Exmouth 13s 0 - 27 Kingsbridge
Exmouth U 13s do well with only half the squad available.
This week saw the Cockles U13 side play host to Kingsbridge who are one of the stronger teams in the county.
Exmouth can normally boast up to a 26 player turn out for any match home or away, but this week was different. The team was ravaged by illness, injuries and had a couple of players away supporting the Exeter Chiefs in the LV Cup Final. This week the Cockles were only able to field 12 players less than 50% of their usual squad.
For the sake of the match, the game was played without flankers in a 13 a side match with a 1 player on loan from Kingsbridge. Several players had to play out of their normal positions and without recent match time or training, however they did extremely well to adapt so quickly.
The match started promisingly with all the pressure coming from Exmouth. The ball didn't leave the Kingsbridge half for at least 5 minutes but Exmouth were unable to convert this pressure in to a score.
The match started to swing in Kingsbridge's favour with the following 5 minutes in the Exmouth half. Then from an Exmouth line-out, Kingsbridge gained possession and the ball was quickly fed out wide to their number 14 who made a dash for the left cornner for the first try. This went unconverted but gave the visitors the lead and seemed to be the turning point as Kingsbridge were able to keep the upper hand and despite some excellent defensive work, ended the first half 17 points ahead.
The second half saw a further 10 points scored against Exmouth, who did well to maintain a strong defense but were unable to contain the visitors and score points back. A couple of promising breaks from Exmouth looked like they may get through the defensive line but the attempts were stopped short of a try being scored.
The start of the match was promising for the Cockles and had they managed to score, it would have put a different complexion on the game. But several players were feeling under the weather, and two had just returned to fitness after injuries that had kept them from playing for a couple of weeks. To add to the problems in the second half, one of the Exmouth players left the field injured.
The Cockles showed great resolve and did well to contain the visitors from scoring more, but there is now a keenness to meet them in a return fixture when the team is at full strength again.