Hosts Cleve, already relegated, played like a team who wanted to enjoy their afternoon. Physically a huge side caused disruption across the field throughout the game. It was The Cockles who eventually ran out 28-20 winners, securing a try bonus point win. This was enough to secure 6th place in the South West Premier League.
The first half was marked by a lot of coming and and going from both teams, with no outcome at either end. Exmouth eventually had the best of the forty minutes, although it took twenty-eight minutes until Prop Charlie Tribble scored the first try of the afternoon. Converted by Tom Whelan. 0-7. Before the first score Exmouth did have a couple of clear opportunities; unfortunately the final scoring pass went straight to the opposition. Mainly due to a visual colour clash in shirts, mistaken identity when to think you are passing to a team mate. Just before half time Mike Richards was given a yellow card for technical infringement however The Cockles rallied and Harvey Ridgeway went over in the corner for a well taken try, Whelan converted again, from wide out on the touch line, 0-14 at the break.
Exmouth slow out of the blocks, Cleve scored next with a try from Grant Sealey, conversion missed, 5-14. Eight minutes in to the second forty, 1st Team debutant Jake Inglis (pic) mesmerised at Cleve defence to cut through to touch down under the posts, converted by Tom Whelan, 5-21. Next up the hosts went over again, this time from Scrum Half Josh Mortimer, conversion miss, 10-21. Exmouth had the numerical advantage as well during the game when Cleve had to take a yellow card. Just before the thirty minutes mark, centre Nick Headley split the Cleve defence from just inside his own half. A super long run in and resultant kick from Tom Whelan took Exmouth to 10-28. The final ten minutes was an all-out scramble from Cleve. The scored two tries from Anton Welling to gain their own try bonus point, however with kicks missed they could not get close to The Cockles.
Exmouth Pack dominated for large periods of the game and there were some tricky running lines from the backs. The Cockles took the opportunity to include 4 lads who have been playing 2nd team rugby, 1st Team debuts for Will Hockin, James Willmott, Jake Inglis and Erin Inglis. Sam Fulthorpe and Will Bright also made welcome returns. All put in a shift and a claim for regular 1st team rugby. Skipper for the day Nick Halse would have been chuffed from a solid team performance.
The South West Premier season done, The Cockles now think ahead to next weekend Devon Cup Final against Barnstaple.