Topsham U16 v Exmouth U16
This eagerly anticipated Fisherman Cup clash went with the form book as Topsham beat The Cockles at the Marine Camp in an exciting 17-12 win. Topsham remain unbeaten in the league and look favourites to win the title but Exmouth hope the losing bonus point might keep them in the mix at the end of the season.
Exmouth just keep on improving and each test sees them inch closer and closer to the standards reached by their near neighbours but strong running from the Topsham fullback led to two first half tries.
Exmouth’s first half try came from a determined break by Schauffler after backs and forwards combined well to take play towards the posts. The conversion was kicked. The home team led 12-7 at the interval having played up the slope and into the wind.
In the second half Exmouth dominated the territorial battle against the elements but Topsham made the most of a breakout and scored a third try. Never giving up, powerful driving from line outs led to Ottoway running through untouched past the blind side of a well-driven maul into the left hand corner and some consolation points. The final-whistle conversion was missed.
As Topsham were short of front-row forwards the game was played with uncontested scrums. The Cockles pack missed the chance to attack the home scrum but was at its usual high standard in the line out with excellent throwing from Seager. The hooker shared the Man of the Match honours with Cooke at centre for two very determined performances. Coach Justice was again pleased with the commitment shown by the Cockle’s whole squad.
Exmouth will be trying hard to book another opportunity to measure themselves against Topsham by winning their forthcoming Devon Cup semi final against Ivybridge and meeting them in the final.