Crediton U14s 20 - 17 Exmouth
By Rob Masters
Exmouth dominate the match and play their best rugby of the season but are beaten by Crediton
It Is not often Exmouth U14s struggle to gather a full team but on Sunday for their journey to Crediton they just had a bare minimum of 15 players available with several key players unavailable. Unfortunately the match ended with a 20 – 17 defeat but this was a great performance and probably the best of the season.
Crediton only managed to escape from their own half on two occasions during the first half, both being an individual break away resulting in a try. The first try followed a Exm penalty and drive at the Crediton line but the cockles lost the ball on the try line and from this a home player ran the length of the pitch to score an unconverted try. This was soon followed by another similar try and Exmouth found themselves trailing by 10 points despite being in the driving seat.
Exmouths misfortune continued when Eddie Ford was on the receiving end of a late and high tackle which resulted in him not taking part in the rest of the match. A home replacement player stepped up to pull on a Cockles shirt.
Eventually the pace and intensity with which Exmouth were playing brought reward when Luke Davis received quick ball and crossed for a try which was converted by Arron Lee. With the half drawing to a close and again Exmouth camped deep in their hosts half Crediton conceded a Penalty. Richard Forrest levelled the half time score with a successful Penalty Kick.
Exmouth came out for the second half with continued enthusiasm and from a scrum in midfield Davis received a good clean ball from Josh Cressall and put up a perfectly weighted kick which then bounced kindly and he was able to gather and offload to Zac Tucker who touched down under the posts which was again converted by Lee.
The Cockles were beginning to struggle in the scrum due to fatigue and Crediton managed to get a foothold in the Exmouth 22. Crediton were awarded a penalty decision which Exmouth felt should have gone the other way, as Harry Sprague was attempting toturn over the ball from a home player on the ground. From this quickly taken penalty their was an element of confusion and Crediton dropped on a loose ball to score another unconverted try. Then 2 minutes of madness followed when Exmouth’s restart was not followed up and the Crediton receiver seemed to run in almost unchallenged to gift the lead back to Crediton.
There was not much time left and despite pressing hard, fatigue had set in and the Cockles could not cross the line to restore what should have been an emphatic victory. Exmouth deserved much more for their efforts than a 20 – 17 deficit. On no fewer than 3 occasions the ball was ripped from their grasp on the Crediton try line.