty was theirs and the final score was 25-20.
A very entertaining match showed how evenly matched these two sides are but Exmouth will hope the return fixture sees better decision making leading to a better result. Man of the Match for Exmouth was Skipper Armstong at number 8. This Saturday’s game is a league fixture at home to North Devon side, Barnstaple.