Exmouth 19 - 26 Exeter Youth
5 minutes lack of concentration in second half gifted two soft tries and cost Cockles the match.
Exmouth U 14s entertained local rivals Exeter Youth on Sunday looking to reverse last season’s narrow defeat and for the first 10 minutes it was fairly even in terms of possession but the game was being played all in the Exmouth half! Eventually Exeter found a gap in the home defence and scored an unconverted try. The restart gave the Cockles the territory they needed to take the game to their visitors. It took a while to break down their defence but patience paid off and a long miss pass from Stewart Masters found light footed Ben Dawson in space who scored a well deserved try, converted by Masters.
Exmouth continued to play well but handling errors at critical times prevented further score. Exeter were getting the better of their hosts at the breakdown as Exmouth continued to commit more players to the rucks but still not coming away with the ball, and this was to cost Exmouth on the stroke of half time when Exeter moved the ball wide quickly to cross for their second try which this time was successfully converted.
The second half started with Exmouth having the better of their opponents and it did not take too long for the cockles to level the score when Dawson was put clear following a quickly taken Penalty. Eddie Ford was unfortunate to see his conversion attempt bounce back off the cross bar. Exmouth maintained the pressure looking to capitalise on the pressure on Exeter’s line but their defence held as the Cockles infringements were penalised several times allowing Exeter to take play back towards midfield. Then Exeter found a huge space behind the home defence and a very long kick allowed them to gather and run in virtually unopposed to restore their lead with a converted try which was to signal the start of 5 minutes of madness which cost Exmouth the game.
From the restart Exeter broke through week tackles to take play up to Exmouth 5m line and quick recycling allowed them to take another converted try. Exmouth were not done yet but with time running out they had to move hastily into opposition territory and this they did and were awarded a penalty which was taken quickly Exeter were not back 10m so another penalty awarded, again taken quickly and Dawson was in for his hat trick which he successfully converted leaving the score at 26 – 19 in Exeter’s favour.
This was a close contest and but for a short period in the second half Exmouth could have secured the win.