Devon Cup Quarter Final
By Joe Cooke
Exmouths fitness prevailed
Okehampton Devon Cup Quarter-Final
The Imperial Road Ground hosted a fine game of running rugby last Sunday despite the heavy underfoot conditions. Neither Exmouth nor Okehampton U16s shirked from running the ball wide in this important cup clash. At half-time the 14-5 scoreline favoured the hosts with tries by Oates and Whibberley (both converted by stand-off Ottoway). Okey’s points followed a classic catch and drive routine in Exmouth’s right corner but this was their only reward in a wind backed first half.
The visitors started brightly in the second period, pressuring the Cockles into forcing errors, and were rewarded with a penalty. The home team, however, improved their organisation and started to commit more players to the breakdown. An increased and cleaner supply of ball to the backs, with Cooke now at stand-off following a half-time reshuffle, led to big Exmouth territory gains. A range of chip and cross kicks from Cooke allowed Exmouth to put a bigger gap on the board with Langston Justice, Ottaway (2), and Taylor dotting down. All but one try were converted and the final score was a good looking 40-8 win and progress to the semi-final.
Justice, the Exmouth Coach, was able to give many of the squad a run-out and a chance of much needed game time and the effort and attitude from the squad pleased him. Fitness helped Exmouth pull away in the second half but getting the basics right was the key in a performance that, like a good claret, improved as it matured. Okehampton were left with too much to do but had contributed to an entertaining game of rugby conducted in the best traditions of the sport. Ottoway was awarded the Man of the match for Cockles.
Exmouth return to league action next week at high-flying Topsham.