With 11 tries scored and 83 point shared this was a great game for the neutral rugby fan. Not so great for the Cockles. Looking to bounce back from the previous week, Exmouth traveled to Brixham with a good week of training behind them.
What transpired was a performance where simple errors were capitalised on by The Fisherman.
Straight from kick off Exmouth were penalised, 3-0 to the hosts. After 7 minutes the Cockles were 8-0 down when Connor Bedwell intercepted from an Exmouth attack and ran virtually the full length of the field. This score was totally against the run of play and on 10 minutes George Meadows ghosted through to put the visitors back in contention, 8-5. Conversion missed as it hit the upright. At this stage Exmouth were galvanised and at 21 minutes Hooker Will Ridout went over for Exmouth 2nd try, conversion missed again, Exmouth lead 8-10. Brixham were nest 3 minutes later through a Tom Goodman try, conversion from Fly-half Mitch Pinkus, 15-10, 3 minutes later Nick Headley powered through the defence for try number 3, Sam Whitehead again hit the post with the conversion attempt, 15-15. With time virtually up for the break Mitch Pinkus slotted another penalty for Brixham, 18-15 at half-time.
The Cockles showed determination to take hold of the game and try to shut down Brixham. Two further penalties from Sam Whitehead, after Brixham repeated offences, The Cockles were leading 18-21 on 53 minutes and were playing with guile. Unfortunately the errors started to creep in from Exmouth. Bedwell crossed for his second, converted by Pinkus 25-21. Pinkus then hit a penalty to increase the home side lead to 28-21. After a 10 minutes spell the Cockle looked go work out wide and Sam Whitehead touched down and then converted his own score from the touchline, 28-28. The 4 try Bonus Point was secured, this contest was still up for grabs. Brixham then capitalised on the miss-placed pass, spill of the ball and mix up within the visitors running lines. Bedwell secured his hat-trick, 33-28. Wing Andre Simonetti, converted by Pinkus, 40-28 and a try from Tom Goodman completed the Brixham scoring, 45-28. If Exmouth were to get any extra than the BP then they had to dig deep. 4 minutes remaining and Jack Downie went over wide out, converted by Sam Whitehead, 45-35. Time was running out and The Cockles were looking for something extra from this game. Sam Whitehead stepped up to add the final 3 points from a Brixham infringement. Game over, 45-38. Two losing Bonus Points secured.
Too many simple errors handed Brixham at least 3 of their scores. Two kicks hit the post. Full-Back Sam Whitehead finished with a personal tally for 13 points and The Cockles showed they can score some well worked tries. Maximum effort with some reward, however the traveling support would comment that The Cockles should have won this one.
On to next week with the final home game of the South West Premier League campaign. Camborne RFC visit the Imperial Ground. A proper Devon v Cornwall clash.