A strong squad was assembled to comprise of five of last year’s successful Colts team, who have moved seamlessly into the senior squad, together with the experienced Andy Lendon, Grant Vaughn Atkins, Paul Flower, Martin Westaway and world wise Chris Bentley.
With driving rain from kick off it took Exmouth a while to settle against a very determined Bideford squad. Finally, 20 minutes into the game the first score was put away by George Mears. Tries also followed from James Vidler, James Clarke, Sam Conway and GVA. Fine form from the boot of Tom Steer hit 5 conversions. The final attempt of the first half clipped the upright due to the now increasing wet and windy conditions. Score at half time 33-7 to Exmouth
The second half saw a spirited come back from the young Bideford team who added to their total with a well worked scores after long periods of pressure. However it was the Cockles who increased their work level again with back rowers Joe Harris and Sam Millardship, both working hard at line-out and on the floor, to create opportunities. It was the latter who also added a deft chip for Rob Gurnett to collect the ball for a fine try. 2nd half scores also came from Ross Watts from a pushover scrum, George Mears and James Mattin. Steer continued with the boot to add another 4 conversions to bring the final score to 61-19. Exmouth did have a valid try ruled out, only to be given a penalty instead? With additional work around the field from Oli Justice, Nick Smith, Richie Guy and Jake ‘Henners’ Sharp, a great first workout. Team Manager Robbie Lowe looked pleased following the final whistle of the season opener, despite a near delay to the start of the game. It seems the Sat Nav. & map reading in the Colts car took them on a detour past the junction to the North Devon Link road, heading in a northerly direction up the M5!